Tuchel says Chelsea will be ready for ‘outstanding’ Liverpool in FA Cup final | FA Cup


Thomas Tuchel insisted Chelsea will be ready to take on one of the “strongest teams in the world” in the FA Cup final next month after booking their return to Wembley to face Liverpool.

Chelsea were beaten in an epic penalty shootout by Jürgen Klopp’s team in the Carabao Cup final in February but they will get another shot at them after defeating Crystal Palace 2-0.

Liverpool are still in contention for the quadruple, after reaching the last four of the Champions League, but Tuchel is confident Chelsea can push them all the way in their Wembley rematch.

Tuchel said: “We lost the final but we gave everything in that. It was a big match that went to the very last penalty and we were unlucky. We lost it and we want to turn things around.

“It won’t give us the Carabao Cup trophy back. But we are here and were in the FA Cup final last season and it means an unbelievable amount to us because it is the most prestigious cup in the world. It’s at Wembley and there are not a lot of bigger games to be part of it.

“That’s why we are grateful and we will be well prepared because we will play against one of the strongest teams in the world that have outstanding form, so it will be a tough one but we will try to make life tough for them.

“We want to be in every competition and to have this big final at the end of the season is massive. It gives you joy to have something waiting and we have another ending. It gives us a lot of confidence and it is a big emotional boost. We are happy to have this ending and we will give everything to be ready.”

Chelsea suffered FA Cup final disappointment last season with their defeat to Leicester but Tuchel is focused on ending this campaign with silverware at Wembley. “We cannot promise and all we can do now is be well prepared because it will be another hard fight,” the German said.

“The quality and form of Liverpool means it’s unbelievably difficult to beat them but this is what the Cup final’s about. It’s about winning and we need to try to find a way to beat them. We need a bit of luck and of course everything at the top level.

Crystal Palace’s manager, Patrick Vieira, acknowledged Chelsea were too good on the day for his side. Photograph: Neil Hall/EPA

“Of course it makes the season so much sweeter if you have at the end of the season a final you can win. But as we all know in the end, as we experienced, sometimes you give everything and it’s not enough. But we will try to find a way.”

Chelsea struggled to break down Palace in the first half but goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Mason Mount ended their resistance after the break. Their performance never reached the spectacular heights of Tuesday’s win in vain away to Real Madrid but Tuchel was impressed with his team’s patience.

Tuchel said: “It was very disciplined and solid. There were not the same spaces to exploit. We played very disciplined on the ball and they were very disciplined off the ball. It was not the most exciting game to watch but it was challenging to keep our focus up after a very demanding schedule and playing in Madrid.

“It’s one of these games where you need to convert a half chance. It was hard to do more without taking crazy risks. There were not many other ways to play it. We controlled it and didn’t lose focus and patience.”

Palace’s semi-final gameplan worked for more than an hour and they came closest to scoring in the first half. The manager, Patrick Vieira, said: “We tried to play our best but Chelsea were too good on the day. We tried to frustrate them and I think we managed to do it in the first half.

“Big games like that against those kind of teams you need to take your chances. We didn’t score but we had those couple of situations where we didn’t always make the right decision. But I’m really proud of the team for their approach to the game. In the first half we were brilliant but couldn’t score that goal.”


www.theguardian.com

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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