Thomas Tuchel warned that Chelsea will be as competitive as ever and will “play to the limit” after they finished the job against Lille to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.
Burak Yilmaz blasted home a penalty to put Lille 1-0 up against the Blues in France. The Lille captain showed no nerves from the spot, dispatching a fine spot-kick after a penalty was awarded via VAR review.
Christian Pulisic stormed through to cancel out the Yilmaz penalty, with the half-time whistle coming straight after the restart following his neat finish.
And Cesar Azpilicueta turned in Mason Mount’s cross to hand Chelsea a 2-1 lead midway through the second-half, which was enough to see them through 4-1 on aggregate.
Asked afterwards whether the sanctions imposed on the club by the Government had galvanised Chelsea, Tuchel said: “We are all competitors and I always experienced, from day one, a very competitive spirit and club.
“I think it’s so clear what Chelsea demands from every employee and player. So play you role and play to the limit.
“Everybody players a huge part at the moment. Everyone around the team, the whole 80 people who work at Cobham. We are competitive and are competitive no matter what.
“There’s always a thin line as to why things are difficult and excuses. We have responsibility and we take that. Once you work for Chelsea, this is what you do. And you adapt to the talent.
“Once you work for Chelsea, you work at the limit and it’s what you do on a daily basis.”
Asked if there was a team he did not want to face next, Tuchel said: “I want us to be the team nobody wants to play. That’s the role we want to see ourselves in this last eight.”
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Tuchel: Azpi the perfect example
Speaking about goalscorer and skipper Azpilicueta, Tuchel added: “He is maybe the perfect example to describe a person as a leader.
“He is doing it in good times and bad times. If he is a regular starter or not. If he is playing a wing-back, which is maybe not his best position, he is there.
“He lives what it takes to be a Chelsea captain. We do not need extra, extra at the moment. We just…