Thomas Tuchel hails Trevoh Chalobah for playing through pain in League Cup final

Thomas Tuchel has hailed Trevoh Chalobah for playing through the pain of a thick groin injury in Chelsea’s Carabao Cup final penalty shootout loss to Liverpool.

Chalobah was caught by Naby Keita’s stray boot approaching the hour mark of the Blues’ eventual 11-10 penalties defeat by Liverpool at Wembley on Sunday.

The 22-year-old gritted his teeth through a nasty cut to the groin, even slotting home a fine penalty in the shootout – before requiring stitches in the Wembley changing rooms.

And Blues boss Tuchel admitted he had no idea how Chalobah played on after the painful injury.

“I could not believe what I saw after the match: there was surgery going on in our dressing room,” said Tuchel. “And I’m not joking, it was surgery. They were stitching him up.

“I could not believe after the match when I went in they were doing the stitches and I just heard him scream in pain while they were doing it.

“It looked horrible. I went in and saw it and it looked horrible.

“I could not believe that he played one more minute with this kind of injury – but he played the full match and scored a penalty.

“This is really big. He was really, really brave to do this, and full credit.

“It was a proper cut, very close, in the area of ​​the groin and that was open and needed to be closed.

“He was tough, very, very tough, so full respect, because it shows what it takes.”

Chelsea pushed Liverpool to the very wire on Sunday, before Reds goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher drilled the winning penalty in a stunning shootout.

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Kepa Arrizabalaga had just stepped into the fray in the closing stages of extra-time, sent on specifically for the penalties.

Trevoh Chalobah slotted home from the penalty spot during the Carabao Cup final (Nick Potts/PA)

(PA Wire)

And the Spaniard was left as the blameless fall guy when his penalty soared high over the crossbar.

Tuchel revealed he told his defeated Chelsea players on the Wembley pitch to be proud of their performance and grit, before throwing further support behind Kepa.

“I told the players on the pitch that I couldn’t be prouder of what we delivered, I was happy from the first to the last second on the sideline,” said Tuchel. “And that I could see the commitment and that I wanted them to know this.

“I wanted to give them this feedback straight away, that was more or less the message.

“Kepa took us to Wembley, he took us, we already needed two penalty shootouts, he saved the decisive penalties for us.

“So he was hugely involved and responsible that we had this final and he won the penalty shootout in the Super Cup.

“He is responsible that we have the match tomorrow, because he saved the late penalty against Plymouth in the FA Cup.

“So he did his job in a fantastic manner, but the penalties were well taken and the momentum was not on our side in the shootout.

“And to blame a goalkeeper for missing would be like blaming an outfield player for not saving a penalty.

Kepa Arrizabalaga missed the penalty that handed Liverpool Carabao Cup final victory (Nick Potts/PA)

(PA Wire)

“This is simply not his job. It’s almost like tossing a coin in the end, if all the penalties are taken so well.

“So there was no blame on him, absolutely no blame.

“I found him very focused today on training, relaxed in a way, because he had a huge disappointment about the outcome.

“So after a day off he was relaxed and trained very well.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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