Chelsea were looking to bounce back from Saturday’s 1-0 defeat, but the only thing bouncing on Wednesday night was Thomas Tuchel on the sidelines. On the pitch, very little was happening — outside of maybe the one moment of quality 11 seconds into the second half that got Juventus the game’s only goal.
Over the past decade, few teams have been as masterful as Allegri’s (and Conte’s prior to him) in defending, often turning it into high art, so it was little surprise that they could shut Chelsea down with relative ease. Our own passing and movement was nowhere near sharp enough, our decision-making nowhere near fast or brave enough either to break them down. It is those aspects, the ones within our control that disappointed Tuchel the most, especially as we apparently had two very good training sessions leading up to the match.
“We’re all disappointed. It was the tough game we expected. You have to play with zero mistakes in midfield and take the risks in the right moment. To do this you need to be in rhythm, good decision-making
I didn’t feel us fresh today mentally. We were in training yesterday. Today it was not like this. I don’t know why. If you need any proof, look at the two ball losses in the first half and the cheap goal we gave away.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
It’s never the best look for a coach to admit not having answers, even if that admission is an obvious one in the immediate wake of a match, but Tuchel will certainly analyze the match and presumably come up with the necessary solutions.
“I think we started not sharp enough. The first 12 to 15 minutes we could have harmed them much more. There was so much space for dangerous balls into the box and ask more questions.
“We struggled to create our own rhythm and intensity because they were so deep and passive. We were lacking runs. We were so good in training yesterday and not good enough, not free enough today. I don’t know why.
“I felt we were a bit slow and tired, mentally slow, decision making. That’s why it’s a strange one to analyse.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: BBC
Chelsea have not looked great in recent weeks, even when results were going our way, and now that we’ve suffered back-to-back defeats for just the second time in Tuchel’s tenure — while getting just one shot on target in the two games (from 21 taken) — it’s probably time to return to the drawing board to make some adjustments.
16 - Chelsea had 16 attempts at goal against Juventus, the most they’ve had in a UEFA Champions League away game without scoring since Opta began recording this data (2003-04). Wayward. pic.twitter.com/48orL1GARJ— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 29, 2021
One defeat in the Champions League group stage is hardly a disaster, especially in what is likely to be our toughest test from the six games. But things will only get more intense as we go forward, so the sooner we arrest this mini-slide, the better.
Next up, Southampton at home on Saturday.