Thomas Tuchel praises Chelsea stars for making Atletico Madrid ‘suffer’ in 1-0 win

Chelsea: Azpilicueta details improvements under Tuchel

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Thomas Tuchel had nothing but praise for his Chelsea players after they picked up a crucial win away at Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night to give them the advantage in their Champions League last-16 tie. The Blues breezed through their group but Atletico were going to provide a different proposition altogether.

Diego Simeone’s side have been the team to beat in La Liga this season and currently sit top of the table.

But Chelsea have looked revitalised under Tuchel since he came in with confidence high following recent results.

Atletico have proven to be frustrating opponents in Europe with Simeone’s defensive unit always proving tough to break down.

The Spanish side don’t often give much away, inviting pressure before looking to counter teams when given the chance.

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Chelsea never gave the hosts a chance to get forward though as Tuchel’s side looked the most dangerous throughout.

And they got their deserved winner late on in exceptional circumstances when Olivier Giroud scored with an impressive overhead kick from the edge of the box.

Chelsea now have one foot into the Champions League quarter finals and Tuchel praised his side for putting in a “disciplined” performance.

“Fantastic result, fantastic goal. Well deserved,” Tuchel told BT Sport.

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“We wanted to dominate in the opponents’ half, to never lose concentration, not to do any easy mistakes and always be aware of quick counter-attacks for all their quality.

“It was a very disciplined performance – a deserved shut-out. This is the hard work, a team effort – the basis for a big win.

“We knew it [Atletico packing their defence] could happen.

“We told the guys if it happens maybe it’s our quality and the respect. We wanted to be brave and play in their half.

“We knew they were ready to suffer with eight people in the box. The intention was to keep the intensity high.

“This is what we did very good. We never let them breathe or come out for counter-attacks. We have a big reward with this result.

“This is one of the toughest challenges to open a defence like Atletico.”

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