Thomas Tuchel admitted that his side were not at their best against a Manchester City team that claimed victory at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
The Blues were beaten by a deflected strike from Gabriel Jesus early in the second half, which proved enough to claim all three points for Pep Guardiola’s men.
After the game, Tuchel claimed that Chelsea did not do enough offensively to win the game, with the hosts finishing without a shot on target.
‘We lost the game and City deserved to win,’ said the boss. ‘For 60 minutes, until the goal, we were very strong in the last [defensive] 20 metres of the field but only there unfortunately. The other 80 metres, we were not good enough.
‘We were never on our highest level. You cannot expect to get a result. It could turn around maybe with one header but we have to accept it was not our best game.
‘We did not have ball possession to hurt them, to grow in confidence. It never happened in the first half or the second half. Until the goal, we defended the box very well but the performance was not complex enough.
‘We were not on our very best level and you need the best level to push the game against this side.’
Tuchel revealed he could have made some different selection decisions…
‘I think we lacked a little bit of freshness today. Kante has been ill for some days and I decided to let him start.
‘Jorginho has had some problems and Thiago could not start, so maybe today it is on me for not making the best choices in that sense. We decided on 3-5-2 but I don’t think it’s a matter of structure against City, it’s about decisions and adapting to the opponent’s spaces.
‘We win together and we lose together but I will ask the questions of myself of whether it was the right shape but I’m not sure the shape was decisive in the result.’
The boss admitted his side also lacked belief to escape City’s pressing…
‘We were not good enough today to escape pressure. Our ball possession wasn’t the sharpest in terms of switching the play to hurt them, to give us confidence and to breathe. This didn’t happen enough.
‘I did not feel that we 100 per cent believed in it. It was doubtful and we were protecting something. It felt like we had something to lose and we lacked energy but that can happen.
‘After the goal, you feel like the belief of winning is bigger than losing. We tried to push and get the crowd behind us so it was a very open, emotional game.’
Tuchel felt our attacking bluntness was a team problem rather than down to individuals…
‘I don’t think it’s necessary to talk about Romelu’s struggles today. When we reached him, the attack was already half over because there were not enough people and there was simply no belief and connection. It was a team problem rather than an individual problem.’
Finally, there was an update on Reece James after the defender came off injured…
‘I don’t know about Reece at the moment. He twisted his ankle and it was very painful for him. I have no other news on him at this stage but let’s see how he is in the next few days.’