Either way, it did not work.
Instead Chelsea produced a statement performance to secure their place in the quarter-finals and establish themselves as serious contenders to go all the way.
Two wins against the leaders in Spain, with no goals conceded is a warning to the rest of Europe, who will desperately want to avoid Tuchel’s ever-improving team.
This is a team that does not concede goals.
To put into context just how difficult it is to breach this defence, Antonio Rudiger has scored more goals against them in Tuchel’s 13 games in charge than Heung-min Son, Luis Suarez, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane combined.
His own goal against Sheffield United in February is one of only two conceded in that time – Southampton’s Takumi Minamino the only opposition player to find a breakthrough.
With that kind of defensive resolve, they have the potential to beat anyone over two legs.
Simeone had backed Suarez to end his own Champions League duck to overturn Chelsea’s first leg advantage – but when the Uruguayan was substituted just before the hour, it summed up just how ineffective he was in front of the blue wall.
This was another Tuchel masterclass against one of the big beasts of management; a second win against Simeone follows victories against Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti since he arrived in English football.
An incredible 11th clean sheet is the hallmark of his early reign – but it would be a disservice to suggest this latest win was a backs-to-the-wall job.
It was nothing of the sort.
Chelsea knew another shutout would ensure safe passage to the quarters, yet forced Atletico onto the back foot from the start.
Tuchel was not content to sit on Olivier Giroud’s first-leg goal, instead going in search of more to kill off the tie and book their place in the last eight for the first time since 2014.
Chelsea pressed high. The front three of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech were fluid and fast, linking and interchanging impressively to stretch one of the best-drilled defences in the game.
All three were involved as they took the lead with a swift counter in the 34th minute.
Havertz spotted the run of Werner on the left of the box – and the striker then squared to the on-running Ziyech, who fired underneath Jan Oblak.
It was the least their positive approach deserved.
More goals might have come from Antonio Rudiger and Reece James, who both found themselves in dangerous positions as the clever movement of Chelsea’s forwards created space that neither defender could take advantage of.
Atletico had little in response. Suarez was taken off as Simeone desperately searched for a spark.
One came in the form of Stefan Savic erupting in frustration and elbowing the excellent Rudiger to earn himself a straight red with nine minutes to go.
It was a moment that typified Atletico’s sense of impotence against a team that just don’t know how to lose.
Substitute Emerson’s injury-time strike was the icing on the cake for Tuchel and a goal to emphasise Chelsea’s dominance on the night.
Good luck to whoever draws them on Friday.
Another game, another potential penalty avoided.
Chelsea saw handball claims overruled against Manchester United and Liverpool in recent weeks. This time it was Atletico who were crying foul when Azpilicueta grabbed hold of Yannick Carrasco in the box.
The striker went tumbling, but neither the referee nor VAR thought it worthy of a spot kick.
Shortly after and Chelsea’s aggregate lead was doubled.
Tuchel is certainly having the rub of the green – but no-one in blue will be complaining.
Simeone predicted this would be the game when Suarez ended his barren run in the Champions League.
While the Uruguayan could consider himself unfortunate not to win first half penalty, he was largely kept quiet by Chelsea’s dominant defence. Rarely has he looked so ineffective over two legs and that has to be a credit to Tuchel’s rear-guard.