Tuchel 'expected more' from Chelsea in FA Cup win at Barnsley

By Sports Desk February 11, 2021

Thomas Tuchel felt his Chelsea side showed a lack of courage and said he "expected more" from them in a 1-0 FA Cup fifth round victory at Barnsley.

Tammy Abraham's 12th goal of the season after 64 minutes at Oakwell on Thursday ensured the Blues will face Sheffield United in the quarter-finals at Stamford Bridge on the weekend of March 20-21.

That was the London club's only short on target as well-drilled Championship side Barnsley put up a great fight after being hammered 6-0 by the same opponents in the EFL Cup last September.

Tuchel switched to a back four at half-time, replacing Andreas Christensen - who took a knock on the head - and Marcos Alonso with Antonio Rudiger and Reece James.

The Chelsea head coach has overseen four wins and a draw since replacing Frank Lampard last month, conceding just one goal in the process, but wanted to see more from a much-changed side.

Tuchel, who cut an animated figure on the touchline, said: "The changes [he made at half-time] made it a little easier to get into the opponent's half and overcome the first press.

"We did it well at the start of the second half and played constantly in the opponents half. We scored the goal and I had the feeling that they increased the risk but we stepped down in the little decisions.

"Not enough courage and it was too deep for a long, long time. We clearly can play better, so yes I expected more but not in terms that I am frustrated.

"If you lack a rhythm and a bit of self-confidence and you have to show on this pitch, against an opponent that takes all the risk and plays the game of his life, that is not easy. We can do better but I don't want to be too hard on the players."

Chelsea beat the Blades 2-1 at Bramall Lane last weekend but Tuchel is happy not to be travelling back to South Yorkshire to face a team who are bottom of the Premier League and looking destined for the drop.

On playing Sheffield United in the last eight: "It’s going to be a tough one. They are a very physical team that presses high. They are organised but I am happy to have a home game. This is what we wanted."

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    Bellingham scored one and assisted one as Dortmund eased to victory in Spain on Wednesday, with other goals coming from Raphael Guerreiro, Karim Adeyemi and Julian Brandt, while Youssef En-Nesyri pulled one back for the hosts.

    Bellingham, 19, who captained the Bundesliga side, became just the second teenager to score in the first three games of a Champions League campaign.

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    Bellingham's tally of three Champions League goals this season is already a joint-high among English teenagers for a single campaign, along with Manchester United's Wayne Rooney, back in 2004-05.

    "What he's doing in his position at his age, we haven't seen," Ferdinand said, working as a pundit for BT Sport.

    "The best of our generation, [Frank] Lampard, [Steven] Gerrard, [Paul] Scholes, [Patrick] Vieira, Roy Keane, they weren't doing this.

    "He's still got to go on and prove it over a long period of time, but they weren't doing what he is doing right now [at the same age].

    "Influencing games at this level, captaining teams at this level, and mentally this kid's a beast."

    Fellow pundit and former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole added: "Along with Erling Haaland, he's the best young player in the world, that's for sure.

    "I watched him play for England over the two [Nations League] games [against Italy and Germany] and he was our best player.

    "His dad I believe was a semi-pro footballer so he's obviously been guided right... When we grew up with Frank [Lampard] and his dad was a footballer obviously, a top footballer, and Frank had this maturity about him... Bellingham's got that as well, coupled with his undoubted God-given talent and his drive, he's unstoppable."

    Bellingham has long been linked with a move back to England, having joined Dortmund from Birmingham City in 2020, with Liverpool, Manchester City, United and Chelsea all reportedly keeping an eye on developments, along with LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

    "One thing that's for sure – whoever gets him – is [his] temperament," Ferdinand said.

    "When you're making big transfers and big moves like that in the spotlight, temperament is a key element you need to get right. This kid has already proved that it isn't a question mark."

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    "I could do better and do more," he added. "I had to make better use of the assists of my team-mates, but we won. We have to improve and work with our heads down in silence.

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    "Di Maria is good, the important thing is to get the ball to him, the first and second assists were of excellent craftsmanship," he said in his post-match news conference.

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    Head coach Carlo Ancelotti warned his players against complacency after they were pegged back against the run of play by Oleksandr Zubkov's spectacular strike.

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