Neil Warnock has blasted Thomas Tuchel’s post-match comments after Chelsea’s Champions League defeat to Real Madrid, claiming it was the ‘worst interview’ he has given since arriving at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea’s hopes of retaining the Champions League trophy are hanging by a thread after Real Madrid sealed a 3-1 win in the first leg of their quarter-final tie at Stamford Bridge.
Karim Benzema’s fantastic hat-trick has put 13-time winners and La Liga leaders Real Madrid in full control of the tie, although Kai Havertz’s goal shortly before half-time may give Chelsea some hope ahead of the return leg at the Bernabeu.
Tuchel described Chelsea’s first-half performance as one of the ‘worst’ since he replaced Frank Lampard as manager in January 2021 and claimed the quarter-final tie was now essentially over.
‘It is a heavy loss,’ Tuchel told BT Sport. ‘It was one of the worst first halves that I saw from us here at Stamford Bridge.
‘Individually and as a team it was by far not enough. It was far from our standards and then you lose games.
‘We had 16 shots in the second half. You can always come back and win it but when you kill the game by yourself after 45 minutes it is harder and harder.
f we keep playing like this we will lose at Southampton and then we will get hammered at the Bernabeu.’
Asked if the tie was still alive, Tuchel added: ‘No. Not at the moment, no. Why is it not alive? Because we have to find our level and I don’t know where it is.’
Former Premier League manager Warnock was shocked by Tuchel’s brutally honest assessment, claiming the German boss ‘didn’t sound good as he reflected on Real Madrid’s victory in west London.
‘That’s probably the worst I have heard from Tuchel in an interview since he has been at Chelsea,’ Warnock told talkSPORT.
‘I didn’t sense that he believed that he could turn it around. ‘I think the players have got to have the manager talking as if they can believe in him and I don’t think it was good vibe last night.
‘I know it’s 3-1 and it’s almost impossible but if you have seen these games turn on some silly coin and a goal early doors so you can’t just put the white flag up.
‘He didn’t sound good last night.’
Former Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley delivered a similar verdict on Tuchel’s post-match comments to ESPN, saying: ‘They’ve thrown the towel in already in the domestic title race and you don’t want to really hear that from a manager.
‘You want to hear something with a bit more fight and spirit, something that you’re going to take to the Bernabeu. If we get an early goal, you never know… you just never know.
‘I don’t like that from him in the press conference and he wasn’t misquoted he basically said “we’re out of this tie” and I don’t think that’s a very positive message to be sending out to be quite frank.’
Following successive heavy defeats – Brentford beat Chelsea 4-1 last weekend – the Blues will be desperate to return to winning ways on Saturday when they visit Southampton.