Thomas Tuchel admitted that Kai Havertz and Timo Werner “didn’t have their best day” after he substituted both players in the Champions League clash against Porto.
The Blues won the first leg, which was being played in Seville, 2-0 thanks to goals from England pair Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell, but German boss Tuchel was less than impressed with the efforts of his two compatriots.
Havertz and Werner struggled to get into the game, and they were replaced just after the hour mark by Christian Pulisic and Olivier Giroud.
Tuchel says he made the change because he wasn’t getting what he wanted on the pitch.
“At the time I accepted that it was a tough match for Timo and Kai today, they didn’t have their best day,” he said after the match.
“We did not deliver so good so the connection between the seven and the front three wasn’t there. The balls we delivered weren’t the best balls.
“Also, I could feel that our two German players, Kai and Timo, didn’t play at their highest level so I wanted to have an impact from the bench.”
As well as pointing out his disappointment in Havertz and Werner, Tuchel went on to praise the displays of their replacements.
“Christian has good momentum and Oli had good experience and memories of the stadium (where he scored four goals in a group stage game),” he said.
“We wanted to keep going in the match.
“It’s very hard that once you lead, you play with the mentality of not losing what you had and keeping what you have. We wanted to win the next half, the next duel and to try and score the next goal.
“The best way to defend is to attack, to have more possession and to have courage. I am happy with the impact from our substitutes today.”