They say two-nil is the most dangerous lead. Obviously, that’s incorrect. One-nil’s the most dangerous lead. Then again, right now, it seems like every lead is the most dangerous lead. And for a team built on control and defensive solidity, on being hard to beat, that’s a very dangerous thing indeed.
Chelsea built a two-goal lead in the second half only to give it away in the final quarter of an hour, but the danger-signs were there much earlier already. In fact, Chelsea finished both halves in disarray — the only difference was that we got punished in the second whereas Wolves let us off the hook in the first.
It’s that lack of risk management that Thomas Tuchel pointed to afterwards as the main culprit in a draw that felt like a defeat.
“I thought we started both halves well with an offensive 5-3-2. We knew about the risks and we needed to be disciplined. We showed discipline over most moments of the first half but in some situations we touch too much risk. That cost us some dangerous moments at the end of the first half and we were unlucky not to score. We reminded the players at half time to stick to the plan.
“I was very happy with the way we started the second half, we created chances and enough situations to be in front but we were 2-0 up and then we took too much risk. We invited the counter-attacks and big chances. Once you do this you lose confidence and invite the opponent to smell that something is possible when it is unnecessary.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Chelsea FC
On the plus side, at least it wasn’t individual errors this time but rather collective ones? Tuchel questioned his own subs as well, in his attempt to reintroduce some method to the madness unfolding in front of him in the final 15 minutes.
“It’s not about dropping too much, it’s about where we were losing the ball and the opponent taking a crazy approach. Big chances that we don’t create, the pass is missing, the dribbling is wrong. At some point we played like we were 2-0 down not 2-0 up.
“We tried to change the structure, I don’t know if that was the right decision from me, I need to watch it back.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
Either way, we must improve and we must find the solutions.
Arsenal play tomorrow, Spurs later today. They could close the gap to third to just one and three points, respectively, with three games to go. Top-four looked all but guaranteed a few weeks ago. It’s looking anything but guaranteed now.
“When you concede so late it is always disappointing. So much we have to play for and precious points. We lose two precious points. We were 1-0 up against Man Utd and lost to Everton so we’re on a bad run of results and conceding too many goals. This is where we’re at and we have a lot to improve.
“We lost structure and discipline. We had to take risks and needed to control the counter-attacks. We are normally very good with it. We took an offensive approach but within the structure we took too many risks and were punished for it. We got [the goals] and unfortunately we couldn’t make it stay. Now we talk about other stuff than Romelu Lukaku’s goals.”
“I don’t have one answer. It was a lack of risk management today. It was very dangerous to take these risks. We lacked execution of the gameplay over 90 minutes. We have to analyse the decisions we made and we have to bounce back. I have no other message than that.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Sky via BBC
Next up, Leeds United, away. They’re smack dab in the middle of a relegation battle. They will fight for every blade of grass. This isn’t going to get any easier for us.
Time to wake up.