Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has admitted that Conor Gallagher made a ‘huge mistake’ that almost cost the Blues the game in their victory over Leicester.
Gallagher was booked twice inside the opening 30 minutes of Chelsea’s 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge, which left his teammates up against it for more than an hour.
It was also a personal blow to Gallagher, who was just beginning to establish himself as a starter following last season’s loan at Crystal Palace. Now, he will serve a suspension and it opens the door for someone else to take his place in the team.
“Today he is responsible for what he did and he knows it was a huge mistake,” Tuchel said, via ChelseaFC.com.
“We spoke briefly after the game and things like this happen. It’s not purely his fault alone because it was a set-piece for us and it’s sloppy how we take set-pieces at the moment. It’s a very bad decision for Conor so of course he’s upset because it almost kills a whole football match.
On the wider performance, Tuchel said: “We lack belief and precision so it’s not good enough. We give chances away, we are sloppy in the coverage and bad in decision-making so we have to stop and improve immediately. We are on it with the team so I don’t know why it happened again.”
Eventually, summer signing Raheem Sterling got his first two Chelsea goals since arriving from Manchester City to secure the three points.
Tuchel reflected on Sterling’s importance to the team in terms of goalscoring, especially with a general lack of recognised strikers in the squad following the departures of both Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner to Inter and RB Leipzig respectively.
“It was necessary because we need him to score,” the Blues boss said. “It’s what he does and he will score. I could feel he was not happy because he wants to score more and have more chances.
“We played today in a more aggressive shape but then we were one man down so we needed him to step up, which he did. The goals were crucial today because they gave us the belief.”