Tuchel finds room for improvement, assesses Sarr and enjoys Chelsea’s ambition

Thomas Tuchel felt the Blues produced a mixed bag at Tottenham tonight but over the two legs of our Carabao Cup semi-final he was left in no doubt the best team advanced to Wembley.

Toni Rudiger’s first-half header ended up separating the sides in north London this evening, although we did need VAR to come to our rescue on three occasions to preserve our advantage. Nonetheless, with us 2-0 up from the first leg the overall outcome was never in the balance, and Tuchel started his post-match analysis by expressing his pleasure at reaching a third final since taking over less than a year ago.

‘It feels good,’ he said. 

'That was the target. When you get to a semi-final everybody wants to get to the final. We are very happy. Wembley is waiting. This is where you want to be as a footballer and a coach. Hard work and two good matches were needed, and we did the job.

‘Tonight we started well, created chances, were in control. Once we scored we had more confidence and a very good 30 or 35 minutes. We lost a bit of control, a bit of focus and some important duels. We were lucky not to concede. We were a bit sloppy, not fully aware of the danger and playing with fire.

‘In the second half we had a strong start, a good 15 minutes, and then the same story. Suddenly we had trouble to cope with the momentum, many ball losses.

‘So there is big space to improve. It was not a super bad game, some minutes were good, but some needed improvement. We have to do better performance wise, but over both matches we deserved to win.’

We again deployed a back four tonight

‘We have played it twice and both games were very good. We were committed to the structure, disciplined and well done to the team, full credit to them. They are open to adjustments.

‘It needs to fit into what we expect and which spaces we expect to find, but it gives us more options and makes us less predictable.’

Tuchel was asked if Malang Sarr could be an option at left wing-back this season

‘He can play full-back like he did today, in a line with a wide player in front of him. He can play centre-back or left position in a back three.

‘At the moment he deserves to play. He has played well when he was needed. He is very well aware of his role. From there he takes what he can get. He needs to work hard and stay humble. He is doing good, he is solid, he is consistent and that’s what we needed.’

For the sixth season running we have reached a Wembley final

‘It’s good we are not shy to say we want to be finalists and win finals, but we cannot simply expect to win every title that’s available, we shouldn’t be arrogant.

‘We enjoy that we play for an ambitious club. This is a gift. The club sharpens the mentality of the players. This is nothing you can invent from one day to the other. This is a long process. We are all competitive, so we are doing our best and this is what the club demands.’

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