West Bromwich Albion have been struggling to score goals all throughout this season but on Saturday against Chelsea, Sam Allardyce’s men put the ball in the back of the net five times.
The Baggies won the match 5-2, taking full advantage of the home side going down to 10 men after Thiago Silva was sent off for picking up his second yellow card. The Blues looked clueless from the moment they went down to 10 men but according to Thomas Tuchel, his players failed to come up with the goods even when they had everyone on the pitch.
The manager said in his post-match press conference: ‘The game that was 11 v 11 which was not our best game, I was not super-happy, but I did not expect too much after the international break and an early kick-off, so that was still okay for me.
‘But 11 against 11 we were sloppy in the counter-attacks, we had big chances with those and we were again not precise enough and again we missed a lot of opportunities to finish this game early.
‘I didn’t feel us over-confident, I didn’t feel us arrogant or without the effort. West Bromwich started to defend very deep, we had high ball possession and we were better and better in the game and we created good moments, good ball recoveries high up the pitch, but still when it was 11 v 11 we had crucial ball loses in our own half, which produced two set-pieces around the box.
‘So I was a bit more concerned about our positioning, everything seemed a bit rusty and more rusty than yesterday and the day before in training. That is why I was surprised.
‘Then the second story of the game is that we were not able to adapt to going one-man down. There is absolutely no need to concede five goals if you are one-man down with our quality, and our defending was clearly not on the level it used to be. For the tactical choices it is of course my responsibility. There is no other solution than to accept it and move on forward to tomorrow.’
This game was clearly sliced into two parts, the first one when Chelsea and West Brom had the same number of men on the pitch and then the one when the Baggies took advantage of Silva going off.
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Many pundits think the home side would have somehow managed to nick a win if Thiago Silva hadn’t been sent off but Tuchel will be more worried about the fact that his side do not look particularly threatening when going forward. Yes, they have been rock-solid in defence but the goals have dried up for the time Tuchel has taken charge at the club.
Next up, Chelsea will face Porto in the Champions League and the players will be eager to put this embarrassing defeat behind them and start off with a win in the two-legged quarter-final draw.