Friday, April 16, 2021

Tuchel: Chelsea lacked focus and lost control in FA Cup win over Sheffield United

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Thomas Tuchel said Chelsea had shown a “lack of focus” as the German manager believed his side lost control of the game in the second half of Sunday’s FA Cup victory over Sheffield United.

The Blues managed to seal a 2-0 victory on Sunday, homeward goal Oliver Norwood in the first half and Hakim Ziyech’s 92nd minute were enough to seal a place in the semifinals.

Tuchel, however, was not happy with the Blues’ performance as he was disappointed with what turned out to be a rambling second half.

What was said?

“It was a good first half but in the second half we lost control,” he told BBC Sport. “We were clearly tired after 14 consecutive games, I could feel tired with a little lack of concentration.

“There were a lot of little flaws with a strong opponent in the second half. We were lucky in the second half to keep the sheet clean. I think this is the first time in 14 matches that we have had some luck in the second half. It can happen and in the cup it is important to cross it and that was the goal, we achieved it.

He added: “Of course we let them come back because we had full control in the first half. In the second half we had a great chance with Christian. [Pulisic] to finish the game early. After that we had too many easy mistakes, lost duels and a loss of focus and momentum.

“Honestly, I could feel in training the last few days that we were a bit tired with a lack of focus and things weren’t too easy. It’s normal that this could happen in a game where it’s difficult to maintain the level. I was happy to help the guys from the bench with the guys who came in. At the end of the day we have a victory and we will take it. “

Tuchel equalizes Mourinho’s record

The German may not have been impressed with his team’s overall efforts, but he cannot doubt their defensive credibility now, with today’s result taking them to seven games trotting without conceding a goal.

This run of clean sheets amounts to their best run since December 2005, when Jose Mourinho was at the helm at Stamford Bridge – and only trailed one such streak in total, when they scored nine games without conceding between November and December 1905.

What’s next for Chelsea?

The Blues will now enter the international break in style, after having sealed their place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

Manchester City, Southampton and Leicester or Manchester United await them in the semi-finals, with these matches due to be played on April 17.

Chelsea are currently in fourth place in the Premier League and will face West Brom on their return from the international break.

But that’s not all for Tuchel’s side, as a Champions League quarter-final clash with Porto is also looming, with the first leg scheduled for April 7 in Portugal.

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