Thomas Tuchel cut an understandably disappointed figure after our 3-0 Premier League defeat at Leeds United, as he felt we had initially started the game well, before losing our way and then conceding goals we shouldn’t be.
It was certainly a tough trip to Elland Road for the Chelsea head coach, as we came close to taking an early lead on a couple of occasions and had a Raheem Sterling goal ruled out for offside, before conceding twice in the space of five minutes to leave ourselves with a mountain to climb.
The manner of those two first-half goals was also disappointing, with the first coming after Edouard Mendy hesitated on the ball and was dispossessed by Brenden Aaronson a few yards from goal and the second as Rodrigo beat everyone to a set-piece at the near post after we had conceded a soft free-kick in a dangerous area.
However, Tuchel believes it was the moments immediately before those two goals which really made the difference in the match.
‘I think we lost it in the first 20 minutes,’ he said. ‘We created enough chances and half chances to be 1-0 or 2-0 up and then we lost the discipline, we lost the repetition in doing what we wanted to do and what we did okay in the first 20 minutes.
‘For 20 minutes we did it and then we did too much of our own ideas, too much different stuff, which cost us the dominance, cost us the chance to create more chances, but still we did not invite pressure, we did not invite chances, we were not in chaos.
‘This is not the story. We were not all over the place, we did not lose our discipline against the ball. With the ball we were not disciplined enough, we were not sharp enough after 20 minutes, but against the ball everything was fine. It was not like we could not cope with anything.
‘It’s a set-piece and a huge mistake and until then it should only have been one team and that’s us. There was enough in the first 15 minutes to kill that game, to bring it in the minimum into the direction where it was last season, when we scored the opening chance, did what we did and had a comfortable win. It was possible.
‘Instead of 2-0 to us it became an even match, we gave two goals away, two cheap and unnecessary goals. Then the game is almost done because you lift their spirit and their belief.
‘In the second half we tried but it was the same story. We have deliveries, we have chances, we have shots but we cannot score and we concede by a half-chance.
Tuchel doesn’t believe we had any problems with Leeds’ style or work-rate…
‘We scored an own goal and gave an awfully cheap set-piece away and conceded from a set-piece. It had simply nothing to do with pressing, simply nothing to do with running less kilometres, nothing to do with the style of Leeds. We should not confuse these things.
‘We were able to cope with that style, we were able to be the better team, we were able to be one or two ahead, but we give an own goal and a set-piece away.
It’s nothing to do with anything else and from there of course it’s 2-0 and their belief is on its top level and our body language from there, even from 10 minutes before, was not like it was in the last match.
‘That’s how I felt it. It is surprising because you cannot be frustrated if you are playing Leeds, mistakes will happen.
But I do not see the connection with the style of Leeds. You know it’s coming and the things which cost us the match were nothing to do with the style.
‘We will always have set-pieces to defend, which we need to do better, at the same level we did last season, because we don’t at the moment.
The second, it is an own goal. But my job in particular is to create the structure that can create chances, big chances, and then we cannot allow big chances against us.
We did both, but even if we did both we managed to lose 3-0, so it is a bit tough to analyse.’