After failing to grab all three points at the Santiago Bernabeu last week, the Blues have finally secured a place in the finals of this year’s Uefa Champions League; with pundits crediting the Blues’ victory to the brilliant techniques of German coach, Thomas Tuchel.
Thomas Tuchel, who took over the managerial job following the departure of Chelsea legend, Frank Lampard in January this year, was greeted with heavy expectations; with fans impressing upon the forty-seven (47) year old trainer to revamp a side that was sinking into gloominess.
Amidst the unending pressure from fans and pundits alike, Tuchel kept his cool and reorganised his troupes to secure his first win against Burnley at the Stamford Bridge on 31st January; with goals coming from Cesar Azpilicueta and his Spanish team mate, Marcos Alonso in the fortieth (40th) and eight-fourth (84th) minutes respectively.
But Chelsea’s win at the Stamford Bridge on 31st January cannot be compared to the delight of the Blues, after they beat Spanish giants, Real Madrid on Wednesday night to secure a place in this year’s Champions League finals, slated for May 29, at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul.
At the start of what many regarded as a cagey encounter, Chelsea drew first blood when Timo Werner capitalised on a rebound to register Chelsea’s first goal on home grounds. After the opener, the Blues mounted an avalanche of pressure on the visitors; with several chances going abegging. With the home side firing from all cylinders, a second goal was surely in the offing; and when the moment of truth finally came, Mason Mount doubled the lead to dash the hopes of the visitors; beating them 3 – 1 on aggregate.
While some pundits and connoisseurs of the game have hailed the determination of the players for the club’s historic win, many experts have attributed Chelsea’s overwhelming performance to the sheer brilliance and tact of manger, Thomas Tuchel.
According to them, Tuchel’s creativity, tact and enthralling sense of judgement was what powered the Blues to their third Champions League finals in the last decade. Coincidentally, Chelsea’s three appearances at the Champions League Finals have all come on the back of appointing new managers within the course of the season.
In 2007/08, Jose Mourinho parted company with the London side in a rather sordid fashion; making room for Avram Grant to take over. It was Grant who then led the team to the UCL finals in Moscow, where they fell to the Red Devils on penalty shoot-outs.
Then in 2011/12, the Blue annexed a place in the finals after Andes Villas Boas, was replaced by Roberto Di Matteo, who saw the Blues to their first Champions League trophy against Bayern Munich, with Drogba’s last penalty strike.
Tuchel therefore numbers as the third coach to power the Blues to a UCL final, after talking over from another manager within the course of the season. His much touted leadership will be put to a hot season when his side faces Manchester City in all-English affair on 29th May in Turkey.