Cesc Fabregas pointed out a big tactical mistake from Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel during tonight’s defeat to Real Madrid.
The Blues suffered a 3-1 home loss against Madrid in a Champions League quarter-final tie.
Karim Benzema scored two first-half headers for the visitors at Stamford Bridge to put them in the driving seat. Kai Havertz did pull a goal back before half time with his own header, though.
Unfortunately, Benzema was allowed to complete his hat-trick almost immediately after half time after a mistake from goalkeeper Edouard Mendy gifted a simple finish.
It means Tuchel’s side trail 3-1 on aggregate after the first leg, so have a mountain to climb in next week’s second leg in Spain.
Chelsea better with Kovacic
Ex-Chelsea player Fabregas was left begging for his former side to bring on Mateo Kovacic during tonight’s European contest.
Fabregas tweeted during the opening 30 minutes that substitute Kovacic should be on the pitch:
Kova on surely
— Cesc Fàbregas Soler (@cesc4official) April 6, 2022
Tuchel opted to go with a midfield duo of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho against Madrid, both of whom didn’t finish the game.
Kovacic, 27, entered the action as a half-time substitute.
The central midfielder definitely added a bit of extra guile to the XI as the Blues pushed in a bid to reduce the deficit.
He’s so often been a go-to player this campaign, which is why the decision not to start him against his former club appears to have really backfired.
It definitely felt like the hosts had a better grip in the middle with him on the pitch, albeit Madrid did step back to defend their lead.
Of course, Tuchel’s not got much wrong during his reign at Stamford Bridge so far. However, the Kovacic selection is likely to receive plenty of criticism and he should own the mistake.
Hopefully, the Croatian midfielder is given the nod to start next week when the Blues will go about trying to complete an unlikely comeback.