Chelsea News: Thomas Tuchel dedicates his Champions League quarter-final victory to Mateo Kovacic

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Chelsea training and press conference


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Mateo Kovacic missed Chelsea’s Champions League loss to Porto (Photo by David S. Bustamante / Soccrates / Getty Images)

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has said his side’s cumulative Champions League quarter-final victory over Porto is for Mateo Kovacic.

The Croatian was due to start the second leg against the Portuguese giants, but he stopped at the end of training on Monday with a hamstring problem.

Kovacic is one of the few Chelsea players to experience the later stages of the competition and the midfielder is now set to miss this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City.

Tuchel admitted it was “very sad” to be without Kovacic for the 1-0 loss to Porto, but he sees the team’s total victory to put them in the semi-finals for former Real Madrid.

Tuchel was ‘very sad’ for Kovacic (Photo by Darren Walsh / Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

“Unfortunately yes, I was very sad yesterday to see him after twenty minutes of training to have this little muscle injury more or less for nothing,” said Tuchel.

“We played little boxes after practice just to sweat a bit and he felt his hamstrings. So he’s sure he’s out of the game against City as well, which is a big loss.

“I was very sad for him because we don’t have so many experienced players who have played in the Champions League several times, so if you see him when the anthem is playing and he’s standing there he’s relaxed and he’s a fierce fighter – everyone is happy to have him around. So we did it for him today. ‘

Chelsea will face the winners of Liverpool’s match with Real Madrid in the semi-final.

The Spanish giants take a 3-1 lead in the second leg at Anfield and Zinedine Zidane’s men are favorites to move up to the last four.

Tuchel later admitted that he would prefer to face Madrid as he doesn’t like playing against teams from the same league.

“I don’t want anything but in general I like in the Champions League not to play against teams from your own league,” the Chelsea manager told BT Sport.

“Because it gives a little more the impression of European competition, but that’s the only thing.

“Whover deserves it – I think the game is far from over – but I’ll watch it for sure.

“It’s a pleasure to watch him as a semi-finalist, a great achievement. Tomorrow we will watch these matches and there is nothing decided yet. Everything is possible.

“Liverpool are very strong at home, the Premier League is strong. We take what we get, it’s a good situation for us.

MORE: Liverpool or Real? Thomas Tuchel reveals his preference for the Champions League semi-finals

Chelsea FC

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