There was genuine hope Chelsea could have begun closing the gap between them and Manchester City in the Premier League table, with some good play showed in the first half of our trip to Etihad today. But as is often the case in big league clashes, we lost on the details with a crucial play from former Blue, Kevin de Bruyne, making us pay for a rather lackadaisical performance from our attacking line.
The 1-0 City win put them 13 points ahead of Chelsea, with 16 matches to go until the end of the season. It is an unfortunate circumstance given how manager Thomas Tuchel felt we did not deserve to lose all points from the clash, as we have already won matches with a similar “script” to this Etihad trip.
“The result was [disappointing]. This can happen if you play at City.
“We deserved a draw, defended very well. We did not allow chances. The goal was when we were not under pressure. We had chances. Performance wise, this is okay.
“We did not deserve to lose. We have won games like this against City.”
Defence and midfield did what they could to keep Chelsea up in the challenge. But our attacking players were disappointing in their attempts to give the Blues a chance at getting the full three points from the away game at Manchester.
Tuchel could not help but being very vocal with his displeasure in our offensive performance.
“It was a big problem today offensive wise and the performance of the front players.
“Zero touches in the box. That was simply a lack of precision, timing & composure. We lost too many balls too easy. It was a big problem in our game today.”
Romelu Lukaku was an unfortunate lowlight to the team, although some may point out Hakim Ziyech did not cover himself in glory either. Nevertheless, the boss expects more from him and from the rest of our attacking players.
“[Lukaku] had many ball losses without any pressure, many ball losses in very promising circumstances. He had a huge chance.
“We want to serve him, but he is part of the team, and the performance up front, particularly in the first half, we can do much, much better.”
-Thomas Tuchel; Source: BT Sport via football.london
If you want to be the best, you need to beat the best. We can talk all week about slim margins and how they were in the open at the Etihad today. But a loss is still a loss, and this one hurts like hell.