Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel slammed his team’s first-half performance in their defeat by Real Madrid, describing it as “one of the worst” he has seen at Stamford Bridge.
The reigning Champions League holders have work to do in the second leg of their quarter-final tie after going down 3-1 against a Karim Benzema-inspired Madrid.
Benzema’s hat-trick proved crucial as former Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti, who only travelled to London on Wednesday after returning a negative COVID-19 test, enjoyed a victorious return to the Bridge.
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The France international put Los Blancos in control with a brace of headers in the first half – in which the Blues won just 14 of their 36 duels – while capitalising on Edouard Mendy’s mistake to complete his treble just after the restart.
That made it back-to-back home defeats for Tuchel’s side, who were also thumped 4-1 by Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday.
Chelsea have suffered back-to-back home defeats for only the second time under Thomas Tuchel, also doing so in April last year. The Blues have, however, shipped 3+ goals in consecutive matches at Stamford Bridge for the first time since October 2012. Breakdown.
Next up for the Blues is a trip to Southampton next weekend before the return leg at Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday.
Tuchel did not hold back in his assessment of the performance and feared the consequences should his players not raise their levels.
Tuchel told BT Sport: “It is a heavy loss. It was one of the worst first halves that I saw from us here at Stamford Bridge. Individually and as a team, it was by far not enough.
“The first half was so from any standards that we set ourselves that we cannot complain when we lose.
“We had 12 shots in the second half. You can always come back and win it but when you kill the game by yourself after 45 minutes, it is harder and harder.
“If we keep playing like this, we will lose at Southampton, and then we will get hammered at [Santiago] Bernabeu.”