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Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea have a point to prove at Wembley

Thomas Tuchel file photo
(Image credit: Kieran Cleeves)

Thomas Tuchel has admitted Chelsea have “something to prove” at Wembley after losing two finals at England’s national stadium.

Chelsea lost last season’s FA Cup final 1-0 to Leicester but that disappointment was quickly eased by the Blues toppling Manchester City to claim the Champions League crown.

Tuchel’s Chelsea then lost out 11-10 on penalties to Liverpool in this term’s Carabao Cup final on February 27.

Chelsea were beaten by Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final

Chelsea were beaten by Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final (John Walton/PA)

The Blues face Crystal Palace in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final in a return to Wembley that Tuchel has conceded will be laced with unfinished business.

“It helps that we got to Wembley and that we have a knockout game in the FA Cup and something to fight for straight away,” said Tuchel.

“The next big challenge, and we’re so close to a final and so close to another title you can fight for.

“That helps to shift the focus because we have been in a final there already this season, the Carabao Cup final. We’ve lost both our finals at Wembley. You feel you have something to prove.

“And it comes at a good time because there is a lot of reward and a lot to play for. It is easier to shift the focus than with a normal Premier League game.”

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Chelsea’s season took a worrying mini turn with damaging home defeats, 4-1 to Brentford in the Premier League and 3-1 to Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final first leg.

The Blues hit back in style by thrashing Southampton 6-0 at St Mary’s, then beating Madrid 3-2 in the Bernabeu Stadium on Wednesday.

Chelsea came agonisingly close to taking their Champions League defence into the semi-finals, only for Karim Benzema’s extra-time goal to knock out the Blues 5-4 on aggregate.

Tuchel revealed he has let the wider ramifications of the Champions League exit sink in slowly with his players, insisting he has no concerns about their readiness for another vital clash on Sunday.

“We will let them process it as a team; let them talk about it and come clear with mixed feelings,” said Tuchel.

“Let them come clear. That was good, very good, one of our best performances given the circumstances and yet you feel a bit down because we did not go through and there is big disappointment.

“You need a bit of time. It’s good that we played Tuesday and it’s good that we play on Sunday.

“We don’t rush things or force things, we have the opportunity and the competition itself. The fact it is at Wembley helps us a lot.”

Asked if hammering home the level of performance in Madrid as the required standard would rouse his Chelsea players again, Tuchel added: “Listen, I think they know very well. I think they know very well.

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“That’s the feedback that they get and deserve to get.

“We were very strong, very consistent before the international break and then the international break comes and we lost our momentum totally, our focus and the grip and everything more or less, and had these two very unusual, very untypical games for us with very bad results.

“So I’m happy, it tells me a lot about the character and the attitude of the group and of the players to turn it around like this and to turn it around instantly in Southampton and to do it again in Madrid.

“I’m absolutely convinced it is a huge experience for our players.

“We had a lot of players who played for the first time in this stadium. So to react like this, to begin and finish a match like this, was outstanding.”

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