Thomas Tuchel Explains Why He Substituted Cesar Azpilicueta, Christian Pulisic And Timo Werner In Chelsea’s Draw With Real Madrid

Champions League News

 

Thomas Tuchel has revealed Cesar Azpilicueta, Christian Pulisic and Timo Werner were taken off in Chelsea’s 1-1 with Real Madrid as they were struggling with tiredness amid the club’s relentless end-of-season schedule.

Pulisic opened the scoring with a superb solo effort in the 14th minute of Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg as the visitors started the far livelier of the two teams at Madrid’s Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium.

 

Werner – who scored his first goal since February at the weekend – had earlier fluffed a golden chance to break the deadlock, firing a close-range strike straight at Thibaut Courtois. The Blues were soon made to pay for failing to extend their advantage while on the ascendancy as Karim Benzema equalised with an unstoppable volleyed finish on the half-hour mark.

The scoreline remained the same to set up an enticing second leg at Stamford Bridge next week and Chelsea – despite possibly feeling they missed an opportunity – will be the happier when reflecting on the result given they take a crucial away goal back to west London.

 

Reece James, Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz were introduced in place of Azpilicueta, Pulisic and Werner as Tuchel looked to inject some life into his side with 20 minutes remaining. All three that made way were dealing with fatigue and Tuchel felt it was hardly surprising given his players were given just a two-day gap after their Premier League clash with top-four rivals West Ham.

Asked to sum up the performance, the Chelsea manager told BT Sport: ‘I think we started the game very, very well and very aggressive with a lot of courage and a lot of quality. ‘

 

We deserved to win the first half, for me. We had a lot of chances, we had a lot of half chances where we missed precision in the last ball to have more opportunities to score. ‘Unfortunately, they scored from a set-piece.

We deserved to win the first half, for me. We had a lot of chances, we had a lot of half chances where we missed precision in the last ball to have more opportunities to score. ‘Unfortunately, they scored from a set-piece.

 

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