Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said he has “no regrets” about his team’s performance in the FA Cup final against Liverpool, despite defeat.
The Blues were beaten by Jurgen Klopp’s side for the second time at Wembley – having also lost the EFL Cup final in February – and again it was on penalties.
After a goalless 120 minutes, Cesar Azpilicueta and Mason Mount failed to score from the spot, and though Edouard Mendy saved from Sadio Mane, Kostas Tsimikas won it for Liverpool with his effort from 12 yards.
It was another tight contest between Chelsea and Liverpool, having drawn both league games against one another this season, but Tuchel was not in the mood to be too downtrodden by events, despite disappointment at missing out on another cup to his German counterpart.
“Like in the last final, no regrets,” the former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain head coach said in his post-match media conference.
“I told the team I was proud. I was happy before the match to arrive with this group. We were competitive, we made life difficult for them. We struggled in the first 15 minutes, then we were excellent through whole match.
“Disappointed of course, sad, but at same time proud. I was sure we would win today, unfortunately I was not right. We have to keep going, that’s life in sports.”
Tuchel also cleared up some questions around players, with Kai Havertz not making the squad and Timo Werner saying he could not play despite being named on the bench.
“Kai did not train yesterday because of hamstring problems,” Tuchel said. “We tried everything but it was not better.”
On Werner, the German confirmed it was a hamstring issue, and added: “Timo felt uncomfortable during the warm-up and said he can not play.”
3 – Chelsea have become the first side since Newcastle United (1974, 1998 & 1999) to lose on three consecutive FA Cup final appearances, having now lost in 2019-20 (v Arsenal), 2020-21 (v Leicester) and tonight v Liverpool. Heartache. pic.twitter.com/oLjWhJtayx
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 14, 2022
Chelsea became the first team in the history of the FA Cup to lose the final in three consecutive years (2020 vs Arsenal, 2021 vs Leicester, 2022 vs Liverpool), but the 48-year-old outlined how he feels his team can close the gap on rivals Liverpool and Manchester City, with the Blues sitting 16 points behind the second-placed Reds in the Premier League.
“I think we have proved we can play with peak performances against them,” he insisted. “The difference at the moment is they can do it [consistently] but we struggle to do that. They came here with just Fabinho missing, we have had a number of players out… That is where the gap comes from.
“I think we have what it takes to win trophies. We won the Club World Cup and Super Cup, so it is not a trophy-less season.
“Good in the Champions League and did well in both domestic cups. We are capable of peak performances, but Man City and Liverpool showed you need to be on top of your game all the time.”
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