Thomas Tuchel has told his Chelsea their Champions League quarter-final second-leg against Real Madrid on Wednesday night will not be any easier despite the 6-0 win over Southampton on Saturday afternoon.
Chelsea ran out victorious on the south coast in emphatic fashion after racing into a four-goal lead by half-time. Goals from Marcos Alonso, Mason Mount, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz gave Chelsea total control at the break as they look to cement third place.
But with Real Madrid on the horizon in the Blues’ Champions League travels, Tuchel warned his side that they cannot let up if they are to save their season. The Stamford Bridge outfit are still 10 points behind Manchester City in the title race, having played one game more, and a Premier League crown is incredibly unlikely.
That means the Champions League and FA Cup are their only realistic chances of silverware this campaign, although a 3-1 first-leg loss in west London against Los Blancos has cast doubt over their hopes of retaining their European crown. And Tuchel insists the Blues must not allow themselves to think the trip to Madrid will be made easier by their rout of Southampton.
“It is a completely different game and opponent,” Tuchel said ahead of the visit to the Spanish capital. “The situation does not get easy. First of all it was necessary to do the job here. That will be a very difficult task and there is no change to it.
“We did what we wanted and that is the good news.” Chelsea have an uphill battle to progress after Karim Benzema’s hat-trick heroics earlier in the week.
The Frenchman scored his second treble of the Champions League knockout rounds after also helping to knock out Paris Saint-Germain in March with a ruthless performance.
Tuchel will be looking for his own striking contingent to produce the goods against the La Liga leaders. And Timo Werner’s two-goal performance at St Mary’s has offered Tuchel hope ahead of the tie.
But the Chelsea boss said: “He could have scored more. He had huge chances and a lot of chances. It was his favourite position against an opponent we knew we could find spaces in behind.
“It was for him to make a statement out of it which he did. He could have scored more but we are happy with his strong performance.”