Chelsea defeated Tottenham 2-0 in Wednesday’s 1st leg Carabao Cup semi finals. Thomas Tuchel spoke after the impressive win about the blues performance.
Speaking the head coach said,
“We could’ve created a bigger cushion. Yes, it was possible. We created a lot and were very strong because it is so hard to create against Tottenham as we’ve seen in the last few games.
“In the second half, we created a lot, big chances to have a third or fourth goal. Everybody knows the game isn’t decided and we have to arrive at full focus and top shape again.
“We will need another 90 minutes of top-quality football if we want to go through to Wembley.”
What did you make of Romelu Lukaku’s performance tonight?
“I am happy with the performance, I liked how he played. He was strong, involved, strong and showed huge commitment in our defensive work which was important. He was always dangerous and used his body, was always involved in dangerous situations.
“I expected it honestly because Romelu can handle pressure and adversity. He seemed to be relaxed after the decision was made, after we finished our talks, and after he finished his talks.
“The decision was made and I felt him relaxed enough to have a performance like this.”
What are the injuries to Kai Havertz and Cesar Azpilicueta?
“We were very worried but Azpi says it was only a cramp, not an injury. That would be the good news and we trust him so hopefully, it is only a cramp.
“Kai was an issue with his finger. I think he broke his finger; it looked horrible. He played through the pain but it was getting bigger and bigger with every movement and touch from the opponent. He survived until half time and then we needed a change.”
Thoughts on the performance?
“I liked this performance. It was far from normal today against Tottenham who are compact and full of confidence.
“We had two last-minute bad news with Thiago (Silva) and N’Golo (Kante) who were both supposed to start. We decided yesterday at the last minute to switch to a back four and the guys were very committed, open and focused to play how we played.
“It was good and it was not always fair to demand performances out of nothing like from Hakim [Ziyech], Saul and Malang [Sarr]. All three were outstanding today. It makes us very happy because it was a well-deserved win against a strong opponent.”
Saul was applauded off and got a pat on the back from you, is he now settling into the pace of the English game?
“Yeah he is, he is. He is happier and freer in training, I see it every day. He played better when he came on against Wolverhampton, he already had a good impact so he is stepping up and stepping out.
“I was so happy when I saw him on the sideline for the second goal in the 2-2 draw with Liverpool, he was totally committed and it was very impressive to see him like this.
“So, it is an important moment for him and I have the feeling he digested the experiences in the beginning where maybe he didn’t expect it like this. He is not the first player to struggle from the switch, what he does is good because he is open and fully focussed, totally committed to the team.
“So I am very happy with his performance. Today was a huge step for him.”