Thomas Tuchel claims Premier League substitution rule is a 'huge disadvantage' against Real Madrid

Krishan Davis
Thomas Tuchel has concerns ahead of facing Real Madrid
Thomas Tuchel has concerns ahead of facing Real Madrid / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel believes his side face a ;huge disadvantage' in their attempts to overturn a two-goal deficit in their Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid, due to the three-substitution rule in the Premier League.

Tuchel saw his side well beaten in the first leg last week courtesy of a stunning Karim Benzema hat-trick at Stamford Bridge. The 3-1 defeat means Chelsea will require a win by a margin of three goals or more or a two-goal victory and penalties to progress at the Bernabeu on Tuesday.

Speaking before the return in Madrid, the Blues' boss was under no illusions to the scale of the task facing his men, but pointed to the physical advantage Real Madrid will have after La Liga opted to maintain the five-substitution rule post-Covid, while in the Premier League teams have only been allowed to make three changes per match.

"First of all, we wanted it more physical but we did not work hard or intense enough in the first match," he said.

"Second of all, we face a huge disadvantage in terms of physicality because Real Madrid has a whole year with five changes and we play the most demanding league, we play the most matches throughout the season and throughout 2022 so it is not always easy to play a physical game.

"We are a team that needs the physicality, the sharpness, the commitment and the investment to be a special team. We could not implement that enough in the last match.

"This was also due to their quality, their capacity to slow the game down, to control the match by ball possession."

The Premier League recently announced that the five-substitution rule will return next season following pressure for a number of leading managers, but that will come too late to help Chelsea's cause in Madrid.

Despite the huge challenge facing his players in mounting an unlikely comeback, Tuchel said they would give it their all.

"It is one of the biggest challenges to perform away at the Bernabeu," he continued.

"It is even more difficult if you have to earn a certain result, if you need to win with a minimum of two goals or better or maybe a three goal difference, that makes it almost impossible and very, very difficult but still it is worth trying.

"We need nothing else than a fantastic script that we want to be able to overcome this.

"The task is incredibly high and the challenge is incredibly high given the circumstances of the first leg and where we play and against whom we play and at what stage we play this kind of match.

"It’s always allowed to dream and it is sometimes important to imagine things and to dream about it but it will not shift the focus from the fact that we need to deliver and we need to be ready tomorrow.

"We will arrive and try everything because it’s worth trying and from there we see and hopefully we have a match where belief grows within the match by our actions and hopefully we can fulfil our dream, live up to our dream.

"But realistically, we have to invest a lot and be at our very top level."

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