Thomas Tuchel says he made too many changes and it cost Chelsea in its 1-0 loss to Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
The Blues are getting ready for the FA Cup Final versus Leicester City and Tuchel rested Timo Werner, N’Golo Kante, and Antonio Rudiger amongst others, a Jorginho error ultimately dooming the Blues.
[ MORE: Three things from Chelsea – Arsenal ]
Tuchel’s men still controlled the match but just couldn’t find the back of the net.
“It was a freak game in which we won the expected goals and statistics,” Tuchel said after Chelsea held 67 percent of the ball, out-attempted the Gunners 19-5, and did, indeed, hold the xG advantage by a margin of 1.57-0.69.
“We all lacked concentration and focus today. That is unusual. Maybe I gave signals to the team with the changes that Saturday was on my mind. Even if it’s 5% or 1% that isn’t how we approach things and we got punished. It’s a hard defeat to accept but there’s no other way.”
And Tuchel did not take the bait when asked if losing before the final could snap Chelsea to life.
“It’s a bad thing,” he said. “I don’t need these things to wake up to know how hard it is, I don’t need to lose to know this, we needed to wake up again together but I don’t know why. Now everybody is awake again.”
Chelsea right back Reece James does not think that the loss will negatively affect the Blues.
Instead, the disappointment and frustration can play into Chelsea’s preparations for Saturday’s final.
“Of course, the top four is tight but it doesn’t affect us in a way, we are fighting to win every game and every competition we are in,” The loss doesn’t affect us. Obviously, it is disappointing to lose but we can take the negativity into tomorrow’s session and moving forward.”