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Chelsea relishing Real challenge, says Tuchel

chelsea fc v brentford fc
The holders take on record 13-time European champions Real Madrid

Chelsea are relishing their Champions League quarter-final clash with Real Madrid but manager Thomas Tuchel was adamant their victory over the Spanish giants en route to the trophy last year will have no bearing this time around.

The London side beat Real 3-1 on aggregate in the semis last season, but Tuchel said on Tuesday there was little point in looking back at that victory over the 13-times European champions.

Chelsea are a team in turmoil after being put up for sale by Roman Abramovich following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — which Moscow calls a “special military operation” — while the Russian billionaire has been sanctioned by the British government.

“It has nothing to do with last season’s game. Honestly. I did not look at it in the preparation. We did not look at last year’s matches. That maybe answers the question,” Tuchel told reporters ahead of Wednesday’s first leg at Stamford Bridge.

“For us, there is not a point to prove again or whatever. We are out there to bounce back from Saturday’s performance.”

Tuchel, whose side were thrashed 4-1 in the Premier League by Brentford on Saturday, said playing in the Champions League was “terribly hard all the time”.

“It’s challenging and demanding of course,” Tuchel said. “But this at the same time is what we love. We can deal with it but it’s what we choose and love. This is what we deal with. It’s nice to have these experiences.”

Tuchel called for more support from Chelsea fans.

“We need to be better on the pitch. We’re the first to admit it. But we need the crowd to be better. We need everybody on the front foot,” Tuchel said.

Real boss Carlo Ancelotti is a doubt for the game after testing positive for COVID-19.

“I hope he still makes it. I have the information he’ll try to arrive in the evening tomorrow,” Tuchel said.

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