After yet another disappointing result, the third in our last four games, Thomas Tuchel did not hold back in showing his anger with his team in the post-match press conference. After all, and despite all the injuries and interesting lineup decisions, Chelsea have now given away four leads in the last two games, while conceding six total goals.
West Ham equalized twice on Saturday before grabbing a late winner, while Zenit equalized then took the lead, then equalized again in stoppage time. This simply cannot happen, regardless of who plays or who doesn’t, and in what position.
As before, Tuchel pointed to the little details, such as concentration and the few percentage points of effort that make the difference at top level games. These are familiar problems, more so from before his time in charge, and they’ve now reared their ugly heads once again.
“If you coach Chelsea and we concede six goals in two matches ... we gave four times the lead away in these two matches [...] Nobody can be happy today, and nobody can be happy in West Ham. So it’s absolutely not the moment to talk about individual performances, about whether we are happy or not happy, nobody can be happy.”
“We had a very good first 15 minutes and then we stopped doing the things we did in the first 15 minutes. I had the feeling, and it’s my opinion, that when we are in charge, when we are the better team, we are forgetting why we are the better team. The investment, the level of concentration, the level of physical investment was higher enough to be the better team.
“Once this drops 5% or 10%, once we start managing results, once we start changing our behaviour based on the score, we get punished at the moment. It happened against West Ham and today.
“The reaction was good and that shows me it’s not about what we can do, because suddenly when we concede a goal, two goals, we can step up and show a reaction. But once we had the lead we give it away again.
“The last six minutes, we start playing balls back, start not attacking with the same aggression and with the same hunger and we got immediately punished. It is for me the level of investment that we have to do no matter what is on the scoresheet. [...] It cannot drop just because we are in the lead and this is what is happening right now to us. It’s not the big picture but it is what it is.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
The late equalizer meant that Chelsea finish only second in the group and that will likely get us a tougher draw in the Round of 16. That may not be a disaster — the choices are either Bayern, Real Madrid, Ajax, or Lille — but in terms of our general play, we need to start turning things around this weekend against Leeds United.
Back to work!