Madrid, Apr 11 (EFE).- Chelsea’s Champions League title defense hinges on a miracle performance against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu, where the Londoners must rally back from a 3-1 first leg deficit.
“We don’t have much of a chance given what happened in the first match, the competition we’re playing in, the opponents and the stadium,” Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel said at a presser on the eve of the game.
“It’s very unlikely, but it’s worth a try,” he said. “It’s an incredibly difficult challenge, but we have the right to dream.”
And they have given themselves reasons to believe, having routed Southampton 6-0 on Saturday in the Premier League. But Real Madrid are currently performing at a different caliber.
The Spanish powerhouse has lost just three at home Carlo Ancelotti returned, although one of those was the 4-0 defeat to Barcelona last month.
“This is sport and the beauty of sport means that anything is possible,” Tuchel added.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, are aware of this fact, having knocked out Paris Saint-Germain in the quarterfinals by turning around a 1-0 first-leg deficit.
“I have a squad that is very familiar with this type of match and is aware of what has happened in the past and what can happen,” Ancelotti told a press conference Monday.
“We won’t be going out relaxed and the spirit in the squad today is a happy one due to the big opportunity we have to play in this game to reach the Champions League semi-finals.
“We’re up against a very strong side and we must respect them and we do have a lot of respect for them,” he added.
Ancelotti hopes that Karim Benzema continues to inspire the team. The Frenchman scored back-to-back hat-tricks in his last two Champions League outings, bringing his tally to 37 goals in as many games this season.
“He’s a perfect embodiment of what a center forward needs to be in today’s football. Two forwards have stood out this season: Vini Jr. and Benzema. Saying that we rely on Benzema is true and we’re very happy to say that,” he added. EFE