Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola admitted that his team “didn’t create much”, congratulated Chelsea and claimed that Kevin de Bruyne’s injury “doesn’t look that good”.
Guardiola said: “We didn’t create much but we were there. In the last minutes we increased our quality and rhythm in the final third.
“But congratulations Chelsea. They are quality, strong, well-organised with seven players in the middle. It’s not easy. You need some actions for the quality. We were there in general. It was a tight game.
“Tomorrow they will do a test. It [De Bruyne’s injury] doesn’t look that good but we will see tomorrow what he has.
“We had two days and a half to recover. Everyone deserves to play. Don’t say we don’t pay attention [to the competition] just say we lost the game. When you lose the game the decisions are bad but it’s a poor argument”
Mike Dean temporarily calls time and it’s been an opening 45 minutes that will please Thomas Tuchel.
Chelsea and Manchester City are goalless after a rather interesting first half at Wembley Stadium.
The Blues have been quite impressive with their high pressure against a sluggish City.
The west Londoners thought they opened the scoring early on when Timo Werner set Hakim Ziyech from the left flank but the Morocco international’s goal didn’t count as the German was caught offside in the build-up.
Chelsea came close to breaking the deadlock soon after when a crisp cross by Reece James down the right flank found Ben Chilwell inside the box but his left-footed shot just missed Zack Steffen’s bottom right corner.
Blues star Hakim Ziyech has identified the reason for his inability to replicate his good form he displayed at Ajax, and dispelled the rumour that he wanted to leave Chelsea by stating that he is very happy under Thomas Tuchel.
Ziyech has found game time rather sporadic under Tuchel, starting just four of Chelsea’s 12 league games under the German and only featuring for four minutes across both legs of the side’s Champions League quarter-final win over Porto.
Despite his lack of game time, Ziyech says he is enjoying playing under the new manager and is working hard to force his way into the first team more regularly having now overcome his early season injury niggles.
Asked how he is faring under Tuchel, Ziyech told Chelsea’s Unscripted show: “It’s different, different than we’d had the last six months [under Frank Lampard]. He’s bringing his own vision.
“I think his statistics say it all, so it goes well for everybody. We are doing what we have to do and winning a lot of games, we’re playing good football. So I think everybody at the club is happy with his journey here.”
On his struggles adapting to life at Chelsea, and the injury setbacks he has faced, Ziyech continued: “Before I came I had been out for seven months mostly. I came here and started with injuries, so for me it was more that I was already behind everybody physically.
“So the way to work hard and coming back to the physical point where I’m normally at, and then still trying to go one step further, it takes some time.
“I’m always the type of guy that always believes in myself, I always work hard in training.
” It’s not always that it comes out in games, but I’m working hard every day on it. I know what I can do and I always trust in myself.”
Blues manager Thomas Tuchel has revealed how he gave Chelsea players time to switch off by staying an extra night at the team hotel in Seville ahead of their FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City.
Chelsea’s players replicated a restaurant experience following their Champions League aggregate win over Porto, taking advantage of the team’s bubble environment.
It allowed players a safe space to relax in an environment that hasn’t been possible due to Covid-19 restrictions.
“We are aware that it is necessary to recover mentally,” Blues manager Tuchel told reporters.
“For example, we decided to stay overnight in Sevilla because we knew the hotel. It was very nice, in a nice setting.
“We had the chance to sit outside because the weather was very warm. It was a calming circumstance to enjoy each other’s company. We had a good sleep and we had a chance to stay together after the match because we created a bubble there.
“It was a good chance because the players have not been able to go out, go to restaurants. For almost a year now, we cannot share a dressing room. So we created this just to feel some time together, have talks outside of tactics and lineups to just bond, let the players bond, enjoy an evening after a game.
“They could have a glass of wine or sip of beer if they want. It was important to have this environment and organise it like this. It was part of the mental recovery. We are aware that we have many meetings after games and training sessions.
“We want to have sessions where there isn’t too much explanation or talking, just to find exercises on the pitch that bring a lot of fun and joy and sweat out the tension. Things like this are very important to help the seriousness of how we prepare and play in games.
“They must enjoy it and have a good atmosphere at Cobham.”
Jorginho has expressed his dismay at the way some Chelsea fans criticized him, feeling ‘underappreciated’ since his arrival at Stamford Bridge.
He has been at Stamford Bridge for three years now, yet continues to be lambasted by a section of the local fans.
“I received a lot of criticism and I can accept that. Everybody has an opinion and I don’t always agree but I can respect it,” he told the Daily Mail.
“It motivates me to work harder and do better and keep proving they are wrong. Sometimes I do feel unappreciated but I don’t get disappointed. This is a great moment for me — a great moment for the team — but we can’t get too comfortable. We must be humble and keep pushing.”
Things seem to be improving for Jorginho after the arrival of Tuchel at Chelsea after Frank Lampard had replaced his mentor Maurizio Sarri.
“He understood my characteristics. The way to play with short passes when we need short passes and long balls when we need long balls.”
Jorginho spoke of being inspired by his mother, Maria Tereza Freitas, who was a successful amateur football player.
“My dad is always angry when I say this in interviews. Normally, you inherit this sort of thing from your dad but my dad was bad at football, he played as a goalkeeper, no good on the pitch. My mum was the talented one but my dad helped me in other ways.
“He prepared me mentally and talked a lot about a career in football, told me what to expect and how hard it would be.”
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has defended Thomas Tuchel’s style of football, with the German largely sticking to the same shape and system in each game so far since his arrival at Stamford Bridge.
That 13-match unbeaten start no doubt confirmed to Tuchel that 3-4-2-1 or 3-4-1-2 was the way to play and it’s apparent it suits Chelsea.
The likes of Ben Chilwell, Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi have all the attributes to meet the demands of wing-back play and are forging a good understanding with the forward line.
Meanwhile, the tireless N’Golo Kante, ball-playing Jorginho and composed Mateo Kovacic offer protection for the back three when the wing-backs are caught upfield during a counter.
Since Tuchel arrived at Stamford Bridge at the end of January, he has managed to guide his side to Champions League and FA Cup semi-finals, while the Blues are pushing Leicester City and West Ham for a top-four spot.
One of his toughest tasks yet comes against Guardiola’s Premier League champions-elect in the FA Cup last four on Saturday at Wembley, with a showdown against either Leicester City or Southampton in May’s final at stake.
Although Tuchel failed to record a win against Guardiola’s Bayern Munich while in charge at Bundesliga clubs Mainz and Borussia Dortmund, the Spanish boss was never in doubt that his opposite number would succeed at Chelsea.
“I know him from Mainz,” Guardiola said on Friday.
“When I was in Munich, after he went to Dortmund and spent one or two games playing exactly the way he wanted to play.
“It was difficult to take over a team during the season but he has a lot of experience winning at a top club like PSG and now another club at Chelsea.
“I knew from the beginning he would do a good job.’
“Every manager plays in the way they play,’ Guardiola added on Tuchel’s style of football.
“Frank did an incredible job in the first season when he could not sign players and qualified for the Champions League.
“I admire both as a person and a manager. Tomorrow we face Thomas.
“He knows how I admire him and how good he is as a manager. It will be a good battle.”