Thomas Tuchel challenges Chelsea to stop at lead after Zenit . draw

Thomas Tuchel challenged Chelsea to stop being fixed on the scoreboard and knock down the lead.

The Blues ended their Champions League Group H campaign with a galling drew 3-3 at Zenit St Petersburg, ranked second after Juventus.

NS Stamford Bridge The men had secured their place in the round of 16, but twice squandered control in Russia – to score their goals conceded up to six in two matches.

A frustrated Tuchel insists his players are still absorbing his message on board, but have gotten into the bad habit of relaxing before once in games.

Chelsea will jump straight from Russia to host Leeds in Premier League on Saturday, where Tuchel will demand rapidly rising standards, especially after last weekend’s 3-2 defeat to West Ham.

Tuchel said: “I wouldn’t assume you personally make the judgment that my players don’t listen to me, which I don’t find very cool but I do care about you and your opinion.

“I think we had a very good first 15 minutes and we stopped doing what we did in the first 15 minutes.

“We forgot why we were the better team, because the investment, the concentration, the level of physical investment was high enough to be the better team.

“Once this number dropped, five, 10 percent, and it happened; once we start managing the results and changing our behavior relative to what the score is we will be punished at this point.

“It happened to us at West Ham and it happened again today.

“The reaction is good again, it shows me that it’s not about what we can do, because we can.

“Suddenly when we concede two goals, we can step up, we can react. But once we got the lead, we gave back, just like today.

“In the last six minutes we started playing again, we started not attacking as aggressively, hungry as before and we were immediately punished, now twice.”

Timo Werner wear a splint and also wear loose fitting clothing Romelu Lukaku for a shot, but the Blues conceded three nasty goals in a peaceful night on the road.

A series of changes forced by injury and fatigue have affected Chelsea’s often rigid tactics, but Tuchel remains unhappy with the current situation in west London.

“My analysis was clear: our behavior changed when we were ahead and this is something we have never done and should never have done,” says Tuchel.

“We do things that we want to do at the highest level and we push ourselves and it hurts and it has to hurt.

“You have to go through pain – physical pain – and you have to raise your level of focus and you have to overcome adversity.

“If you change your behavior because of the score, you allow the possibility of punishment.

“And it was very easy; we need a higher level of sprinting, a higher level of running, a higher level of focus and intensity.

“It’s as easy as the basics. The basics need to be pushed to the next level while we’re ahead.”

Winger Andrei Mostovoy praised Zenit’s fighting spirit in the draw, but refused to award the Russians top prize for their Group H campaign, with Sergei Semak’s team now falling in Europa League.

“We showed our character and I think the result is very good for us,” said Mostovoy.

“Accessing the Europa League is the minimum goal for us. So I rate our Champions League as C-plus.

“We had great moments against Juventus at home and it was really disappointing when we lost. I think third place is justifiable.” Thomas Tuchel challenges Chelsea to stop at lead after Zenit . draw


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