In Chelsea’s 1-0 Premier League loss to Arsenal on Wednesday,
Thomas Tuchel took responsibility for the team’s thoughts drifting to Saturday’s FA Cup final.
Jorginho’s misplaced back-pass forced Kepa Arrizabalaga to parry off his own line,
allowing Emile Smith Rowe to score the game-winning goal at Stamford Bridge.
After a video assistant referee review, a Christian Pulisic effort was chalked off for offside,
while Rob Holding was spared punishment for blocking Mason Mount’s shot with his hand on the goalline.
At the death, Kurt Zouma and Olivier Giroud both struck the crossbar within seconds of each other,
but Chelsea were unable to break through and suffered only their third defeat in 26 games under Tuchel.
The frustrated German was tempted to blame Chelsea’s luck, but insisted instead that he must shoulder responsibility for making seven changes ahead of the FA Cup final against Leicester.
You can say now, it’s an easy one to say, that this is a completely lucky win, and nobody can argue with that, because Arsenal did not deserve to win,” Tuchel said.
However, I don’t want to go because we didn’t deserve it because we lacked the necessary energy and focus.””Perhaps I also sent some signals to the team.
This is not how we approach things, whether it’s one percent or five percent,
because you’ll be punished. It’s difficult to swallow and accept, but there’s no other option.
Of course, and maybe, I don’t know if we should have gotten a penalty for handball in front of the line to save a clear goal,”
Tuchel continued when asked if the Jorginho-Kepa error had been pivotal.
It wasn’t even checked, and when you concede a goal like this, you can’t score from your best opportunities.
However, we were not on the pitch with the same energy in the end,
and it was difficult to come up with a big intensity with the same passing.”
We weren’t sharp enough, didn’t have the same energy, hunger, or attitude, and didn’t play as well as we used to. As a result,
the onus is on us. It was completely unnecessary, but it is what it is.”
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta hailed his side’s first win at Stamford Bridge in a decade and insisted that his side has not given up hope of qualifying for Europe next season.
We haven’t won here in ten years, so this is a huge win for the club, the fans, and the players,” Arteta said.
“The players demonstrated how serious they are, how much spirit and attitude there is in the group, and how much they care.
It’s probably important to show it to the outside world, but they don’t have to
show me how much they care, how hard they work, or how hard they try.
However, it was most likely a strong message for those on the outside.
Because Europe is still mathematically possible,
we must continue to give ourselves the last chance while it exists.”