Thomas Tuchel admits Chelsea were ‘lucky’ and ‘lacked courage’ against Barnsley as Tammy Abraham goal sends Blues to FA Cup quarter-finals February 12, 2021 – Posted in: Soccer
Thomas Tuchel admitted his Chelsea side were ‘lucky’ to scrape past Barnsley in the FA Cup fifth round and believes they ‘lacked courage’ at Oakwell.
Tammy Abraham saved Chelsea’s blushes with a second-half winner as his side scraped through to the quarter-finals with a 1-0 win.
Abraham struck the tie’s only goal from close range, but it was tough luck on Barnsley, who put up a valiant effort.
The Sky Bet Championship side had the game’s best chances against Thomas Tuchel’s mis-firing Blues.
But they fell short in their bid to pull off a repeat of their club’s heroics against Chelsea in the same competition 13 years ago.
The Tykes produced a huge quarter-final upset in 2008 when Kayode Odejayi headed their winner, but this time they paid the price for failing to take their chances.
New boss Tuchel, who was taking charge of his first ever FA Cup since replacing Frank Lampard, admitted the Blues were somewhat fortunate to have progressed.
“Yeah super difficult, we were lucky and we have to admit we were lucky in some situations,” he told talkSPORT’s Sam Matterface.
“We had Kepa who saved two big chances in the first half and we had Tammy who saved the win on the goal line with his head and his clearance.
“We struggled at the beginning of the game; then it was a better second half, we changed the structure to help escape the pressure a little bit more easy.
“We did this so the second half we could control the game a bit more easily in the opponent’s half which made us more comfortable and it made it harder for them to defend.
“In these minutes, we could score and it was a very good goal which I like a lot thanks to an excellent run from Reece and a finish from Tammy.
“But then again, the opponent took a lot of risk and played a very physical game and we had difficulties to cope with it and win second balls or win challenges for the first balls.
“Again, we ended the game in the last 15 minutes way too deep and we could not push the game into the opponent’s half and in the end we have to admit we were a little bit lucky, but it is not forbidden to be lucky in the cup.”
The German cut a frustrated figure at Oakwell, with the bitterly cold temperatures not slowing down his frantic touchline antics.
But when asked what frustrated him the most, the former PSG man suggested his new look Chelsea side needed to be braver.
He added: “We were lacking courage and we were lacking the moments, the little moments where we have to show the quality and the precision to come behind the last line.
“It was a rough day for us. I tried to help, I was energetic and I tried to push everybody but it was difficult today and we have to accept.”