Thomas Tuchel defends Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy after ‘huge mistake’ against Leeds


Thomas Tuchel has defended Edouard Mendy after the goalkeeper’s embarrassing error in Chelsea ’s 3-0 defeat at Leeds United on Sunday. Goals from Brenden Aaronsen, Rodrigo and Jack Harrison saw Leeds seal a famous win, with the Blues completely outperformed at Elland Road.

None of Chelsea’s players could really hold their head high after the game, not least summer signing Kalidou Koulibaly who was sent off late on for a needless foul. But the spotlight has been firmly placed on Mendy, who gifted the opener to Aaronsen after attempting to play out from the back and getting disposed by the Leeds attacker.

Prior to the goal, Jesse Marsch’s side had continuously pressed Chelsea’s backline and the warning signs were there for Mendy that he couldn’t dally on the ball. Speaking in his post-match interview, Tuchel acknowledged how pivotal his keeper’s mistake was to the outcome of the match but did not feel it was right to publicly or privately criticise the 30- year-old.

‘Everybody in the world sees the mistake, it’s a huge mistake in a crucial time of the match,’ the German head coach said.

‘It does not help and he’s the one that is the most disappointed because it cost us a lot today. ‘He knows himself. With these kinds of mistakes, I don’t think we need to speak a lot. He knows himself that this was a mistake and honestly, this has nothing to do with protection or no protection.’ Despite the very poor performance from the whole team, Tuchel was defiant that his side were better than Leeds and only lost because of a couple of individual errors.

He added: ‘At the start we were completely the better team and had huge chances but if you want to win the game you have to convert these chances. We gave two presents away and that was it. ‘We didn’t do what we had done for the first 20 minutes and did not execute what we wanted to do and what we had done at the beginning of the match and that’s why the game was a bit stuck.

‘We gave two gifts away which cost us the game. We had triple the amount of touches in the box but no shots and you can’t score without shooting at goal.’

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