Thomas Tuchel has criticised Chelsea’s performance as ‘not good enough’ following the club’s friendly defeat to Charlotte FC.
Chelsea were beaten on penalties following a disappointing performance in the United States, with Conor Gallagher missing from the spot in the shootout after a 1-1 draw in normal time.
Christian Pulisic had opened the scoring for the Blues, but an injury-time penalty from Daniel Rios – awarded following a handball from Trevoh Chalobah – handed Charlotte a late equaliser and took the game into a shootout.
Tuchel, who handed a first appearance to summer signing Raheem Sterling, was critical of his side’s performance and said Chelsea showed a lack of quality in the final third.
“In general I would say we played a good first half but unfortunately only for 80 metres of the pitch,” he told the club’s official website.
“The last 20 metres were not good enough, even in the first half. We found a lot of spaces to accelerate and to penetrate the box but we struggled with our decision-making and precision in the last 20 metres.
“It was simply not good enough for the effort and quality we showed in the first 80 metres of the pitch. The amount of space we had and the amount of attacks we created, there were simply not enough clear chances or deliveries in the last 20 metres.
“We played a very good match in all the other aspects but in the second half, it took us about half an hour to show some quality and that was maybe for 10 minutes so not good at all – not offensively, not structure-wise, not in effort or the hunger to be the dominant team.”
Tuchel also provided an update on Chelsea’s absence personnel and confirmed the club were unwilling to take unnecessary risk with the likes of Timo Werner, Cesar Azpilicueta and Ross Barkley.
“Timo had some hamstring problems so we didn’t take the risk with him tonight,” said Tuchel.
“Kepa has had some pain that was disturbing him to feel free in the movements, nothing too much but we didn’t take the risk.
“Azpi took a big knock above his knee on his muscle in training. He ran into Edou [Mendy] in an accident and is in some discomfort but if it was a Premier League match then I think we would have taken the risk. We just felt that today it was not worth it in case he did any further damage and is out for another three or four days.
“Ross has felt his hamstring for a few days now, the same like Timo. It’s more of a discomfort than an injury but like the others, we didn’t think there was any need to take a risk at this stage of pre-season.”