Thomas Tuchel refused to let Chelsea’s FA Cup final defeat to Liverpool get him down on Saturday, insisting he is proud of his side’s performance against the Reds.
After weathering an early storm, Chelsea went toe-to-toe with Liverpool for the remainder of the game, which needed penalties to decide after 120 pulsating minutes somehow failed to yield a single goal.
In the end, it was Mason Mount’s miss which proved decisive as Kostas Tsimikas took advantage by netting the winner, but Tuchel was adamant that Chelsea should keep their heads held high after the game.
“Like the last final, the Carabao Cup, I have no regrets,” he said. “I told the team I was proud.
“We played 240 minutes of finals against maybe the most dangerous attacking team in the world and it’s 0-0. We lose on penalties and we are disappointed and sad, but at the same time, proud because we showed everything that we need.
“I was sure during the match that the momentum was on our side, but unfortunately, I was not right.”
Tuchel then discussed the gap between Chelsea and Liverpool, highlighting consistency as the main difference between the two sides.
“We proved four times this season that we can produce peak performances to compete with them at this kind of level,” he stressed. “All the results were deserved and could’ve gone our way or their way.
“The difference for me throughout the season is they can do it Wednesday-Saturday, Wednesday-Saturday. They arrived with a big squad – everyone but Fabinho – in a good rhythm. We had many players out, N’Golo [Kante] with one training session and Mateo [Kovacic] playing with an ankle that I didn’t know was possible to fit into a shoe. This is where the gap comes from.”
Despite that, Tuchel was adamant that nobody should be doubting Chelsea’s trophy credentials.
“We have everything it takes to win trophies, we proved that by the way,” he said. “We have a Club World Cup and a European Super Cup and I don’t feel sorry this was at the beginning of the season and in winter.
“We were good in the Champions League, strong in both domestic cups. We can produce peak performances and we have the mentality in the club to shape the mentality of the players, but Man City and Liverpool have shown you need this consistently.”