Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel didn’t hold back saying it is realistic to view the tie as over after his team’s performance on Wednesday in a post-match press conference.
“If you want to use that phrase [if is the tie over], use it. Now, I’m worried about Southampton. With this result the tie is not alive. If we don’t have a good mentality, we won’t beat Southampton. It is realistic to think that the tie is over. How many teams have come back like this?”
“If I can explain it further? We have to rediscover our level, but since the break I don’t know where it is. The first half was a repeat of the second against Brentford. The game didn’t go well, and we couldn’t expect a good result with that performance.”
Tuchel was highly critical following Chelsea’s second straight loss since returning from the international break after losing to Brentford last Saturday. He said this has not been the same team since returning to action and the changes he’s made have not adjusted.
“I tried to change things. We tried to play with a new system in the second half. We started with a big mistake. [Andreas] Christensen’s change? It has nothing to do with a single player. We are a team. We have lost our finesse since the break; we are not the same team. I have no explanation, before we were on a good run. The first half wasn’t good enough.”
While the tie is clearly over until it’s over, Karim Benzema’s hat trick on the road certainly makes it tough for Chelsea when they make the trip to Madrid on April 12. Tuchel will certainly be hard at work on strategy after a debilitating loss for his side.