Football

Tuchel rues missed chances in 1-1 draw with Real Madrid

Ex-Chelsea midfielder Cole says Real 'were there for the taking' in 1-1 draw

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said his side should have wrapped up their Champions League semi-final, first-leg tie with Real Madrid in the first half yesterday morning (Singapore time) and rued missed chances in the 1-1 draw.

American attacker Christian Pulisic fired Chelsea in front in the 14th minute at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano, and the visitors created plenty more opportunities in the first half as 13-time winners Real struggled to make any inroads.

Yet, Chelsea's inability to score a second away goal proved costly as Karim Benzema's fine effort levelled things up before the break. It was his side's only shot on target in the opening period.

"I have a feeling we should have won the first half and we could have perhaps decided this game in the first half an hour, when we were playing so strong," Tuchel told the BBC.

 

 

"The second half was a tactical game and you could feel we only had two days in between two away games, which made it physically and mentally demanding and you could feel it in the decision making.

"We suffered a bit and an extra day would have been nice."

Germany striker Timo Werner, who has scored just three goals for club and country in 2021, was again guilty of missing a gilt-edged chance on ten minutes after failing to beat Thibaut Courtois from six metres.

Said Tuchel: "He missed a big one at West Ham and now he's missed a big one here, that does not help... He is sad, he is angry and disappointed."

Chelsea defender Thiago Silva's wife Isabele also seemed frustrated, posting on Instagram: "Every team I go to there is a striker who keeps missing goals... this Werner, what is his name?'

"We need a goal, we need to win this match but my attackers don't want to score."

Former Real and Liverpool winger Steve McManaman offered an explanation, telling BT Sport: "Everyone labels Timo Werner as not a natural finisher and yet again it proved right tonight."

Ex-Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole agreed that the Blues were let down by their finishing.

He told BT Sport: "Chelsea are great ball drivers. (Mason) Mount, Pulisic, they drive with the ball and can take the ball up the pitch but one thing that lets them down is the finishing touches...

"Real Madrid were there for the taking. I don't think they will play as bad as that in the second leg. It was a good result but could have been better."

Real coach Zinedine Zidane, meanwhile, was pleased with the result. He said: "I'm so happy with the players because we're still alive. We struggled a bit for the first 25-30 minutes but then we improved...

"We are good at pressing teams high up the pitch but our opponents were very good."

Football