'It was a pleasure to watch them fight' - Tuchel applauds Chelsea's execution in Porto triumph

The Blues advanced to the Champions League semi-finals with a defensive-minded approach against their Portuguese foes

Thomas Tuchel acknowledged that Chelsea's second-leg success against Porto on Tuesday was probably not attractive to most viewers, but he said he nonetheless took pleasure in watching how his side executed his tactical plan.

The Blues conceded a late acrobatic goal from Mehdi Taremi but did enough to advance 2-1 on aggregate, limiting Porto to just two shots on target as their conservative approach to the match proved effective.

Tuchel called Taremi's overhead kick "lucky" and said Chelsea were otherwise near-perfect in their performance at the back.

What has been said?

"It was a pleasure to watch them fight and be on the sideline with them to see them through," Tuchel told BT Sport .

"We accepted what was needed was a tough, tough fight. Maybe on the television it was not so nice to watch but, on the sidelines, it was a very intense game, a very fast game.

"[Porto] attack in a fluid and aggressive way. They change positions all the time. They come from behind, they overlap and you have to adapt to many movements. With every minute we did it better and better after a tough start.

"We defended well and deserved a clean sheet. We had the better chances - not a lot - but the better half chances. We could not finish it off with a goal so we had to hang in there and the guys did that. Overall we deserved to beat Porto. It was a tough 180 minutes."

Expanding on his tactical philosophy, Tuchel noted how he wanted the Blues to be counter-oriented to keep Porto from feeling completely comfortable throwing everyone forward.

"We had to play defensively but also offensively," the manager said. "Normally Porto is a team who can make other teams underperform. It happened to Man City in the group stages and Juventus. You have to accept that things will be hard.

"Part of the performance is to not let the other team perform and we did this today. Until the lucky shot in the last minute, we did not concede any chances. We missed some counter-attacks and some touches in the final third to create a little more but we are a young team. We had two guys who scored their first goals in the Champions League in the first leg. We have to accept the circumstances."

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