Thomas Tuchel has blamed the pitch for contributing to Chelsea’s 4-2 loss against Arsenal in the Premier League on Thursday.
The Blues came back twice in the first-half to level the scores during the game, but could not break down a resilient Arsenal side as the Gunners scored two goals in the second half to secure the win.
Speaking after the game, Tuchel was furious with his side’s defending. He said:
“You cannot win football games like this. It’s impossible to do these things in consecutive matches and we’re doing it. You simply don’t see this, but we’re doing it at the moment. It’s not about individual players, it’s about the defensive performance. You need to have the tactics right, which is doubtful if I had this right. You need the team selection right, also doubtful if I had this right. Then it’s a game for the players. They get the full praise when they do it and they have to face the reality that it’s impossible to win matches like this is you make this amount of mistakes of this calibre. It has to stop.”
Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah pounced on a mistake by Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen to open the scoring on the night. Tuchel inexplicably blamed the pitch for the defender’s mistake. When asked whether the mistake was the reason why the defender was substituted for Thiago Silva at half-time, he said:
“He said he cannot continue. I do not substitute a player for one mistake. The pitch is difficult to play here, maybe it sounds like an excuse but it is a very difficult pitch here, not to our favour. The ball bounces very awkwardly in front of Andreas but still we had the same mistake against Real Madrid that cost us the next round in the Champions League. This one cost us this match.”
Nketiah scored a brace on the night, with Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka getting on the scoresheet as well. Timo Werner and Cesar Azpilicueta made sure the teams went in level at half-time, but the Blues could not find the net in the second half.
The loss means Chelsea are 3rd in the Premier League, five points above Tottenham and Arsenal in 4th and 5th respectively, with a game in hand on the two sides. The Blues should not have any problems finishing in the top 4 but a third consecutive home loss will come as a worry to Thomas Tuchel.
“There is nothing to analyse” – Tuchel on Chelsea’s defending against Arsenal
Chelsea boss Tuchel continued to criticize his side’s defending and was particularly unimpressed by the way his defenders gave away the ball for the penalty. He said: