Chelsea lost the League Cup final on penalties to Liverpool in Sunday’s final at Wembley. Blues’ boss Thomas Tuchel missed on his fourth trophy in 13 months since taking the charge. Tuchel answered many questions ranging from his goalkeeper decision to Roman Abramovich’s statement after the defeat at Wembley.
Thomas Tuchel on ‘keeper decision and Kepa’s miss
Thomas Tuchel brought on Kepa for Mendy in the 119th minute for the penalty shootout. Kepa had proved his importance in the shootouts but this decision here backfired heavily. The Spaniard didn’t save a single spot-kick, and missed his penalty. Asked about was it right to substitute Mendy for Kepa, Tuchel said, “I take the decisions when I take the decisions and I can’t re-judge them when I know the outcome. We don’t know what would’ve happened if we left Edou on the pitch. No blame on Kepa. Blame on me as I’m the guy who takes the decisions. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. This is life as a football coach”. On Kepa’s miss, “We feel bad for him, of course. It was a bit harsh that he was the guy to miss the one and only penalty but there is no blame,” said Tuchel.
Kepa Arrizabalaga was between the sticks for the League Cup until Mendy replaced him for the final. The Spaniard had kept 4 clean-sheets in 6 League Cup games, and won 2 penalty shootouts for Chelsea in the process. Thomas Tuchel was questioned whether the thought to retain Kepa for final was tempting or not, to which the boss replied, “The players know and we did it before. It’s a nice subject now for you to make headlines but mistakes happen. I do mistakes, Edou did a big mistake and almost got punished. It makes easier if we have a big feeling but blame me as I take the decisions”.
On his players’ performances, VAR and Roman Abramovich
Tuchel had high praise for his players despite a disappointing final. “We have to also accept the quality of the moment, Liverpool are maybe the best attacking side in Europe at the moment. So defending like this and playing like this made me very proud today,” expressed Tuchel.
In terms of creating opportunities and players’ work-rate Thomas Tuchel said, “I had the feeling we created a bit more, were a bit more there, but maybe that is subjective. The game could’ve gone either way, we needed some momentum to win it.”
The Chelsea manager questioned the VAR after it ruled out the Blues’ three goals in the final. “It’s a bit of a weird line where it is drawn and then to make the decision it’s offside. However, it was an entertaining match of football… to be part of this was excellent,” said Tuchel.
Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich one day before the final made an announcement, stating that he has handed over the “stewardship and care” of the club to the trustees of its charitable foundation. Thomas Tuchel was asked how it impacted him and the players, to which he said, “I think it will change nothing for me on a daily basis as I understand it. I am in close contact with Marina and Petr Cech to run the first team and to give my input and take care of this and give my very best to win football matches. This will not change and I don’t think it will change with the news yesterday.”
That was all from the Chelsea boss in his post-match press conference. Tuchel would now turn his attention to Chelsea’s another cup game. The Blues welcome Luton Town in the 5th round of the FA Cup on 3rd March at Stamford Bridge.