Thomas Tuchel admitted that Chelsea were a little “lucky” to finish in the top four after losing 2-1 to Aston Villa on the final day.
Chelsea could have slipped out of the Champions League places were it not for Leicester losing to Tottenham. In the end, Tuchel’s men beat the Foxes to fourth by one point. It was a let off for them after a wasteful final day that put them at risk of missing out.
But their form across the whole season – particularly since Tuchel took charge – was enough for them to head into this season’s Champions League final knowing they will be in the competition again next year.
They could have done so in more convincing fashion, but Tuchel insisted they played well enough until it came to taking their chances.
“It was our responsibility to lose today. We had enough chances,” he said. “The performance was by far good enough to win the game.
“We did not score, conceded two cheap goals and it was a defeat in the end. We are lucky to escape today.
“We did not hit the target. The last touch was not precise enough.
“It was a very strong last half an hour and we had two big chances to score. We fought, tried everything but forgot to score.”
Another disappointing element to the defeat for Chelsea was the fact that they finished with 10 men. Cesar Azpilicueta was shown a straight red card for reacting badly to a Jack Grealish challenge.
But Tuchel did not think that was the correct decision from the officials.
“I saw it and I don’t see the difference from the first half from an Aston Villa player,” he said.
Likewise, he disagreed with the decision to award Villa the penalty that led to their second goal. Jorginho was adjudged to have brought Bertrand Traore down.
“Very, very soft,” Tuchel claimed. “I saw no movement from the legs from Jorginho.”
Chelsea still confident
There is still one game left for Chelsea to play this season, the Champions League final against Manchester City.
While they go into it on the back of a defeat, City will do so having won their last league game 5-0. But despite their contrasting fortunes, Tuchel is feeling good going into the final.
“A loss never feels good but tomorrow I will take a lot of satisfaction,” he said. “We reached the objective and congratulations to everyone.
“We are still a young team, players fighting for their first trophies and now we arrive in Porto with full confidence.”