Chelsea will end a turbulent season by playing in the Champions League final after making the competition’s most successful team look ordinary.
Timo Werner and Mason Mount scored to secure a 2-0 victory over Real Madrid in the second of their semifinal on Wednesday to oust the record 13-time European champions 3-1 on aggregate.
It will be an all-English final against Manchester City on May 29 but the Premier League rivals will have to fly four hours to play the UEFA showpiece in Istanbul, which is currently in a coronavirus lockdown.
Getting a shot at adding to its 2012 Champions League title will vindicate Chelsea’s decision in January to fire club great Frank Lampard and hire Thomas Tuchel, the manager who led Paris Saint-Germain to last season’s final.
Chelsea will now play in their third Champions League final (2008 and 2012) in Istanbul on Saturday May 29, and have set up just the third all-English Champions League final after 2008 (Man Utd-Chelsea) and 2019 (Liverpool-Tottenham) as Manchester City look to complete a treble.
Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta, speaking to BT Sport: “We had a tough opponent but the team performed really well and we scored two goals.
“We can’t forget the saves from Edouard Mendy in the first half. The second half we were clearly better and we had a few chances to score more goals – but we fought really hard.
“This campaign in the Champions League we have played two Spanish teams, but the most important thing is we are in the final. There is one more step and we will try to win, of course.
“We have a fantastic squad, everybody pushes hard in training, to be together, to fight for everyone and to help each other. This is massive and we have created a strong group. We have plenty of things to fight for.
On facing fellow Premier League side Manchester City: It’s a Champions League final! we have played them lots of times but it’s the Champions League final. We believe in ourselves, we know we have to work hard but we are ready for it.”
A delighted Thomas Tuchel speaks to BT Sport. “We deserved to win. The first half was difficult, they had a lot of possession and made us suffer, but every ball from us was dangerous. We were dangerous with counter attacks. We never lost the hunger, the desire to defend. In the second half, it was an even better structure to defend. We could have scored so much earlier, so much more to be safe, but now is no time for criticism. It is a fantastic achievement and big congratulations to the team. To hang in there, even if you miss big chances, you never lose focus. It was a huge performance. I am very happy that we achieved this. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to live my life in football. This passion as a profession, I am more than grateful. It is not done yet, we want to go all the way, we arrive in Istanbul to win!”