Thomas Tuchel reveals Chelsea’s preferred Champions League semi-final opponent
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has revealed that he would prefer to face Real Madrid over Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals, having seen his own team reach the last four on Tuesday night by holding onto an aggregate lead against Porto.
Mehdi Taremi spectacularly scored the only goal of the second leg , which was played on neutral soil in Spain as a result of coronavirus restrictions, but the stoppage time strike wasn’t enough to hurt Chelsea after they had beaten Porto 2-0 in the first leg.
With the knockout bracket already predetermined and the semi-final draw made at the same time as the quarter-final draw last month, Chelsea know that their opponent in the next round is either Real Madrid or Liverpool, depending on which club prevails on Wednesday night.
Real hold a 3-1 aggregate lead over Liverpool from the first leg and Tuchel has said that he would prefer it if Chelsea’s semi-final is against Los Blancos, largely for the sake of variety and staying more within the true spirit of an international competition.
Chelsea have already played Liverpool twice this season and the two sides have met on three occasions in each of the two previous campaign as well thanks to additional cup games.
“In general, I like not to play against teams from your same league in the Champions League as it gives more of a feeling of a European competition but that is the only thing,” Tuchel said, quoted by the Daily Mail.
“The game [between Liverpool and Real] is far from over but I will watch it for sure. Everything is possible. Liverpool are very strong at home so we take what we get. It is a good situation for us.”
Ordinarily, Liverpool might have been hopeful of being able to overturn the aggregate deficit at Anfield, especially after completing an even greater comeback against Barcelona in 2019. But Jurgen Klopp admitted last week that it will be a completely different task without fans.
This season marks only the second time that Chelsea have reached the Champions League semi-finals since the Blues famously lifted the trophy in 2012. Their last trip to this stage ended with defeat to Atletico Madrid in 2014.