Thomas Tuchel knew his side were going to win the Champions League tonight – although he never publicly admitted it. The Chelsea boss has etched his name into Stamford Bridge folklore less than six months into his tenure after delivering the greatest prize of all.
Tuchel of course fell short at this stage last season as Bayern Munich defeated his Paris Saint-Germain side 1-0 in Lisbon.
But Tuchel earned his shot at redemption in his new colours and this time his troops got over the line.
He has now explained how he had a good feeling that this was Chelsea’s time all week, something he told several members of his backroom staff.
“It’s unbelievable. It’s incredible, what a fight. We made it 1-0, I didn’t know what to feel actually,” he told BT Sport.
“I was so grateful to arrive in the final for a second time [after what happened last season].
“Still I had the feeling, this would be different. It felt different, I told everyone that before.
“I just had a good feeling everyday that we would touch it [the trophy] in the end.”
Tuchel made a huge call in attack as he selected Kai Havertz to lead the line.
His judgment paid off when the forward netted the crucial winner at the end of the first half.
For Kai, I was so happy,” Tuchel said. “It would have been nice in the moment to have gone 2-0 up though!
“It’s so hard to defend, there was deflected shots, throw ins, long balls but we got out the other side.
“It was very intense on the sideline, very fast. It was a tough match to step in, step out constantly and not lose your shape.”
Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount added: “I can’t put it into words. It’s impossible. I just mentioned then that I’ve played in two finals for Chelsea and we lost them both. The way that hurt… It’s all I’ve dreamt winning a trophy with Chelsea. To go all the way in the Champions League.
We played some tough teams. We are in a final and we won it. It’s such a special occasion. At this moment in time, we’re the best team in the world. You can’t take that away from us!
“What a team Man City are. You have seen what they did in the Premier League. It was such a tough game. We got a goal and defended the whole game. We left everything on the line and we won.
“What can I say? Loads of staff that have come through… It is unbelievable. My dad has just come down from the stands. I burst into tears seeing him. I thank my family for everything.
“To be at this moment now going into the Euros… Some of the boys from City will be meeting up with us and I know that will be hard. I spoke to them, they deserved to be here. It’s tough for them but hopefully next season we’ll be pushing for the Premier League as well.”