Tuchel guided Chelsea into the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a comeback win over Lille in the second leg of their last 16 tie, setting a new record in the process
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has jumped to the top of an exclusive club, ahead of legendary manager Pep Guardiola following his side’s win over Lille.
The Blues had gone a goal down to the reigning Ligue 1 champions when Burak Yilmaz converted a penalty seven minutes before half-time. But on the cusp of the break, Jorginho produced a brilliant pass to find Christian Pulisic who fired in an equalizer.
It was far from a vintage performance at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy, with the hosts continuing to threaten in the second period and seeing Xeka hit the post with a header. Chelsea’s Mr Reliable, Cesar Azpiliceuta to calm their nerves and book his side’s place in the quarter-finals when he guided Mason Mount’s whipped cross into the net.
As well as seeing the Blues reach the final eight of this year’s edition of the competition, it also saw Tuchel set a new record. The German is one of only three managers to have secured 30 or more wins from their first 50 Champions League games as a boss.
Guardiola secured 30 wins in that timespan, all of which were achieved during his four-year spell as Barcelona manager. That record helped the La Liga giants to lift two Champions League titles, reaching the semi-finals in the two years Guardiola failed to win the tournament.
Next up on the list is Zinedine Zidane, who secured all 31 of his wins while in charge of Real Madrid. Zidane led Los Blancos to three successive Champions League titles in that span, though he won only one of his next three games in the competition before leaving the Bernabeu.
HAVE YOUR SAY! Who was man of the match as Chelsea defeated Lille in the Champions League? Comment below.
Chelsea ‘s win in Lille means that Tuchel is all alone at the top of the list, with his 32 wins coming during spells in charge of Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain and the Blues. The German led PSG to the final in 2020 before winning the competition the following year with Chelsea.
While their performance that secured the record-breaking win left much to be desired, Tuchel was still happy to see his side reach the quarter-finals. And the German hailed the Blues for overcoming their slow start to triumph in France.
“Again, we are in the quarter-finals, it’s a big step and we shown resilience and mentality. We overcame difficulties, and did what was necessary and dug in. It’s difficult here and we did what was needed, so, well done to the team, “he told BT Sport.
“We were not so good first half, not so fluid. Tactics were not so right today, so I take the responsibility for that. Then, it was more fluid and in the moments we started to play through the gaps, finding better spaces and in two moments we were decisive and scored.
“The key point right now that we can stay focused, because the club has a mentality that sharpens the attitude, that sharpens the mentality of the players. It’s a huge step to be in the last eight. We are excited for the draw now, and then we have a game against Middlesbrough. So, there’s still a lot to do. “