Chelsea are engaged in battle against Real Madrid to overturn a first leg deficit, after Los Blancos won 3-1 at Stamford Bridge in the Champions League quarter-finals. The damage was done in the first 46 minutes, as French forward Karim Benzema completed a hat-trick.
Manager Thomas Tuchel believes that they are doing so with a big disadvantage compared to their opponents however, something he put on the Premier League. Speaking to SkySports, Tuchel referred to the fact that in La Liga teams can make five substitutions compared to the three allowed in England.
“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.”
He did admit that this wasn’t the sole reason that Chelsea had suffered in the first leg, ceding some credit to Real Madrid.
“This was also due to their quality, their capacity to slow the game down, to control the match by ball possession.”
Last season the Premier League did allow five substitutions due to the pandemic, but reverted to three at the beginning of the season. That said, should Chelsea make it through to the semi-finals, there is a very real chance that the Premier League will have three of the four Champions League semi-finalists.