Thomas Tuchel has revealed how his game plan worked perfectly as Chelsea took the upper hand in their Champions League fixture against Atletico Madrid.
Olivier Giroud produced another Champions League special to put the Blues ahead in their eighth game against Atletico after a 1-0 win in the first leg in Bucharest.
The Blues forward scored his sixth goal in the competition this season with an overhead kick in the 68th minute, but it was only awarded after a lengthy VAR review.
It was well deserved for Thomas Tuchel’s side, who have dominated for great games and extended their unbeaten under the German to eight games since arriving on January 26.
One negative point has been bookings for Mason Mount and Jorginho which excludes them from the return leg, but Atletico boss Diego Simeone knows his side will need to score at least twice next month to get through to normal .
Speaking after the game, Tuchel said BT Sport: “Fantastic result, fantastic goal. Well-deserved.
“We wanted to dominate in the opponents’ half of the field, never lose focus, not make easy mistakes and always be aware of fast counter attacks for all their quality.
“It was a very disciplined performance – a deserved shutout. It is hard work, a team effort – the basis of a great victory.
“We knew it [Atletico packing their defence] could happen. We told the guys if this happens maybe it’s our quality and respect. I wanted them to be brave and to play in their own 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 have done very well. We never let them breathe or go out for counterattacks. We have a great reward with this result.
“It’s one of the toughest challenges to open a defense like Atletico.”
Giroud knew what to expect from Atletico
Matchwinner Giroud added: “We came here with strong intentions to win the game, to play our game and we know how we could cause them problems offensively.
“We were strong at the back in defensive form. I’m very happy with the victory, it was a deserved victory tonight.
“We know the importance of the away goal in European Cups. That’s why I was happy to help the team win the game.
“We managed well and were confident, but we faced a great team. I think we were very committed and knew their main strengths. We took care of it, but we need to stay focused and finish the job.
“Not too confident, we were confident in our qualities in the match.
“I didn’t know what to think of the goal, I just focused on the overhead kick. It was nice to see him go to the back of the net, I had no idea I was offside. Mason Mount said he did not touch the ball. Good for the team, good for me.