- Chelsea conceded a stoppage-time equaliser to finish as Group H runners up
- Tuchel observed that his side had a tendency to “change behavior’ when they take the lead
- In his post-match press conference, the German urged his side to stop focusing on the scoreboard
Thomas Tuchel recently launched a scathing, yet rare attack on his Chelsea players after an entertaining 3-3 draw against Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League.
The Blues rounded off their group campaign on Wednesday, finishing second behind Juventus.
Things would have been very different if the London club had not conceded a last minute equaliser.
Timo Werner opened the scoring for Chelsea in the second minute, but Zenit did well to turn the game on its head with two goals in quick succession from Claudinho and Sardar Azmoun.
Romelu Lukaku would then go on to restore parity after an assist from Ross Barkley, before Werner once again gave his side the lead after being set up by Christian Pulisic with five minutes remaining.
Despite the impressive comeback, there was more drama later on as Zenit’s substitute Magomed Ozdoev struck a brilliant half-volley deep into added time to ensure the game ended in a stalemate.
What Tuchel said
On the dramatic draw, Tuchel said his side ‘changed behaviours’.
"We had a very good first 15 minutes and then we stopped doing the things we did in the first 15 minutes," the German observed as quoted by BBC.
"We were forgetting why we were the better team. Our behaviour changed when we had the lead and this is something we never did and we should never do.
"If you change your behaviour because of the score, you allow the possibility to get punished. It's as easy as the basics. The basics need to be pushed onto a higher level while we are in the lead."
Last 16 draw
The draw for the last 16 will take place in Nyon Switzerland on Monday, December 13, with Chelsea likely to face a tough side now that they finished second in their group.
Since all English sides proceeded to the knockout stages, Chelsea’s likely opponents are down to a select few as they cannot draw an English side or a side that is from their Group H.
In the other game on Wednesday, a much-changed Manchester United side managed a 1-1 draw against Young Boys in their final group game.
The tie saw Red Devils interim boss hand fringe players and the youth minutes under their belt to prove their worth as he changed his entire XI of the side that beat Crystal Palace at the weekend in the Premier League.
Source: Sports Brief News