CHRISTIAN PULISIC will be getting home tonight and bandaging himself up like an Egyptian mummy.
The American international was consistently fouled by Porto players every time he got the ball in Chelsea’s 2-1 aggregate win.
Christian Pulisic’s steely performance against Porto summed up Chelsea’s desire to reach the Champions League semis[/caption]
In fact, Pulisic could probably have had a case for filing a report for assault on a number of occasions.
Remarkably, he lasted the whole 90 minutes without being injured, but you just know he will have numerous bruises and scratches all over his body tonight.
But this just sums up Chelsea’s result and Chelsea’s performance on the night, and how they managed to batter their way into the Champions League Semi Finals.
It was pure resilience and determination that got them evading foul after foul from a Porto side only every interested in kicking their opponents rather than trying to beat them.
We expected a battle, we expected a fight, but we also expected some quality and threat from our opponent. But instead, they just turned up to fight, and it was Pulisic who got the absolute brunt of it.
But The Blues defended with hearts and guts tonight, and they didn’t ever really look like losing the game, they comfortably played a pragmatic tactical game where they never over-committed, and they always remained tight at the back and defended very well.
It certainly wasn’t a pretty performance from Chelsea, but it didn’t need to be.
It was a team performance, a group performance that they set out perfectly to contain and do a job, which is exactly what they did.
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Thomas Tuchel knew they did not need anything extravagant to win this game and get into the last four of the Champions League, he just knew that they needed to be professional and mature after being 2-0 up from the first leg.
And he can be proud of every single player tonight, despite losing a late goal and making for a nervy final few seconds.
To be fair, Porto’s late goal was their only real threat and it was a world class finish, but it doesn’t change anything about Chelsea’s professional performance on the night and doing enough to go through.
It is quite an incredible ride for Tuchel’s Chelsea since he took the reins late in January, and now they find themselves in their second Semi Final of the season, and things are heating up!