Antonio Rudiger Premier League Fate Proves Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea Nightmare Has Been Repeated
Few inside Stamford Bridge could comprehend the madness ensuing in Saturday’s second half as Brentford put four past Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea to accomplish one of the shocks of this season. The Blues’ seven-game winning run in all competitions was emphatically ended by Thomas Frank’s inspired Bees who responded to a wonder strike by Antonio Rudiger, netting three goals in a bizarre 10-minute period that silenced the home crowd and condemned Chelsea to their first league loss since mid-January. As pointed out by the stats account OptaJoe on Sunday morning, Chelsea became the first side in Premier League history to score the opening goal of a match in the second half but then go on to lose by a margin of three-plus goals. Thomas Tuchel has certainly broken a lot of records at Stamford Bridge since being appointed in January 2021, but this is one record the German will not want on his CV. Although the stat does illustrate how rare such a collapse was in England’s top tier. The final score was 5-2 after Christian Pulisic had given Chelsea the lead in the first half, a second-yellow for Thiago Silva turned the tide and an inspired Baggies soon took full advantage of Chelsea’s disharmony, netting two before the interval. Three more followed in the second half as Tuchel’s first heavy defeat rocked an in-form squad, one that would lift the Champions League crown over a month later. “You need to be patient, have a fluid rhythm, be very intelligent and also very clinical to take little chances and have that first goal and break the block down. Once we had it, we stopped defending and gave three goals away in ten minutes which is very untypical and gave the game away for us,” Tuchel said to reporters after the Brentford defeat. “I don’t know why. We gave a big chance straight away after the goal, and then the next one was a goal. From there, we did not defend mature enough. We were not aware of the danger in these moments which is also very strange for us. We got punished. They made the most of these ten minutes which is maybe not normal. So it’s a summary of strange events but it’s on us and it’s our fault.” These types of capitulations have been very rare under Tuchel, remaining solid and resolute throughout his tenure, largely building off a stable defence and balanced midfield, two things that were non-existent in Saturday’s disastrous second half. Chelsea will have little time to dwell as they face Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday night.