Thomas Tuchel says his Chelsea side were mentally and physically exhausted from their midweek Champions League win and it was hard to ‘restart the engine’ against Sheffield United.
However, the Blues continued their brilliant start to the beginning of Tuchel’s reign at the club with a 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final victory.
It is now 14 games without defeat under the German – 12 of which have been clean sheets – and the club face Manchester City for a place in the final.
Chelsea, though, were perhaps lucky to get away without conceding against the Blades, who had their own chances in the second half.
Tuchel admitted to talkSPORT after the game that his side were tired after their European exploits where they beat Atletico Madrid.
“First half was a good performance from us, we had full control. We lacked the big chances, it was hard to created as Sheffield United defended very aggressive with a huge effort,” Tuchel said.
[boxout headline=”Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel”]Games: 14
Clean sheets: 12
Goals conceded: 2
Goals scored: 17
FA Cup semi-final
Champions League quarter-final
Back in the Premier League top four
“Second half we had the chance to decide the match and after that we lost concentration, we had easy ball losses and lost control of the match.
“We allowed two big chances for Sheffield to score, we were lucky to have a clean sheet.
“I think in combination with Champions League game, I can understand it was a bit of a struggle as it was a big mental effort to overcome Atletico. I could feel the relief after the game and was not so easy to restart the engine today.
“We had a lot of changes, which is my responsibility to give the boys a possibility to show up in a difficult game because they deserve and it’s never easy if you lack rhythm and have never played in this formation maybe.
“It was 14 tough matches and I feel we are a bit tired and the result was the best result we could get.”
Chelsea have now reached the semi-final of the FA Cup with Tuchel now having eyes on his first piece of silverware at the club.
Tuchel added: “This is the target now. If you’re in the quarter-final you go for the semi-final and this was the clear target.
“We wanted to go to Wembley, no we’re at Wembley and there will be the draw and we’ll play for the final.
“This is the clear target and we’ll arrive with confidence and a strong group. Then we will see what happens.”
Troy Deeney was talkSPORT’s co-commentator for Chelsea’s win over Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge and was impressed with Tuchel’s side.
The Watford striker thinks they are a few pieces away from being possible title challenges.
He told talkSPORT: “If you can get guys up to the fitness levels he wants and playing a certain style, remember he’s learning on the job here as they still have to get results as they are practicing things.
“I’m sure the manager won’t be happy, especially in their second half.
“If they can get a striker that fits their mould and model, it’s a real team they’ve got on their hands.”