Frank Leboeuf believes Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel’s decision to start Marcos Alonso over Ben Chilwell in the FA Cup final defeat to Leicester City was a mistake.
The Foxes won the trophy thanks to Youri Tielemans’ incredible long-range effort in the second half.
It was their only shot on target throughout the game. Such a moment of brilliance is often the difference, particularly in such a cagey game like on Saturday.
However, from Chelsea’s perspective, not being able to capitalise on their overwhelming possession would be their biggest disappointment.
This has been the main problem for Chelsea under Tuchel, according to Leboeuf. But he also questioned some of the Chelsea manager’s decisions in the final, including Alonso’s inclusion.
“I think Alonso was a bad choice as well,” the former Chelsea centre-back told ESPN FC.
“I think Chilwell should have been in the line-up to start.
“Because he can bring more defensively, and bring something offensively that Alonso doesn’t. He can [create] space, while Alonso takes that space instead.
“That’s the main concern for me.
“And what Chilwell did at the end of the game [close to scoring the equaliser], I don’t think Alonso would have been able to do it.”
The former France international also thinks that Tuchel was late in introducing his substitutions.
“[Christian] Pulisic maybe should have either started or come on earlier,” he added.
While Alonso could be a goalscoring threat with his interesting positioning inside the box, it was certainly not as effective.
After all, there was not much space to exploit with Leicester defending with numbers at the back.
In addition to that, Alonso hardly had any crosses to anticipate with Cesar Azpilicueta playing on the opposite flank.
On the other hand, as Leboeuf pointed out, Chilwell, who tends to stay wide and is arguably a better crosser than Alonso, might have helped stretch Leicester City’s defence and create space for the inside forwards.