Tuchel takes blame
Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel made a Louis van Gaal-like substitution at the end of the extension of the League Cup final against Liverpool on Sunday.
It turned out to be a disastrous decision, as Kepa Arrizabalaga was unable to save any of the eleven penalties and was the only one to miss from 11 meters.
“Of course we feel bad for Kepa. It’s sour that he is the only one who missed a penalty, but I don’t blame him for that,” Tuchel told Sky Sports .
Tuchel’s substitution in the last minute of extra time was reminiscent of that of Orange national coach Van Gaal in the quarterfinals of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Against Costa Rica, Jasper Cillessen had to make way for Tim Krul, who became the hero a few minutes later by saving two penalties and helped the Netherlands to a place in the semi-finals.
Tuchel took the blame after things went horribly wrong at Chelsea. “I’m the one who makes the decisions, so blame me and not Kepa. Sometimes things you think of work out and sometimes they don’t, that’s the life of a football coach.”
Tuchel takes blame for failed ‘Tim Krul change’
‘No one has to sleep badly from this defeat’
Tuchel’s substitution was all the more remarkable because first goalkeeper Édouard Mendy had a handful of good saves in the game. “We don’t know how it would have turned out if I had left Mendy,” said the German. “We have made this substitution before, because Kepa is slightly better at penalties.”
Kepa shot his penalty high himself. That the 27-year-old Spanish goalkeeper became the schlemiel at Wembley was pure bad luck, according to Tuchel. “It is of course very unusual that eleven players have to take a penalty. He took it in a hurry, but we can’t turn that back now.”
“Just as we can no longer change the fact that I decided to make this change. I have to make decisions at the moment and it is very easy for others to make a judgment about it afterwards.”
“Anyway, I just told my players in the dressing room that nobody should sleep badly from this defeat, especially Kepa. We played a great game and in the end one team has to lose in a final.”
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