05 March 2022

Thomas Tuchel says big away win proves Blues players are in right frame of mind

05 March 2022

Thomas Tuchel believes Chelsea’s second-half display in their 4-0 win at Burnley proved he and his players have not been impacted by the uncertainty since Roman Abramovich put the club up for sale.

It has been a turbulent week at Stamford Bridge with Abramovich initially saying he was handing “stewardship and care” of the club to its charitable foundation on the eve of the Carabao Cup final defeat to Liverpool, then putting Chelsea on the market before their FA Cup trip to Luton.

Tuchel criticised fans who chanted Abramovich’s name during a minute’s applause to show solidarity with Ukraine before kick-off at Turf Moor – telling them “it is not the moment for this” – but could have no complaints with how his players responded as they blew Burnley away with four second-half goals.

“It is possible obviously because we do it,” Tuchel said when asked if his players could shut out the noise.

“We had a brilliant match at Wembley and to make it harder a disappointing result at the end, and three days later we were at Luton, a totally different set-up, different circumstance, we were twice behind in the game but we turned it around and job done.

“Three days later we arrive at Burnley and you know at Turf Moor what’s waiting – physicality, direct play, fighting for second balls, crosses, set-pieces, and again we stepped up.

It shows for a me a lot of character. It shows the guys have what it takes to play for Chelsea.

“It shows for a me a lot of character. It shows the guys have what it takes to play for Chelsea. It shows we have the environment to focus on football. We believe we are allowed to focus on football and we do it as good as possible.”

The match ended as Chelsea’s biggest away league win since they won 4-0 at Turf Moor in October 2018, but only after a first half in which Burnley had the better chances despite Tuchel’s side bossing the ball.

It was a different story after the break as they scored three in nine minutes. Reece James fired Chelsea in front two minutes after the restart, then had a hand in the next two as Kai Havertz bagged a brace before Christian Pulisic capitalised on James Tarkowski’s mistake to add a fourth.

“We were very calm (at half-time),” Tuchel said. “We just reminded everybody what we wanted to, where the spaces were, where to find acceleration. Clearly up front we needed to ask more questions and make life more difficult.

Chelsea’s Kai Havertz scores their third goal against Burnley (Martin Rickett/PA) (PA Wire)

“But the goal opened the game for us and gave us a lot of belief and confidence. Then the attacks were more fluid and we were absolutely more decisive.”

Defeat keeps Burnley stuck in the bottom three and puts a sizeable dent in their goal difference as they conceded four goals for the first time since a 4-0 home defeat to Leeds last May once safety had already been assured.

Before the break Dwight McNeil shot over an open goal after Edouard Mendy failed to hold an Ashley Westwood cross while Wout Weghorst saw a first-time shot cleared off the line by Thiago Silva, but it all fell apart after the break.

“You hope you’re not going to pay for (missed chances) but we did,” Dyche said.

Sean Dyche reflected on a bad eight minutes (PA) (PA Wire)

“I thought we were excellent in the first half, the game plan we set out was delivered and the players kept it nice and tight with an excellent shape.

“I had no complaints at half-time but then at the start of the second half it was a really poor goal and that just affected us clearly for eight minutes of madness.

“Sometimes in football you can concede but it shouldn’t stop you doing what you’re doing…I was really confused by that eight or nine minutes and we’ll debrief that with the players because it’s not like us.

“I considered taking all 11 off for eight minutes and if I could have, I would have.”

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