Thomas Tuchel said Chelsea showed a “lack of concentration” as the German manager believes his team lost control of the match in the second half of Sunday’s FA Cup victory over Sheffield United.
The Blues were able to record a 2-0 victory on Sunday, and Oliver Norwood’s own goal in the first half and Hakim Ziyech’s finish in the 92nd minute proved to be enough to secure a place in the semifinals.
Tuchel, however, was not happy with the Blues ’performance as he remained disappointed with what turned out to be a mismatched second half.
What was said?
“It was a good first half, but we lost control in the second,” he told BBC Sport. “We were clearly tired after 14 games in a row, I felt like we were tired with a bit of a lack of concentration.
“There were a lot of small mistakes with a strong opponent in the second half. In the second half we were lucky to keep clean. I think it’s the first time in 14 matches we’ve been lucky. It can happen and, in the cup, it’s important to pass and this was the target.
He added: “Of course, we let them come back because we had complete control in the first half. We had a great chance with Christian in the second half [Pulisic] to finish the game early. After that we had too many easy mistakes, we lost the duels and we lost concentration and momentum.
“Honestly, the last few days in training I could feel that we were a little tired from the lack of concentration and that things weren’t too easy. It’s normal that this can happen in a game where it’s hard to maintain a level. I was happy to help the guys from the bench with to the boys who came in. In the end, we have a victory and we will take it. “
Tuchel matches Mourinho’s record
The German may have been less impressed with his team’s overall efforts, but now he can’t doubt their defensive credibility, today’s result took them to seven games in the box office without conceding a goal.
That clean sheet is equal to their best streak since December 2005, when Jose Mourinho was at the helm of Stamford Bridge – and in total follows only one such streak, when they scored nine games without conceding between November and December 1905.
What’s next for Chelsea?
The Blues will now embark on a high international break, finishing their semi-final place in the FA Cup.
Manchester City, Southampton and Leicester or Manchester United are waiting for them in the semifinals, and these matches will be played on April 17.
Chelsea currently occupy fourth place in the Premier League and will face West Brom on their return from an international break.
But that’s not all for Tuchel’s team, although a Champions League quarter-final clash with Porto is also expected, with the first match set for April 7 in Portugal.