Tuchel denies Chelsea display was frustrating but outlines lacking qualities

Date published: Thursday 11th February 2021 10:52 - Samuel Bannister

Thomas Tuchel denied he was frustrated after Chelsea’s narrow win over Barnsley in the FA Cup, but admitted he wanted more.

Chelsea struggled to impose their dominance over their Championship opponents when they met in the fifth round. Tammy Abraham scored the only goal of the game with Chelsea’s only shot on target.

It was ultimately enough for Tuchel to taste victory in his first ever FA Cup match. However, he would have been hoping it may have been more straightforward.

FULL MATCH REPORT: Chelsea make hard work of Barnsley

Even so, Tuchel wasn’t too hard on his players after the game – but he admitted he wanted them to show more courage.

He told BBC Sport: “We changed to a back four and took Marcos [Alonso] out for this tactical change. Andreas [Christensen] had to go out because he had a headache.

“The changes made it a little easier to get into the opponent’s half and overcome the first press.

“We did it well at the start of the second half and played constantly in the opponent’s half.

“We scored the goal and I had the feeling that they increased the risk but we stepped down in the little decisions. Not enough courage and it was too deep for a long, long time.

“We clearly can play better, so yes I expected more but not in terms that I am frustrated.

“If you lack a rhythm and a bit of self-confidence and you have to show on this pitch, against an opponent that takes all the risk and plays the game of his life, that is not easy. We can do better but I don’t want to be too hard on the players.”

Chelsea will face Premier League strugglers Sheffield United in the quarter-finals. Despite their lowly position in the league, Tuchel knows the Blades will pose a threat.

He said: “It’s going to be a tough one. They are a very physical team that presses high.

“They are organised but I am happy to have a home game. This is what we wanted.”

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Ismael satisfied with Barnsley showing

Meanwhile, Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael was praiseworthy of his side for competing against a club of Chelsea’s stature.

He told BBC Sport: “It’s exactly the game we wanted, we made a great performance.

“We could see how far we can bring our principles, to make Chelsea make mistakes, we did it perfect in the first half but we had to score.

“It was a change in the second half, Chelsea made a change of shape and had more control. We were punished for one moment which was a shame. But we kept fighting to the end, we are proud of the performance.

“We know that we can compete at that level. Chelsea could have had a penalty, the goal could have been offside, they are 50/50. Tonight we go to bed with a good feeling.”

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