Thomas Tuchel said Chelsea were “rusty” but did not see the defeat coming as West Brom grabbed their first win at Stamford Bridge since 1978.
It was Tuchel’s first taste of defeat while in charge of the Blues and he lamented their poor defending as they were routed 5-2 by the relegation-threatened Baggies.
Matheus Pereira’s fine brace sparked West Brom’s stunning win on Saturday. Thiago Silva was sent off for two yellow cards after just 29 minutes as Tuchel’s 14-match unbeaten start at the Chelsea helm came to a startling end.
Brazilian forward Pereira took his two goals in first-class fashion before Callum Robinson’s double and a smart finish from Mbaye Diagne sealed relegation-battling West Brom’s first win in four league games.
Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount hit the net for Chelsea but the Blues tasted defeat for the first time since January 19.
West Brom’s comprehensive victory proved their first win at Stamford Bridge since 1978.
Tuchel predicted before kick-off that veteran centre-back Silva would not last the course on his first match since February 4 due to a thigh injury.
“Everything that went wrong, went wrong. Every shot from them was a goal.”
“It was clearly not our day today.”
“I did not see it coming.”
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 3, 2021
But the Blues’ German boss could never have predicted the manner of Silva’s premature exit, a first red card since 2013.
Tuchel told BBC Sport: “It is two games, 11 v 11 and then 11 v 10. There is no need to concede five goals when you have our quality, that’s for sure but we are all in on that. Myself included.
“We could not adapt to the situation which is a surprise as we were leading. We are normally confident enough to defend but we were sloppy and kept making big mistakes. We were punished hard and it’s tough to digest.
“I didn’t see the red card, I saw the two big mistakes in our own half before the yellow cards. That is not typical for us, we were rusty. We made easy mistakes and were punished. It was totally our fault.
Tuchel: I did not see it coming
“I did not see that second half coming. We tried to give a bit of security with a back three but we were never in a flow. We had some chances but we didn’t defend well.”
The German boss later told BT Sport he did not see the defeat coming.
“There was nothing so much until the red card came. After that we were unable to cope with the situation. I don’t know why,” added Tuchel.
“We gave away two very easy goals. What could go wrong went wrong after the red card. We have to accept the big loss. We did big mistakes before the two yellow cards. There were too many easy ball losses. It was impossible for us to accept the situation.
“Every shot was a goal from them. Clearly it was not our day today. We will get the right response. First of all it’s important we digest it. I did not see it coming, now we have to take our responsibilities – me included – and shake it off.”
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