It was an understandably downbeat Thomas Tuchel who reflected on our FA Cup final defeat at Wembley, with the German insisting that our pain was offset by pride in matching Liverpool all the way once again.
After a 0-0 draw at the end of 120 minutes, the dreaded penalty shoot-out was required to settle the contest and misses from Cesar Azpilicueta then Mason Mount meant the Reds triumphed 6-5 on spot-kicks.
Some time after the final whistle, Tuchel spoke to the media and discussed his thoughts on the team’s performance.
‘Like in the last final in the Carabao Cup, again we have no regrets,’ he stated. ‘I told the team that I’m proud. I was happy to arrive with this group and we were sure we would be competitive and make life very difficult for Liverpool.
‘We struggled in the first 15 minutes and then we were excellent through the whole match, 240 minutes of final time and played 0-0 against maybe the most dangerous attacking team in the world.
‘We created a lot of chances and we deserved it, as they deserved it as well, and again we lost on penalties so we’re disappointed and sad of course but at the same time proud because we left everything that you need.’
Despite suffering early on, he felt we recovered well but still had to endure pain throughout…
‘It was clear that in some moments we would suffer and unfortunately we did in the first 15 minutes. We looked nervous and tense. We also played with one less day in recovery. We had an away game against Leeds on Wednesday and played again 120 minutes today but it was clear we would suffer against this team during minutes.
‘We managed to stay in the match, clearly because of an excellent goalkeeping performance from Edou [Mendy]. We dug in and got better and better, more confident and we found solutions and created chances ourselves. Everybody is in pain, there is no way you escape this game without pain.’
Tuchel revealed why Kai Havertz wasn’t in the squad…
‘We did a last test with Kai. He did not train yesterday because of hamstring problems and we thought if he trains he would injure himself so we left him out.
'We tried everything medically and a last test today in the morning but it was not better and not possible.'
There was also an update on the reason Timo Werner didn’t come on…
‘Timo felt uncomfortable during the warm-up and said he could not play.’
Tuchel admitted the team needed to bounce back with two games remaining but that it wouldn’t be easy…
‘We have now two days off and then we need to prepare. The season is not finished because we have goals to reach in the Premier League. This is sometimes hard but also good and it is what it is. Life goes on and it will go on next Thursday when you’re in the middle of the ring at Stamford Bridge.
‘We have still stuff to play for but it will be a bit harder without a trophy and the confidence of a big win.’
Finally, the boss revealed why Ruben Loftus-Cheek was replaced by Ross Barkley late in extra-time…
‘It was purely for penalties. Ruben has not a good history statistically and Ross has, so it was purely for the penalties.’