LONDON — Thomas Tuchel has questioned the focus of his Chelsea players, as they coughed up a 2-1 lead to lose 3-2 at their bitter rivals.
Defensively sound ever since Tuchel arrived in January, the defeat to West Ham saw Chelsea concede more than two goals for just the third time since the German coach arrived.
Chelsea controlled vast swathes of the game but uncharacteristic mistakes from Edouard Mendy and Jorginho, to name a few, cost them dear.
Asked about rectifying these defensive errors which have cost them points in their last two Premier League outings and what it means in the title race, Tuchel questioned the focus and attitude of his team.
Tuchel highlights key to Chelsea defeat
“The race is not interesting at the moment. What is interesting is the next 90 minutes and that we get the focus right and the attitude right,” Tuchel said. “We have to take care of the details and we are not good enough in the details at the moment.
“We do too many big mistakes and we need to care about the details. There is no need to ask big questions or start doubting about the big picture. If you play at West Ham, this is a game about details.”
What went wrong?
This was a culmination of Chelsea missing several key players, a few superstars not being at the top of their game and West Ham getting a little lucky.
Missing N’Golo Kante, Ben Chilwell and Mateo Kovacic, Tuchel also had Romelu Lukaku on the bench and he is far from fully fit.
Jorginho and Mendy made huge errors for West Ham’s first goal, and Mendy again was culpable as Arthur Masuaku’s cross somehow flew in at his near post to win it for West Ham late on.
Chelsea have shown a few cracks are starting to appear as Mendy was lucky to get away with a few sloppy passes against Manchester United, and Jorginho’s mistake against United cost them two points.
Not time to panic
The Blues should not lose sight of how much progress they’ve made and the bigger picture stills looks good.
This was only the third time under Tuchel they’ve conceded more than one goal in a game, but it was also the first time since 2018 that Chelsea have lost a PL game they were leading at half time.
Tuchel is right, focus will be key to kicking on again, especially during a taxing period coming up over the festive season.
We are about to see what this Chelsea squad is made of and if it really is deep enough to push Manchester City and Liverpool all the way for the title.