Thomas Tuchel has offered his two cents on Chelsea’s capitulation at home to Wolves on Saturday.
The hosts took the lead through a quickfire brace by Romelu Lukaku, the first coming from the spot after VAR ruled Romain Saïss’ challenge on the Belgian foul play before the visitors gave the ball away to Christian Pulisic who fed Lukaku to finish clinically.
With Chelsea continuing to deploy a high line in search of another goal, their daring approach was soon exposed as Wolves halved the deficit.
Taking advantage of the space vacated on the counter, loanee Francisco Trincão was set away and allowed to cut inside to strike venomously into the top-left corner.
With Tuchel’s side evidently unsettled by their opponent’s fight-back, vulnerability began to show in their defensive positioning.
As Chelsea struggled to retain a compact defensive unit, wing-back Chiquinho was allowed space to pick out the head of Conor Coady send the visiting fans into raptures and equalise in the 97th minute.
Thomas Tuchel’s assessment:
“Of course,” Tuchel affirmed after being asked if the draw felt like a loss as quoted by Chelsea.
"“I thought we started both halves well with an offensive 5-3-2. We knew about the risks and we needed to be disciplined. We showed discipline over most moments of the first half but in some situations we touch too much risk."
"“I was very happy with the way we started the second half, we created chances and enough situations to be in front but we were 2-0 up and then we took too much risk."
"“We invited the counter-attacks and big chances. Once you do this you lose confidence and invite the opponent to smell that something is possible when it is unnecessary.”"
A range of variables have contributed to Chelsea’s fall away from the Premier League title race and eventual exit from the Champions League.
It often appears when one issue is rectified, another appears for the West London side. Initially, the focus of the issues lay in their ability to convert chances, but as the season has materialised the problems have shifted to a defensive aspect.
Not helped by disruption in the board room, injuries and players pursuing moves away ahead of the season’s conclusion, Tuchel’s side are a far cry from the resolute defensive unit they were at the top of the campaign.
Set to be new owner Todd Boehly was in attendance at Stamford Bridge, with the American businessman able to see the oscillating nature of the club first-hand.
“No, I don’t think ownership is a reason for lack of focus,” Tuchel added when quizzed if Boehly’s presence had an impact on the pitch.
"“We showed when the situation began that we can still focus. I would not consider this as advantage for Leeds as it does not change much for us because the sanctions are not lifted."
"“It’s not worth thinking about, we have our own stuff to solve and make better.”"
It was announced on Saturday morning that Boehly, who co-owns MLB team LA Dodgers, had agreed terms with Chelsea after submitting a £4.25bn bid.