Chelsea’s German head coach Thomas Tuchel gestures during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge in London on January 27, 2021. (Photo by Richard Heathcote / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services.
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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel refused to criticise his side and instead put their defeat down to falling on the wrong side of fine margins, from Tielemans’ winner to the offside call on Chilwell.
“Of course we’re disappointed, but not angry with our performance and on our boys,” said Tuchel. “I thought our performance was enough to win it, but today we were simply unlucky.
“We’ve never hidden the fact that you need luck in this game to be able to win at this level. You need a certain momentum, little details and decision-making from the referee. Sometimes, with a shot [from Tielemans] like today… we defended really well and were very aggressive in counter-pressing.
“We defended up high the pitch and we didn’t allow any half-chances for one of the most dangerous counter-attacking teams in Europe. I was absolutely happy with the work rate and intensity.
“But we were a bit too hectic with our decision-making in the first half, going too straight up front, trying to force the solution too fast. We had some unnecessary ball losses and some unprecise decision-making.
“We had two against three situations that were more promising than we made of it. We had a big chance with [Cesar] Azpilicueta… maybe the biggest in the whole game, and in the second half we controlled the match even more.
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“We were completely in the opponent’s half but then we conceded a goal out of nothing. It’s a fantastic goal but it’s a lucky goal.
“We had a big chance with Mason [Mount] which brought a fantastic save from [Kasper] Schmeichel and then we had an offside goal so we were unlucky today. When you arrive in the final, you have no guarantee of the trophy. I thought we deserved to win but we have to accept that we were unlucky today.”
Looking ahead to Tuesday, when the teams meet again in a crucial top-four race clash at Stamford Bridge, Tuchel called on his players to respond in the right way.
“There’s nothing much to do – we just have to focus on our performance [in the next games],” he said.
“In a final, you normally make an excuse and say you don’t care how you perform, you just take any win and get your hands on the trophy, but in general we are about the performance. Now, we must focus on what we did well and get ready for Tuesday.
“There’s no team in sport who doesn’t lose. Now it’s about bouncing back and showing our mentality and belief. We miss a trophy which we’re very sad about not winning but we now have two finals against Leicester and Aston Villa as well as another final [against Man City]. We cannot regret for too long.”