Thomas Tuchel said he was disappointed but not angry with his Chelsea players after their FA Cup final defeat and claimed they were ‘simply unlucky’ to lose to Leicester City.
Tuchel’s men were favourites going into the final and had plenty of possession, limiting Leicester to a handful of half-chances. But Youri Tielemans scored a wonder goal after 63 minutes and Chelsea could find no response.
‘It was a goal out of nothing,’ said Tuchel. ‘I am disappointed with the result but not angry with the performance or my boys. We were simply unlucky, and at times you need luck to win games.
Thomas Tuchel cut a frustrated figure as Chelsea came up short in the FA Cup final at Wembley
The German feels their game against Leicester City on Tuesday is the first of ‘three cup finals’
The last of those is against Premier League winners Manchester City in the Champions League
‘We defended very, very well. But maybe our decision-making in the final third was too hurried and unprecise.’
Asked if it was inexperience from young players, he said: ‘I felt we were too hectic, but I’m not sure it is to do with age. Hakim (Ziyech) is not so young, nor Timo (Werner), but we can improve there.
‘It has stuck with us throughout the season, a lack of composure and precision, but nothing that holds you back from winning. We had the same issues in other games when we were able to score.’
Chelsea face Leicester again on Tuesday in the Premier League as they chase a top-four place, followed by Aston Villa on the final day and then Manchester City in the Champions League final on May 29. Tuchel said: ‘We have three cup finals coming up and it’s about bouncing back.’
On Saturday, Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta had a chance taken from him by team-mate Werner, who was poor again, and then Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel made two superb saves late in the game to deny Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount.
‘We had a big chance with Azpi, the best of the game,’ added Tuchel, ‘and then again with Mason, and a fantastic save by Schmeichel, and then an offside goal that was very close.
Timo Werner toiled once more and diverted a header past the waiting Cesar Azpilicueta
Mason Mount was denied by a phenomenal save from Kasper Schmeichel in the second half
‘We were unlucky today. I thought we deserved to win but accept it was not to be today.’
Tuchel had no complaints when Chilwell was judged by the VAR officials to be offside when Wes Morgan put through his own goal in the 89th minute.
Yet the German expressed his frustration that Tielemans’ winner was not ruled out for a handball earlier in the move by Ayoze Perez.
Tuchel had no complaints about Chelsea’s late goal ruled out for offside against Ben Chilwell
However, the German felt that Leicester’s goal should have been chalked off for handball
The ball appeared to deflect off Perez’s leg on to his arm before Tielemans’ moment of magic.
Tuchel said: ‘I didn’t see it but my assistant saw it on the monitor and the players said it was handball straightaway. I don’t understand any more when they need to punish (handball) or it’s OK to play with the hand.’