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We can treat Champions League like an adventure, says Thomas Tuchel

Jacob Steinberg
·2 min read

Thomas Tuchel urged Chelsea to treat the Champions League like an adventure after they survived a late scare against Porto and reached the semi-finals for the first time since 2014.

Although Mehdi Taremi’s stunning overhead kick earned Porto victory in the second leg, it was not enough to stop Chelsea winning their quarter-final 2-1 on aggregate. Tuchel’s side were in control thanks to goals from Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell last week and will face Liverpool or Real Madrid in the last four.

Related: Chelsea see off Porto despite Mehdi Taremi’s late spectacular

However, Tuchel refused to get carried away when he assessed the teams left in the competition, stressing that Chelsea are not as experienced at this level as Madrid, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain, who await Manchester City or Borussia Dortmund in the other semi-final after beating Bayern Munich.

“When you look at our squad lists, the two players who scored last week, it was their first goals in the competition,” Chelsea’s manager said. “Yet Kylian Mbappé scores or Benzema scores, Salah scores, and it’s their 50th or 100th goal.

Related: Conspiracy of nihilism suits Chelsea and pragmatic Thomas Tuchel | Barney Ronay

“We want to turn it round and what a young team can do is fight, run and hang in there. It’s like a big adventure for them. To reach a semi-final is a very big achievement and you see the last time Chelsea made the semi‑final, we are not used to being there.

“Once you are there, you play for the final. That is clear. You take it every minute to learn and improve. We are doing it now through our experiences, while we are playing it, and it’s nice to be at the sidelines.”

Tuchel was relieved that N’Golo Kanté came through the match unscathed after starting in midfield in place of Mateo Kovacic, who injured a hamstring on Monday night. The Croat is expected to miss Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City on Saturday.