After watching his side fall to a home defeat at the hands of Arsenal, Thomas Tuchel pinpointed the number and severity of costly errors that could not be overcome.
Chelsea conceded four goals for the second home league game in a row and it was that defensive drop-off that came to the forefront of Tuchel’s mind as he assessed another frustrating night at Stamford Bridge.
Goals from Timo Werner and Cesar Azpilicueta twice hauled us level but the Gunners pulled away in the second half and claimed an important victory, leaving Tuchel to bemoan what might have been.
‘It was a totally wild and open game in the first half,’ he said. ‘We came back twice after a good start but then we scored another two in the second half but unfortunately on the wrong side.
‘It’s a level and amount of mistakes in consecutive games here at home that’s impossible on this kind of level. You don’t see it but we are doing them at the moment and you cannot win football games like this.’
Tuchel was asked whether the absence of Toni Rudiger made a big difference…
‘We conceded seven goals with Toni against Brentford and Real Madrid so it’s not about individual players. It’s about the defensive performance as a team. You need to have the tactics right, which is doubtful if I had this right, and you need the team selection right, which is also doubtful if I had this right.
‘Then it’s a game for the players. They get the full praise when they do it like they did in the last three matches so they have to face reality that it’s simply impossible to win matches like this if you make this amount of mistakes of this calibre
‘I don’t see it in any other matches but I see it now in consecutive matches and it has to stop otherwise we are in deep trouble.’
The boss also explained Christensen’s half-time withdrawal…
‘He said he could not continue so I think he had some problems and that’s why. I don’t take a player off because he makes one mistake. I have to also say the pitch is difficult to play here.
‘Maybe it sounds like an excuse but it is a very difficult pitch that we have here and it’s not in our favour. The ball bounced very awkwardly in front of Andreas when he tried to play this ball and we also had the same mistake against Real Madrid that cost us in the Champions League.’
Finally, Tuchel returned to the subject of lax defending…
‘Look at the penalty. It’s an unbelievable goal, from our ball possession after we had three ball losses in 10 seconds and then we do a foul when there’s not even the slightest danger.
‘We robbed ourselves of the chance to have six minutes maybe for the equaliser. There is nothing more to analyse. We proved in the last three matches and thought we learned our lessons from Brentford and Real Madrid but obviously not.’