Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel admitted his side were “lucky” in one aspect of their FA Cup quarter-final victory, and claimed he was tiredness for the first time in 14 matches.
Chelsea booked their place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup with a hard fought 2-0 victory over Sheffield Utd.
The Premier League’s bottom side put up stern resistance throughout the contest, but poor finishing would cost them at crucial times.
The Blues took a first-half lead through an unfortunate Oliver Norwood own goal before substitute Hakim Ziyech wrapped things up with an injury-time effort.
FULL MATCH REPORT: Chelsea make hard work of spirited Sheff Utd to seal FA Cup semis spot
Speaking to the BBC after the match, Tuchel said: “Sounds excellent to say we’re through to the semi-finals – it was a tough match.
“We had a good first half where we controlled everything. We lost control in the second half, we were clearly tired. After 14 consecutive matches I could feel we were tired and we made many little faults.
“We were lucky to keep the clean sheet in the second half but I think it’s the first time in the 14 games we have looked tired. It’s important to go through in the cup and that was the target and we reached it.”
“We let them come back because we had full control in first half and second half a big chance with Christian Pulisic to finish the game early. We made too many easy mistakes and lost duels and lost some momentum.
“I could tell in training we were tired and there was a lack of concentration. That can happen sometimes it gets harder to keep the level up – I’m happy we could help from the bench and in the end we have the win so we take that.”
“[Chelsea] can beat anyone – Pulisic”
Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic also spoke to the press, telling the BBC: “Sheffield United didn’t make it easy on us – they have quality and we had to suffer a bit in the second half. But it’s another clean sheet, a good performance.
“We knew it would be a bit uncomfortable, there would always be a bit of pressure but we had to just work as a team which we did eventually.
“They’re a good defensive side, there were a couple of chances where myself and others could’ve done better but it’s a good result.
“We have a confident bunch of guys here and when you go on a streak like this we’re feeling really good and we’re feeling like we can beat anyone.”