The German saw the first defeat of his reign in charge at Stamford Bridge in a madcap seven-goal encounter as the Blues were bested by the Baggies
Thomas Tuchel has admitted that he is “too emotional” to pick over the bones of a maiden loss as Chelsea manager, after the former Paris Saint-Germain boss saw his side thumped 5-2 by West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
The German suffered the first defeat of his reign in charge at Stamford Bridge in a madcap seven-goal encounter that saw the Blues reduced to 10 men in the first-half against the relegation-threatened Baggies.
Thiago Silva was sent off on his return to the side from injury while Mason Mount’s second-half strike was not enough to galvanise the hosts against Sam Allardyce’s determined visitors, and Tuchel acknowledged that he will need time to process the result before addressing his concerns.
What did Tuchel say?
“It will be a hard afternoon for everybody I think, a hard evening,” the 47-year-old told his post-match press conference. “We were the first to start this matchday and we had completely different plans, so we have to accept it now.
“It is our first loss together. It is important to find a way to deal with it together, and that everyone knows what I feel as a part of it.
“There were some quick words to calm everybody down and to delay the talks until tomorrow because now it is too emotional, [there] is too much frustration. It is not productive.”
Tuchel on team selection
In-form England pair Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell, fresh from duty with the Three Lions, were both benched ahead of kick-off while the veteran Silva was fast-tracked back into the starting XI on what proved to be a disastrous day for the Brazilian.
Mount was duly summoned to replace Christian Pulisic at the interval and gave the hosts a glimmer of hope of salvaging a result. Tuchel acknowledged that the blame lies with him in his ultimate selection, though he stood by his decision.
“You never know what would have happened if you chose differently,” he added. “This is my responsibility, we are very disappointed because we hate to lose.
“[I] went for this selection because of an excellent training session yesterday. I trusted this line-up and I think the line-up was strong enough now in this game.
“We were rusty, we were sloppy in the build-up in our own half, and made many, many unforced errors. We didn’t adapt our positions under pressure. We gave away easy ball losses that led in the end to a red card, and that cost us the game today.
“There is absolutely no need to concede five goals if you’re one man down with our quality. But our defending was not of the quality it should be. It is now hard to accept but there is no other solution than to accept it and to move forward.”
The bigger picture
Having gone unbeaten in his first 14 games since succeeding Frank Lampard – a run that has seen Chelsea advance to both the Champions League quarter-finals and strengthen their top four credentials – Tuchel’s first defeat could prove to be a costly one.
It means the Blues are unable to stretch their lead over fifth-place West Ham – and with just a two-point advantage, leaves the door for David Moyes’ side to leapfrog them into fourth, having played one game less.
Tuchel, however, will be determined to deliver an immediate response when his side resume their European adventures on Wednesday, when they travel to face Porto in the first leg of their last-eight tie.