Tuchel bemoans ‘too much risk’ after Chelsea draw
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says Cesar Azpilicueta took “too much risk” in the first half of the 2-2 draw with Wolves, which led to the decision for him to switch positions with Reece James.
The Spain international started the game as part of the back three but was moved to wing-back in the second half with James then moving into central defence.
The Blues held a two-goal lead thanks to a double from Romelu Lukaku before a Fransisco Trincao strike and a 97th-minute equaliser from Conor Coady meant Tuchel’s side again dropped points at home.
And the German felt unnecessary risk-taking was to blame for the draw.
“I think that we started both halves very well and controlled the match. We took a very offensive approach to this game today and a very offensive 5-3-2,” he said.
“In the second half I reminded the team to stick to the plan, to execute the match plan with more discipline and more precisely.
“We did this and we were 2-0 up and again we take too much risk in a situation where you cannot take this kind of risk if you have such an offensive approach. At some points we played like we were 2-0 down and not 2-0 up.
“Azpi had a yellow card. Azpi was very, very active in the first half but he was too offensive, we struggled there in his position. Azpi took too much risk there.
“Today we only had a 3-1 formation in the build-up so we were sometimes in a two against two with Ruben (Loftus-Cheek) the only spare player in front.
“That’s why we changed, because Azpi had a yellow card on top and that’s why we changed and wanted to have the runs from Azpi in the second half and the control from Reece.”
Lukaku’s goals were the first he had scored in the Premier League since the 1-1 draw with Brighton in December and were just his sixth and seventh league goals of the season.
But Tuchel refused to be drawn on individual praise for the striker.
He said: “Okay, a good performance but this is for sure not the moment to talk about individual performances and to praise individual players.
“We do this as a team and we lost crucial points. This is not the moment to praise individuals.”
Tuchel also dismissed suggestions that new developments in Chelsea’s ownership situation will help his side regain focus.
A sale has been agreed to a consortium led by LA Dodgers baseball team co-owner Todd Boehly, with the group paying £2.5bn for the club’s shares.
Boehly was in attendance at Stamford Bridge.
Tuchel said: “I don’t think that ownership is a reason for a lack of focus. I don’t think there is a lack of focus.
“I think we’re focused and we showed [this] during the situation when it began, that we can still focus. I would not consider this as an advantage for the match against Leeds, absolutely not.
“It does not change much for us because the sanctions are not lifted and the season will anyway go on.
“We still hope for a positive outcome, and that the situation is solved. In the moment it seems like it, but it’s not, so it’s not worth thinking about.
“We have our own stuff to solve and to do better because we struggle at the moment, obviously.”