Thomas Tuchel hailed the hunger of his “fantastic” Chelsea stars as they reached the Champions League final with a 2-0 win against Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Goals from Timo Werner and Mason Mount booked Chelsea’s first Champions League final appearance since they won the competition for the only time in 2012.
Tuchel’s side will face Premier League rivals Manchester City in the final in Istanbul on May 29.
Chelsea’s 3-1 aggregate victory was well deserved as they produced a commanding display in the semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge, stifling Real’s sporadic attacks and repeatedly hitting them on the counter.
They could easily have won more convincingly and Blues boss Tuchel was impressed by their tenacious performance.
“It was difficult in the first half when they had a lot of possession and made us suffer,” Tuchel said.
The desire or hunger to defend
“We were dangerous on counter attacks, but never lost the desire or hunger to defend.
“It was a fantastic performance in the second half and we could have scored more earlier to be safe.
“It is a fantastic achievement and big congratulations to the team.”
Chelsea, who also have an FA Cup final date against Leicester on the horizon, have kept 19 clean sheets since Tuchel replaced the sacked Frank Lampard in January.
That defensive efficiency will give them a chance against City, who they have already beaten in the FA Cup semi-finals this season.
Chelsea face City again in the Premier League on Saturday and Tuchel won’t look further ahead than that.
“Ask me four days before the final,” he said of Chelsea’s chances in Turkey.
“It is too early to talk about the final because there can be injured players, out of form or whatever happens.
“We need to wait and see, hopefully we arrive with the whole squad and in a good moment, because it is not done yet.
“We want to go all the way, and that means arriving in Istanbul wanting to win.”