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'I was in a very dark place' - Chelsea boss Tuchel admits Solskjaer's Man Utd caused worst defeat of his career

22:30 GMT 26/02/2021
Thomas Tuchel Chelsea 2021
The Blues boss recalled one of his famous defeats in the Champions League and lauded Kai Havertz ahead of Sunday's game

Thomas Tuchel has admitted that PSG's defeat to Manchester United in the last 16 of the Champions League was the most difficult loss of his career so far.

In March 2019, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side came to Parc des Princes 2-0 down after a first-leg home defeat and amid an injury crisis, but overturned defeat in the final moments for a famous European victory. After the match, current Chelsea manager Tuchel admitted he entered a "dark place."

Tuchel faces Solskjaer again with Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday in a match that will have implications in the battle to finish in the top four.

What Tuchel said

"I can be very honest after that match I was two days in a very dark place and I can tell you I was not able to speak to anybody and to think about anything else [other] than this defeat," Tuchel told reporters ahead of Sunday's clash.

"That was maybe the worst defeat that I experienced because it came from nowhere. In the circumstances that it arrived, I was for two days in a dark place for a coach to be at.

"There is no way you can compare these two games with each other. I told you how I felt after this defeat in the Champions League. We all know that defeats are hard to digest.  Am I a good loser? So so. Maybe not so much, but show me a good loser on this level.

"I would love to turn it around. We love the competition and we love to win and we love a good fight for it, and this is what we will hopefully get on Sunday."

What kind of shape are Chelsea in ahead of kick-off?

Chelsea have everyone fit except Thiago Silva as they aim to climb back into the Champions League places after dropping to fifth place through a 1-1 draw with Southampton last weekend.

Kai Havertz returned to action after three weeks on the sidelines in Tuesday's 1-0 win at Atletico Madrid. Tuchel explained that only injury has held back his progress in west London.

“For me, it’s easy to explain. Since I arrived, the only thing that kept him from making a big impact is his injury, nothing else," Tuchel said.

"I see a committed guy, I see a guy who made a brave decision to move abroad at a young age and to go out of his comfort zone and accept a big challenge in a big team, in the biggest league.

"I see a totally clear guy who is totally aware of that, full of talent, unlimited talent and I see a play who will have a big impact in Chelsea, I’m absolutely convinced because the mix gives me that feeling that he can have a big role in this club and he is absolutely determined to fulfil his role.

"He is a unique player. It’s not so clear where he needs to settle. Does he need to settle on one special position? Or is he kind of a hybrid player? Today, I would say he’s in between a nine and a 10, something in between.

"He’s very comfortable in the box; he’s very comfortable in high positions, he’s very good at offensive headers, he has good timing to arrive in the box, good finishing, good composure in the box, around the box, and very comfortable in high positions so between nine and 10.”

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