Thomas Tuchel praised his Chelsea team’s “strong” first-half performance against Newcastle United but was puzzled by the sudden drop in intensity after half-time.
Chelsea has now climbed to fourth in Premier League thanks to the 2-0 win over Newcastle on Monday.
It doesn’t really matter now, but looking at their first-half performance the scoreline should have been more comfortable.
Chelsea went from having 12 shots in the first 45 minutes to having just six after that, while the visitors went from two shots to eight.
Even Tuchel found it “strange” that his team allowed the intensity to drop after the break.
“[In the] first half, we didn’t allow any counter-attack, we created many chances, many high recoveries — it was a strong performance,” the German told Chelsea TV.
“In the second half, we lost the quality in decision-making.
“The first three or four minutes, [Newcastle already had] two shots and two corners, I think.
“It was a bit strange, I don’t know why it was like this.
“Maybe we had the feeling that we don’t want to lose what we built in the first half.”
While Tuchel regretted the missed chances they had from counter-attacks after the break, he praised the determination of his players.
“The fighting spirit is there, and we can rely on that,” he added.
“We have another clean-sheet and another deserved win, so i’s good, and we can still improve.”
Newcastle’s shifting their gears likely played a part, as well as several Chelsea players’ having a dip in their performances after a brilliant first-half display, as pointed out by Frank Leboeuf.
Looking back, the timing of Tuchel’s appointment seems to be well-planned.
The new boss came into office with relatively easier fixtures in front of him.
This allows him to spot the problems, such as the performance inconsistency against Newcastle, ahead of the upcoming tough run of fixtures, starting with the Champions League trip to Atletico Madrid next week.