Thomas Tuchel said “super hungry” Chelsea have their sights set on reaching the Champions League final after Hakim Ziyech ended his goal drought to inspire a 2-0 win against Atletico Madrid in the last-16 second leg on Wednesday.
Morocco forward Ziyech grabbed his first goal since October to put the hosts ahead in the first half at Stamford Bridge.
Emerson came off the bench to score the late goal that sealed a comfortable 3-0 aggregate victory over the lacklustre La Liga leaders.
Adding to Atletico’s misery, Stefan Savic was sent off in the closing stages for elbowing Antonio Rudiger in the stomach.
While Chelsea was the superior side for long periods, Atletico could justifiably claim they should have had a penalty for Cesar Azpilicueta’s challenge on Yannick Carrasco when the score was still 0-0.
Tuchel admitted it could have been a penalty, saying: “Azpi got a bit frightened because his ball was short, I was a bit frightened as well.”
But Atletico boss Diego Simeone added: “We are not looking for excuses. We were beaten by a better team. We tried to press them up the field, but couldn’t attack the way we like.”
That was the only major scare for Chelsea as they extended their unbeaten run to 13 matches since Tuchel replaced the sacked Frank Lampard in January.
Tuchel boasts the longest ever unbeaten start by a Chelsea boss after moving past Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Revitalised by Tuchel, Chelsea have conceded just two goals in his brief reign and are on a run of six consecutive clean sheets in all competitions.
“A very good performance, unbelievable effort. I could feel we totally wanted it,” Tuchel said.
“We enjoyed the battle. The guys were totally on and sharp. We were super hungry to go through.”