Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea came out on top at an empty national stadium on Saturday to set up a showdown against Southampton or Leicester next month
City looked tired and disjointed, having made eight changes, and ended up concerned about an injury to Kevin De Bruyne after Hakim Ziyech’s second-half strike proved enough to secure Chelsea a deserved win against the runaway Premier League leaders.
“If you play against Pep you know that you play against the highest level of Europe because wherever he was at the sideline – Barcelona, Bayern (Munich) and now Man City – for years he was the benchmark with his teams,” Tuchel said.
“And he is again. You can see that with the Premier League.
“Our target was to close the gap for the 90 minutes because it’s possible in football and if you arrive in good momentum, we can make this happen.
“I am very, very happy and proud with the performance of our team because we played with a lot of courage, we were very self-confident and played very brave with the ball and against the ball.
Chelsea return to Wembley on May 15 and City will be back at the national stadium next weekend for the League Cup final against Tottenham.
A midweek match against Aston Villa comes first after their hopes of winning an unprecedented quadruple of Champions League, Premier League, League Cup and FA Cup came to an end.
The fixture schedule is relentless for City, who now face being without De Bruyne for part of that run.
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