Thomas Tuchel says that Chelsea’s first-half performance in their 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid was “one of the worst” halves he has seen from his side.
Karim Benzema scored a hat-trick for Los Blancos as the La Liga leaders took a giant step towards qualifying for the Champions League semi-finals.
Benzema tears Chelsea apart with a *real* perfect hat-trick
The holders of the competition now face an uphill task if they want to retain their crown.
Tuchel told BT Sport: “It is a heavy loss, and it was one of the worst first halves that I saw from us here at Stamford Bridge.
“At this kind of level you cannot play like this, individually, as a team, from all of us it was by far not enough. We were far, far, far from our standards, and then you lose games.
"If we keep on playing like this we will lose in Southampton and then we don't need to think about the Bernabéu – we will get hammered in Bernabéu."
Thomas Tuchel isn't mincing his words this evening 😡
🎙 @TheDesKelly | #UCL pic.twitter.com/vMo33viXQz
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 6, 2022
“If you have this goal (scored by Havertz) you have the energy back and we had in the second half I think 16 shots. You can always come back, you can equalise, you can win.
“But if you kill the game yourself after 48 minutes, it is harder and harder of course. Still we had chances to make it 3-2, which could be crucial, but not today.”
Tuchel added: “We don’t have to go to Madrid (next) – we have to go to Southampton (on Saturday).
“I think this is very, very important to process this first, absolutely crucial. I will make sure everybody processes this, because this is the absolutely most important thing now.
“Because if we keep on playing like this, we will lose at Southampton, and then we don’t need to think about the Bernabeu – we will get hammered in the Bernabeu.”
Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti insists it was a “good night” for his side but has reiterated that it is only halfway through the tie.
“Played well,” the former Chelsea boss said. “Good control of the game, good build up from the back, dangerous counterattack. It was a good night but it is only the first half of this round.
“It was really good. We showed good organisation defensively. We had a fantastic performance up front from Benzema. A good performance.
“We have an advantage. We have to prepare for the next game in the league and then Tuesday will be another game. We have a lot of respect for this team who were the winners of the last Champions League.”