Thomas Tuchel has been in charge of Chelsea less than a year but such has been his impact that on Wednesday he became the first manager in the club’s history to take the club to each of the League Cup, FA Cup and Champions League finals.
Chelsea completed a 3-0 aggregate win over Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup semi-final on Wednesday, yet such are the standards Tuchel has set since replacing Frank Lampard last January that he was unhappy with his side’s display in north London.
Antonio Rudiger’s bundled goal after 18 minutes made almost certain of a Wembley final as Chelsea dominated the first half as they did the first leg.
But they became distracted as Tottenham had two penalties overturned by VAR either side of half-time and a Harry Kane goal ruled out for offside. The difference in quality between the teams was evident not just on the pitch but also on the bench where Tuchel had the luxury of leaving N’Golo Kante, Thiago Silva, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz.
All would waltz into Tottenham’s current first team, yet Chelsea did offer Spurs some hope in the second half as they took their eye off the ball.
Tuchel knows better teams would punish such sloppiness and he will not tolerate a repeat at Manchester City on Saturday when defeat will surely knock them out of the title race. “We lost a bit of control, focus, some important duels and were lucky that suddenly we didn’t concede,” Tuchel said.
“We were a bit sloppy and weren’t full aware of the danger. I had the feeling on the touchline we were playing with fire.”