Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel says he still has total belief in his centre-forward Timo Werner after the German striker followed up a disappointing miss against West Ham United at the weekend with another fluffed chance against Real Madrid on Tuesday night.
Werner was picked out by a cushioned Christian Pulisic header after nine minutes in Madrid, but, six yards out and with just the goalkeeper to beat, Werner was unable to convert.
Chelsea went on to open the scoring anyway through Pulisic during a dominant opening 20 minutes at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano, but the miss was the latest disappointment in a season that has not gone to script for Chelsea’s big-money signing.
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“He missed a big one against West Ham, now he missed another big one here,” Tuchel told BT Sport after the 1-1 Champions League semi-final first leg draw.
“That does not help, but it also does not help to cry about it or to regret it all the time. It is like this. There are millions of people who have harder things to deal with than chances that you miss, so this is the good thing about sports – nobody cares tomorrow.
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“Today we were sad, we were angry in the moment, this is normal,” Tuchel continued. “He is angry. He is maybe disappointed. Tomorrow he has a free day and the next day he has to put his chin up. He is a professional guy, a top guy, he works hard.
“He is in positions and from there, on we go. We will never stop pushing, we will never stop believing and I have the feeling that everybody accepts the situation like it is and as a striker it is easy, you score the next game and nobody speaks about it.”
Karim Benzema’s brilliant equaliser saw the game end all-square ahead of the second leg at Stamford Bridge. But Tuchel saw enough in his Chelsea side’s performance to take confidence into the next match in a week’s time.
“We played a very strong first-half, we should have won the first half,” he said. “Unfortunately we were a bit unlucky and lacked composure and decision making in the opponent's box. Maybe we could have decided this match very, very early in the first half an hour when we were playing so, so strong.
“Next week we have to face another challenge against Real Madrid, it will be another tough one because it is the Champions League semi-final, nothing is sure.
“It is half time and we need to fight for every centimetre and advantage that we want to have, we need to fight and to deserve it.
“We only had two days in between two away games. Those games were every demanding physically and mentally so you could feel that in the decision making and some ball losses and acceleration.
“One more day would have been great for us. Now is the challenge to enjoy a free day then forget this result. We suffered physically. We defend together as a team. The strikers have their job. We defend as a block as 11 people.
“I don’t feel that we are pointing fingers. The strikers are the first guys who want to score and be decisive and to do it for themselves.”
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