Thomas Tuchel has outlined his reasons behind his satisfaction over Chelsea’s penalty shootout win over Southampton in the Carabao Cup.
Chelsea needed penalties to progress into the quarter finals as Che Adams struck the visitors level in west London on Tuesday night after Kai Havertz’s opener just before the half-time interval.
It was an evening of last-minute changes. Chelsea left it to the last point to book their spot in the next round, but it started with the lineup.
Tuchel was forced to make late changes to his starting XI, which saw him make six on the night, as Ruben Loftus-Cheek (hip), Andreas Christensen (teeth) and Cesar Azpilicueta (shoulder) were all ruled out through issues.
It left the Chelsea boss scrambling around to change the team with the trio expected to initially start against Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
Chelsea had to hold on to get to spot kicks with Southampton applying late pressure on the hosts’ goal but Kepa Arrizabalaga was up to the task to keep them out, ensuring no last-gasp winner was netted.
Tuchel spoke to media post-match to explain why he was happy with the performance and result despite needing penalties.
“We were expecting it to be difficult,” said Tuchel.
“We had some last-minute changes. Three potential starters got injured in training yesterday. It was not planned like this, so we had not so many options from the bench to not overuse players.
“We knew it was the first time we played together in this selection and we knew it would be tough against a team that put so much pressure on you. That’s the way it was.
“It was a nice match of football from both teams, a really tough match, and in the end we are happy to win the penalty shoot-out.
“When you play Southampton you know what you get, intensity, high pressing, a team full of courage and speed.
“It’s their identity. You have to accept things get tough, and the challenges are constantly there. That’s why I am happy with the performance and the result.”
More Chelsea Coverage
- Report: Chelsea in talks with Cesar Azpilicueta over new contract
- PSG defender Marquinhos denies Chelsea transfer rumours
- Report: Andreas Christensen set for further talks with Chelsea regarding new contract after feeling ‘undervalued‘
Follow Absolute Chelsea on: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube