Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said on Monday his side can approach this weekend’s Champions League final against Manchester City with confidence after recent victories against Pep Guardiola’s Premier League winners.
The Blues will face City in Porto on Saturday after securing a top-four finish in the English top-flight despite a 2-1 defeat at Aston Villa.
Tuchel outfoxed Guardiola in last month’s FA Cup semi-final before inflicting a rare home league defeat on City but his side have lost three of their past four games in all competitions.
The German, who replaced Frank Lampard in January, said reaching the top four after to Sunday’s loss at Villa Park was an “outstanding achievement” and his players were now having a short mental break.
“I want them to be here on Wednesday full of joy because this is maybe one of their most exciting weeks in their whole life as professional players,” he said.
Tuchel, whose Paris Saint-German side were beaten last year by Bayern Munich in the Champions League final, said the recent victories against City had proved they were beatable.
“I think it helped us to bond, to grow and to arrive with a lot of self-confidence,” he said. “Manchester City are the benchmark.
They are the champions. “They are the benchmark in Europe and in this league and we are the guys who want to hunt them and want to close the gap.” “The experience helped,” he added.—Agencies