It seems ridiculous to think so now, but Thomas Tuchel had reservations about taking the job at Chelsea.
He was not convinced of the original 18-month contract that was offered to him. Understandably, it barely screamed ‘you are our man’.
Four months later, Tuchel – as much as you can at this boisterous football club – should be able to quote his price when it comes time to talk about an extension.
Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea side never ran into problems, despite a late goal against Porto in the second leg
Mehdi Taremi scored an inordinate bicycle kick past Edouard Mendy, but Porto was poor for most of the match
Taremi’s genius moment was the undisputed highlight of the match, but the Blues held their own to reach the semi-finals
Mendy was beaten well, even though contact was made with Taremi’s shin from a looping cross
Evanilson (left), Pepe (center) and Taremi (right) look depressed while being dumped from the competition full time
Chelsea (343): Mendy 6; Azpilicueta 7.5, Thiago Silva 7.5, Rudiger 8; James 8, Jorginho 7, Kante 8, Chilwell 7; Mount 6.5 (Ziyech 86), Havertz 6.5 (Giroud 90), Pulisic 7.
Subs not used: Kepa, Alonso, Christensen, Abraham, Werner, Caballero, Zouma, Hudson-Odoi, Emerson.
Porto (433): Marchesin 6.5; Manafa 6 (Chipela Gomes 75), Mbemba 6, Pepe 6.5, Zaidu 6.5, Grujic 6.5 (Taremi 63.6), Uribe 6.5, Sergio Oliveira 6.5 (Vieira 84); Corona 6 (Diaz 75), Marega 6 (de Lima Barbosa 75), Otavio 6.5.
Subs not used: Monteiro Pinto Leite, Loum, Díaz, Taremi, Morais Ramos, Silva Baró, Martínez, Sarr, Conceiçao.
Booked: Oliveira, Pepe, Corona, Diaz.
Sergio Conceicao: 6
Ref: Clement Turpin – 6.5
Chelsea and their brilliant German coach are just three steps from history when they booked their place in the Champions League semi-finals despite this 1-0 loss to Porto.
In Sevilla, the last 30 seconds aside, Chelsea got the job done without really breaking a sweat.
With Manchester City on the horizon in an FA Cup semi-final, the comfort of this clash gave Tuchel even more reason to celebrate.
But that seductive duel with Pep Guardiola at Wembley is for a new day.
Because the Chelsea players have to give a smile and a moment on Wednesday morning to reflect on how they have managed to turn their season around.
The campaign had come to a halt in January; Frank Lampard paid the ultimate price with his job.
But thanks to the players for reliving a season that seemed to be ending. Tuchel will claim the lion’s share of the recognition – and rightly so, his impact since his arrival has been nothing short of miraculous. However, the German knows where the real acclaim lies.
Their first Champions League semi-final in seven years will raise hopes for a glorious end to the semester in Istanbul.
They will have to navigate past Real Madrid or Liverpool to reach the final; certainly no mean feat.
But after losing just two of his 18 games in the lead, Tuchel is on the right track. You wouldn’t bet against them.
On Tuesday evening in Spain, Chelsea drove home. Porto was smart from the start; ask questions about what a stingy Blues defense has been since Tuchel’s arrival.
The Portuguese suffocated Chelsea and did not allow their players to settle for a millisecond.
It all became too much for Edouard Mendy in the 11th minute, the Chelsea goalkeeper owed Jorginho many thanks for cleaning up his mess after an attempted pass found Otavio.
Reece James was excellent for the Blues, personifying the determination and resilience of the team at the back
Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy had very little work to do and the Premier League side protected him extremely well
But despite all their efforts, Porto, like the first leg, offered very little cutting edge.
Indeed, it was Chelsea who came closest to drawing blood in the first half, Mason Mount’s attempt from the edge of the box dipping just over the bar after a bad deflection from Chancel Mbemba in the ninth minute.
Chelsea felt completely at ease by letting Porto do all the running.
Mendy – apart from his mistake – had little to worry about, while Chelsea’s veteran rear of Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger had everything under control.
Indeed, Kai Havertz was released on the right side in the 27th minute, only for Pepe to thwart the danger when Chelsea began to flex their muscles.
Tuchel was certainly encouraged about how the first 45 minutes had developed.
He warned his players on Monday of the dangers of their 2-0 lead in the first leg; they had listened to every word.
They weren’t expansive in an offensive sense, but they didn’t have to be – it was Porto who had to light the touch paper.
You couldn’t blame Sergio Conceicao’s side for their pace of work. However, their lack of imagination up front played into Chelsea’s hand – the fact that neither side had a shot at goal in the first half was indicative of the comfort of the Premier League.
If Tuchel’s team had one foot in the semi-finals after the first leg, they had their second big toe there by half time.
Porto struggled to create anything on offense and when they were forced wide they were unable to get their crosses in the sixteen
While the Blues couldn’t create much on the offense themselves, they were happy with the game pattern
It was a scrappy, forgettable game, but Chelsea won’t mind at all and the job is done professionally
Conceicao is said to have convened his team for a final push; his team left the Champions League with a whimper at that moment.
Tuchel’s message would be more of the same. As you’d expect, for the second period, Porto emerged with the bit between their teeth.
As in the first half, Chelsea’s defense had all the answers. Was the Blues’ rearguard so impenetrable or was Porto’s attack so uninspired?
In reality, it was a bit of both. Not that Tuchel gave two screams, his team strode to the last four with every minute.
Christian Pulisic missed an opportunity in the 55th minute to calm the nerves, but couldn’t make enough purchases on Ben Chilwell’s cut.
Moments later, Wilson Manafa produced a brave block to deny Mount’s angled shot that would have caused Porto goalkeeper Agustin Marchesin a problem, before Pulisic was again denied shortly afterwards.
Chelsea felt blood and planned to go for the murder, but Porto’s spirit didn’t fade, they deserve credit for that.
However, creating opportunities was clearly a problem for the Portuguese.
Indeed, the only goal they scored over the course of 180 minutes could hardly be called a chance – Mehdi Taremi who produced the moment of his career in the last minute of injury time with a brilliant bicycle kick that gave Chelsea a blood-curdling final. a few seconds.
But Chelsea rightly held on and is back in the elite of European football.
Thiago Silva looked exhausted, but was lifted up again just after the final whistle by his delighted manager Tuchel.
Chelsea will be a difficult prospect for any side left in the league if the defense plays as good as it is
Scroll down to see how the action unfolded