Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has explained his half-time substitution in Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat against Real Madrid in their Champions League quarter-final clash on Wednesday night.
The Blues could not contain the red-hot Karim Benzema at Stamford Bridge, with the Frenchman scoring a stunning hat-trick to give the Los Blancos an advantage going into the second leg.
Andres Christensen had a torrid time against Vinicius Jr on the left flank, and Tuchel, seeing his side trailing 2-1 at half-time, made a double change, bringing in Mateo Kovacic and Hakim Ziyech while changing the formation from a three-man defense to a back-four.
“We wanted to change the formation and to turn things around because I think personally there was enough where we could hurt them but we were so far off our level in everything the game demands – tactically, individually, in shape.
“We tried to play in a new formation but we killed the game off with a big mistake after three minutes. It was a tactical change and like always it’s never on one or two players, it’s on all of us and I’m included in this,” he said.
Having fallen behind to two quick-fire Benzema goals, Kai Havertz scored the Blues’ consolation just before the break, but an Edouard Mendy mistake two minutes into the second half gifted the Frenchman his hat-trick.
Tuchel and company will now focus on the weekend Premier League clash against Southampton, before next week’s return leg at Santiago Bernabeu.