Chelsea Boss Thomas Tuchel Angry After Real Madrid Defeat, makes blunt comment

Chelsea have conceded seven goals in their past two games, after damaging defeats to Brentford and Real Madrid; Thomas Tuchel has pointed to a "lack of intensity" in defence and rhythm in attack; Blues back in action against Southampton at 3pm on Saturday


Thomas Tuchel has revealed he pulled his Chelsea players up for a lack of structure and intensity in a meeting following Wednesday’s defeat to Real Madrid and has warned there is no guarantee his side will finish third in the Premier League if they do not raise their levels.

Karim Benzema’s hat-trick handed the Champions League holders a damaging 3-1 defeat in the first leg of their quarter-final tie at Stamford Bridge, just days after Brentford had humbled Chelsea 4-1 on their own patch.

Those back-to-back defeats after the international break brought an abrupt end to a six-game winning streak and Tuchel says the losses are “untypical”.

He gave his players an honest assessment of what their performances had been missing this week, with the hope of getting back on track against Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.
“It was not a discussion type of meeting,” he said with smile. “I gave my point of view.

“It was not a discussion type of meeting,” he said with smile. “I gave my point of view.

“We take the players’ view very seriously and into account but over the last two games we thought it necessary to give our point of view – but behind closed doors where everyone can take criticism.
“We don’t point fingers, we don’t look for people who are guilty, we’re in this together but we needed to point out things in our game where we could have defended better. The offensive principles in our game, what we lacked doing.

“Surprisingly, we lacked structure in our last game. Then we lacked the rhythm and repetition of our attacks, the positional discipline in attacking. We lacked intensity and investment in our defending.
“It’s not about general criticism it’s about details of situations. I love the players and the group and we can be better together.

“It’s very untypical of us. We had a look into it, talked to the team about it. We need to stop this kind of direction as soon as possible. And the best possibility is tomorrow (Saturday).

“It’s not like us to defend like this and concede so many goals. We didn’t see it coming because it wasn’t the case before the international break. It’s not easy to deal with because it doesn’t fit into a pattern.”

‘Huge opportunity’ missed against Real
Speaking after the defeat to Real Madrid, a clearly frustrated Tuchel had said he thought the tie was no longer alive
Reflecting on his reaction, he said it came from the feeling his side had allowed a “huge opportunity” slip away.

“We had a defeat against Liverpool and I was disappointed by the result but we were absolutely delighted with how we played, what a match it was,” he said. “So the feeling the next day was very different to Brentford and Real Madrid.

“I felt like we gave a huge opportunity away [against Real Madrid]. It’s not normal to play quarter-finals in the Champions League. A huge night against a huge opponent and we did not bring our best level.

“So that’s why we were disappointed and angry. After the match I was not so good in hiding my emotions but I know how much better we can play, how untypical mistakes and the performances were for us.”

While the first leg loss to Real Madrid means Chelsea have it all to do to keep their Champions League defence alive when they go to the Bernabeu next week, the defeat to Brentford has left them looking over their shoulder domestically.

Chelsea are now just five points ahead of Tottenham and Arsenal, who sit fourth and fifth, and Tuchel says his players must hit a high level to fight for third place or they will be vulnerable to losing the position they have held since early December.

“I’m absolutely confident [Chelsea can finish third] but not as a given,” said Tuchel. “This is the most demanding league in the world.
“We know how we have struggled through the season. I still feel the team can play on very high level but if we don’t reach it we can lose to teams of any quality. We proved that in the last five days. That’s a reminder to us.

“We should not be ashamed to fight for third place. It’s a tough competition until the very last day. Do I feel confident? Yes because I have trust in my players and staff. But is it a given? No.”

Team news: Hudson-Odoi out; Lukaku, Ziyech doubts.

Tuchel confirmed Callum Hudson-Odoi (Achilles and back) will be unavailable this weekend and looks set to be out for a “matter of weeks”.

There were also doubts about Romelu Lukaku (Achilles) and Hakim Ziyech (knock) who missed training on Thursday with “little problems” and would need tests before Friday afternoon’s training session to check whether they will be available to face Southampton.

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