After watching his side secure a professional 2-0 victory over Porto on Wednesday, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted he was always confident his side would bounce back from their crushing 5-2 defeat to West Bromwich Albion.
The Blues were a complete shambles against West Brom but managed to get themselves back to winning ways against Porto. Despite conceding a lot of shots on goal, Chelsea looked in control throughout, and goals from Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell put Tuchel’s side in the ascendancy heading into next week’s return leg.
It was the ideal response to such a humiliating defeat, but Tuchel insisted after the game that he could tell immediately after the West Brom loss that Chelsea would come out firing against Porto.
“I was pretty sure [there would be a response],” he said (via Sky Sports News). “I saw the response immediately after the game in the dressing room and the next day, it was not a big concern.
“We had a big loss; it was our responsibility and we accepted it – me included. We were ready to respond, that is what we said, and this is it. There will always be setbacks in sport and the biggest challenge now was to bounce back.
“We have had a lot of wins together, a lot of excellent results. We had a loss and now we have a reaction after a loss together, and that brings us closer and increases the trust. It was important to have a clean sheet and a win straight after that defeat.”
Tuchel did not deny that his side weren’t exactly at their best in attack, but he was more than happy to praise Mount and Chilwell for their industrious work to find the back of the net and give Chelsea one foot in the Champions League semi-final.
“I’m very happy he [Mason] scored, it was a very important goal, an away goal which opened up the game and helped everybody’s nerves,” the boss continued. “It wasn’t an easy shot, but it was very precise.
“Chilwell’s goal was excellent, he’s not a regular scorer but he kept his composure, went around the goalkeeper and it was super important to get the second away goal.
“We lacked a bit of rhythm and precision while attacking but there was always a chance to maybe get a goal from a mistake from the opponent, and Chilwell forced one and kept his cool in the box.”