CESAR AZPILICUETA fumed as Chelsea blew top spot of their Champions League group.
And now Thomas Tuchel’s holders could face a tough last 16 draw against the likes of Euro giants Bayern Munich or Real Madrid in February.
An exasperated Thomas Tuchel criticised his players’ mentality after the drawCredit: Reuters
Chelsea twice let their lead slip in Russia to miss out on top spot in the groupCredit: AP
Chelsea threw away their lead for the second match running after losing to West Ham last weekendCredit: AP
The Blues threw away a lead twice in Russia and surrendered first place in Group H to Juventus after Magomed Ozdoev’s dramatic 94th-minute equaliser handed Zenit a point.
Chelsea lost to West Ham last weekend and Azpilicueta said: “We lost top spot in the Premier League, top spot in the Champions League. We have to face the reality and analyse ourselves.”
Demanding German coach Tuchel let rip and told his sloppy Chelsea stars that it hurts to be a winner.
The draw came on the back of the defeat in similar fashion to the Hammers last Saturday as the European champions struggle with injuries and lapses in concentration.
Tuchel said: “My analysis is very clear. Our behaviour changes when we have a lead. This is something we never did and we should never do.
“We do the things we want to do at the highest level, and we push ourselves when it hurts. And it has to hurt. You have to be tired at half-time. Be fully tired. You have to play through pain. Through physical pain.
“You have to raise your level of concentration. You have to overcome adversity.
“Without all this, if you change your behaviour because of the score, you allow the possibility of getting punished. When you are unlucky enough, as we are at the moment, then it can happen to us.
“The challenge is to close the door. To minimise the possibility. And it’s very easy.
“We need a higher level of sprints, of runs, of intensity and concentration level. It’s that easy. The basics.
“The basics need to be pushed to the higher level while we are in the lead. It cannot drop while we are in the lead. This is what is happening to us right now.”
Timo Werner’s quickfire goal after just one minute and 22 seconds was rubbed out by two in three minutes by the Russians.
Romelu Lukaku equalised and Werner’s second restored the lead only for Chelsea to throw it away four minutes into stoppage time.
Tuchel said: “If you follow Chelsea you know we conceded six goals in two matches. We gave four times the lead away in these two matches. Nobody can be happy today, and nobody can be happy about West Ham.
“We had a very good first 15 minutes and then we stopped doing the things we did in the first 15 minutes in the feeling, in my opinion, that this is okay. What we are doing. That we are in charge. That we are the better team.
“But we were forgetting we were the better team because of the investment, the level of concentration, the level of physical investment.
“Once that drops five percent, 10 percent, we get punished at the moment.
“The reaction was good again. But once we have the lead we give it away again. It is for me about the level of investment that we have to do. We have to do the things, whatever the score is.”
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