Chelsea prove they are ready to compete for bigger silver with the Man City victory


Under Frank Lampard, Chelsea played the long game.

The boss regularly dismissed the idea of ​​competing for trophies immediately and diverted pressure from both himself and his young squad. He wanted time to grow and learn before they began to be taken seriously.

That’s not how Thomas Tuchel plays.

Tuchel wants trophies immediately CRISTINA QUICLER / Getty Images

“I’m here to win titles, I’m here to win games and as a result win titles,” he said recently (via the Evening Standard). “This is what I demand of myself, why should we say anything else? If you want to win in five years or three years, I do not know what it is. Now is the time.”

It was an optimism that got Chelsea fans to share, but after he masterminded a 1-0 victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday, it soon became clear why Tuchel believes Chelsea can win now.

Because they can.

From start to finish against City, Chelsea were on top. They strangled Pep Guardiola’s men to an extent we have not seen in months and looked as if they were the ones fighting for the quadruple, not the city.

Chelsea kept City quiet all the time Pool / Getty Images

Sure, you could argue that the Mancunians were not the strongest; Ilkay Gundogan, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva all started on the bench, but this was still a city side that boasts Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus, among others. There was real quality in there, and Chelsea made them look like chumps.

Defensively, Chelsea were absolutely excellent, and midfield duo Jorginho and N’Golo Kante deserve a lot of credit for that. The pair were absolutely everywhere, and even if it’s just another day for Kante, it’s not the kind of performance we’re used to seeing from Jorginho.

Tuchel has turned the Italian into the all-round defensive midfielder Chelsea have long called for. He’s obviously still not as solid as a pure anchor, but he’s doing his best to make up for it with his other skills, and against City he did just that.

Winning teams need performances like this on the biggest stages, and that’s what Tuchel takes out of Chelsea. During the first months at Bridge, he has overlooked some of the game’s biggest names, and he has done so convincingly.

Tuchel’s Chelsea are now favorites to go one step further than the Lampards and win the FA Cup this time, but their mouths are also watering for opportunities in Europe.

Real Madrid is the next goal in the Champions League, but why should Chelsea not feel confident? They have proven what they can do against the elite position and they seem to be getting stronger every week.

If Los Blancos fall, a date with City in the Champions League final could be short and Chelsea will know they can win it. They have proof that they can beat the team that most people currently feel is the best in Europe.

Chelsea feel good on their way into crunch time | Chloe Knott – Danehouse / Getty Images

Chelsea did not have this feeling under Lampard, who wanted more pragmatism than his football-to-wall style might have suggested. Tuchel has turned the script around and Chelsea are dreaming of the possibilities.

There is still a bridge to cross, but for every match that passes, Chelsea take another step forward.

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