Tuchel says three Chelsea players need 'to show more quality' after Manchester City defeat

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has criticised his starting front three whom he believes forced Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante to do extra work in midfield in the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday.

The Blues ended the game with four shot attempts, with only one of them being on target, and they were all in the second half.

In the first half, the visitors could barely escape their own half due to Manchester City’s relentless pressure.

Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, and Romelu Lukaku even only had 23, 26, and 21 touches overall in the game — almost half of Manchester City’s front three.

Tuchel was never going to be happy with such a performance, but he was surprisingly very open about it during his post-match interview.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

“Yes, I think Kova played a major part in it alongside NG in all of our attack,” the German told Chelsea TV when asked about his team’s better performance in the second half.

“[This] tells you the story, these are our ‘double six’ on the field, they take care about the work rate, the ball recoveries, and even take care of creating chances.

“The performance in the opponents’ half was not good enough in the first half. We lost too many balls, lack positioning and timing in counter-attacks.

“We need to step up there, we need to show more quality on this kind of level.

“[We] cannot always on Jorgi to score penalties — it’s simply like this.”

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

The German did not mention any name, but it should be obvious that he was referring to Pulisic, Ziyech, and Lukaku’s first-half display.

To be fair, Tuchel picked the team and therefore, at least shares some of the blame as well.

The manager did not have many options at the back, but he had almost all of his attackers available.

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A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.