Thomas Tuchel has criticized his Chelsea side for losing focus in their win over Tottenham Hotspur.
The Blues clinched a 1-0 victory in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final to advance to the aggregate final. They won the first leg 2-0 at Stamford Bridge a week ago.
Speaking after the second leg, Tuchel told BBC Radio 5 Live (via Football 365):
“We are happy with the result. In the first half, we were the best team and we deserved to go up. But we lost our focus and focus in the last 15 minutes of the first half and again in the second half.
Antonio Conte’s Tottenham finished the game with 15 scoring attempts, two more than Chelsea. However, both teams had only three shots on target. The Blues largely dominated possession, but Tuchel felt his team were almost punished for their poor performance. He said:
“We were almost punished for lack of focus. We played 90%, and that’s not our style – we shouldn’t be doing that. We had to work hard and it wasn’t our best performance – we were better in the first leg.
Antonio Rudiger scored the only goal of the game in Mason Mount’s corner after Spurs goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini went out of his line for the ball but missed it. The goal gave Chelsea a three-goal cushion and effectively killed the tie with just 18 minutes at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Earlier, Tuchel’s side claimed a routine 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge in the semi-final first leg. Kai Havertz scored five minutes after a poor defense from Spurs. Conte’s side made another mistake in the 34th minute as Ben Davies scored a comedic goal on his own side on Japhet Tanganga’s clearance attempt.
Chelsea have a series of tough fixtures in the coming weeks
The victory over Tottenham has kept the Blues in contention for all four titles this season. Chelsea are currently second in the Premier League, ten points behind Manchester City, and will face either Liverpool or Arsenal in the Carabao Cup final.
They have also qualified for the fourth round of the FA Cup, where they face League One team Plymouth Argyle on February 5. However, ahead of this clash, Tuchel’s side have some tough games to negotiate.
Their difficult journey will begin with a top-of-the-table clash against Manchester City on Saturday (January 15th). A loss at the Etihad Stadium could mark the end of the Blues’ slim title hopes and give City a 13-point lead.
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The game against City will be followed by a visit to Brighton, who have struck over their weight this season. Chelsea will close the month with a home clash against Tottenham, who will try to avenge their Carabao Cup loss to their London rivals.