Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel bemoaned his side’s individual errors after their shock 3-0 defeat at Leeds United in the Premier League on Sunday.
Goals by Brenden Aaronson and Rodrigo gave Leeds a 2-0 lead at half-time before Jack Harrison added a third after the restart as Tuchel’s side collapsed, with Kalidou Koulibaly shown a second yellow card late on.
The result means 12th-placed Chelsea have just four points from their first three league games, three behind Leeds who moved second.
While Jesse Marsch’s men were fully deserving of their win after a fine performance, Tuchel felt his team were the makers of their own undoing after goalkeeper Edouard Mendy made a mistake for the opening goal in the 33rd minute, and moments later the hosts scored from a free-kick.
“We can play on a high level and today we lost track,” Tuchel told the press in the post-match conference.
“Everything was going well and I still believe we can win with this team in Leeds. I think it’s more our fault than anybody else’s credit.
“Because we gave away an own goal and then we concede from a set piece. We were able to cope with their style, be the better team, be two goals ahead. But then we give two goals away and then the belief and body language was not like it was in the last match.
“I think we lost it in the first 20 minutes. Instead of 2-0, it became an even match and in that even match, we gave two goals away and then the game is almost done because we give away the spirit and belief.
“Second half we tried, but it’s the same story. We had half chances, shots, we cannot score, and we concede from a half chance.
Tuchel admitted the mistake by Mendy was a huge blow.
“He knows himself. With these kind of mistakes, we don’t have to speak a lot. It’s a huge mistake in a crucial time in the match. It does not help and he’s the one who is most disappointed.”
To rub salt into the wounds, Koulibaly was shown his marching orders for a needless second yellow with five minutes remaining.
Tuchel said: “We cannot get frustrated in Premier League games. It should be pure joy to play in an atmosphere like this.”
Asked if his team were shocked off the back of conceding late in the 2-2 draw with Tottenham last weekend, Tuchel responded: “I’m not shocked. I’m analysing a match. We did too much different stuff that cost us the chance to create more chances. Still we did not invite pressure or invite more chances.
“For me the story is that we were not all over the place. With the ball we were not sharp enough. Against the ball we were fine.
“A set-piece and an own goal tell the story today.”