Tuchel: A mixed night in Charlotte and the point on the absent quartet | News | Official site

Thomas Tuchel identified many improvements to be made following our draw in Charlotte, while also providing an update on the physical condition of four of his absent players.

The Blues were held to a 1-1 stalemate after a late penalty was converted by the hosts following a Trevoh Chalobah handball. Christian Pulisic fired us in the lead from the start but we were eventually beaten in a shootout following Conor Gallagher’s miss.

The Chelsea head coach had to reflect on a mixed night in North Carolina as he felt our third final game let the result slip away.

“In general I would say we played a good first half, but unfortunately only from 80 yards out,” he said.

“The last 20 meters weren’t good enough, even in the first half. We found plenty of space to accelerate and get into the box but we struggled with our decision-making and precision in the 20 last meters.

“It just wasn’t good enough for the effort and quality we showed in the first 80 yards of the pitch. The amount of space we had and the number of attacks we created, there just weren’t enough chances or clear deliveries in the final 20 yards.

“We played a very good game in all other aspects, but in the second half it took us about half an hour to show quality and it was maybe for 10 minutes, so not good at all – not offensively, not structurally, not in the effort or hunger to be the dominant team.

Twenty-one players were in attendance at Bank of America Stadium, but Timo Werner, Cesar Azpilicueta, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Ross Barkley were all absent, with Tuchel providing an update on the quartet’s fitness after the final whistle.

“Timo had hamstring issues so we didn’t take any chances with him tonight,” Tuchel said of his compatriot.

‘Kepa had pain which made it difficult for him to feel free to move, nothing too much but we didn’t take the risk.

“Azpi took a big hit above his knee to his muscle in training. He fell on Edou [Mendy] in an accident and feels uncomfortable, but if it was a Premier League game I think we would have taken the risk. We just felt today wasn’t worth it in case he did some more damage and was out for another three or four days.

‘Ross has been feeling his hamstrings for a few days now, like Timo. It’s more of a hindrance than an injury but like the others, we didn’t think we had to take any risks at this stage of pre-season.