Thomas Tuchel was left with mixed emotions after watching his side draw at home in our penultimate game of the season.
The Blues came from behind to collect the point we needed to all but secure a third-placed finish in the Premier League, with Marcos Alonso cancelling out James Maddison’s opener for the visitors.
Two more dropped points at Stamford Bridge left Tuchel with some familiar feelings of frustration, even though he felt the general performance level from his players was good.
‘We were the better team and deserved to win,’ he stated. ‘We did what was needed and got a point. We did not allow anything, no chances for Leicester, but we got punished with a shot outside the box.
‘We created enough to win, did not allow transitions or chances so I’m absolutely fine with the performance. It’s a bit of a broken record - we did not take what we deserved but I think it was okay what we did.’
He also reflected on the achievement of a top-three finish…
‘It’s the story of the season. We need an assist from a wing-back and a goal from a wing-back. You can see the numbers of our offensive players and you can see the numbers from the teams in front of us.
‘Still today was the day we secured third place, we have been all season in the top three and we have in mind where we come from. We had some obstacles to overcome and some circumstances around the club which was not easy so full credit to the team.
‘It is a big step in consistency for us and maybe it doesn’t feel like this because the gap is so big to the top two teams. We have stuff to improve and we are the first ones to admit that.’
There was praise for N’Golo Kante and a hope he could feature more next season…
‘I think he is our key, key player but key players need to be on the pitch. He plays only 40 per cent of the games and it’s maybe a miracle we arrive in third place because he is our Mo Salah, Van Dijk or De Bruyne. He is the guy who makes the difference so if you only have him 40 per cent it’s a huge problem.
‘I saw Liverpool last season without Van Dijk and they struggled heavily. N’Golo is our key player and he needs to be on the pitch.’
Tuchel also claimed every effort would be made to solve some of the midfielder’s physical issues…
‘It’s hard to live with because it’s important for him to be there and to have the rhythm. He played okay but he can play so much better. The last game he started was weeks ago and he needs to get his rhythm. Last year in the last five games of the Champions League they handed him the [man of the match] trophy even before the match, it was so clear when he played.
‘I don’t blame him but it’s a concern. We miss him a lot because he brings something that is unique in world football, he has that ability to lift everybody up and make the difference.’
Finally, there were words on Hakim Ziyech...
‘He had some unlucky decisions against him in the last few weeks. He always trained well and gave a good impact with energy in training and when he came on as a sub.
'It was necessary he gets the feeling from the start again. He tried everything and was very active.’