'What a manager': Fabregas lauds Chelsea boss Tuchel despite Champions League exit
Chelsea's reign as European champions came to an agonising end despite beating Real Madrid on a night of high drama at the Bernabeu Stadium.
European and World Champions Chelsea may have been booted out of the Champions League this season, but the Blues' spirited performance has won the hearts of football enthusiasts worldwide.
Thomas Tuchel's men put on a courageous display at Bernabeu Stadium, turning the table on their 3-1 first-leg deficit to inch ahead 4-3 on aggregate. However, Real Madrid winger Rodrygo's equaliser took the clash into extra time before an in-form Karim Benzema slammed another header to sink Chelsea.
Chelsea was outstanding throughout the game, but the decisive goal in the 96th minute by the first-leg hat-trick scorer Benzema sent Real Madrid through the semi-finals with a 5-4 aggregate.
In the end, Chelsea, who played superbly, fell just short of producing one of the greatest comebacks in the competition. Following this shocking exit from Europe's elite football competition, former players, fans and football pundits took to Twitter to heap praises on Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel.
One such player was former Chelsea legend Cesc Fabrega who said, "Whatever happens. @ChelseaFC are blessed with Thomas Tuchel. What a manager."
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel was furious over a decision made by VAR to rule out a second-half goal for Chelsea when Marcos Alonso was adjudged to have handled it before smashing the ball past Thibaut Courtois.
Referee Szymon Marciniak ruled the goal out without checking the VAR monitor, with Tuchel claiming that officials do not have the "courage" to give decisions against Real Madrid.
But it was the official's joyful moment with Carlos Ancelotti that enraged the German the most at full-time.
Tuchel, however, was full of praise for his Chelsea side after the match and admitted this defeat is easier to take given the performances put in by his players.
"These are the kind of defeats we can digest and swallow. We left nothing to regret out there. We played what we wanted to play, with the quality and the character this team has. We deserved to go through, we were simply unlucky, and it wasn't to be," the German stated.
"The most important thing is how we play and the input from the players. The full credit is for the players. You need to score and win and do it over the 90 mins. We were unlucky not to go through," Tuchel concluded.