Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has admitted that he did not plan to make a triple substitution midway through the second half of Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw with Real Madrid.
But the German insists that his side were starting to lose too many balls to keep things as they were.
Chelsea put themselves in a promising position to reach the final of the Champions League thanks to Christian Pulisic’s early strike as the Blues started Brighton in Valdebebas.
Karim Benzema pegged them back 15 minutes later though with a superb volley.
A midfield battle ensued, and Tuchel, who made a triple substitution on the 66 minute mark with Cesar Azpilicueta, Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic all making way, admitted that his side were starting to look jaded after a long season.
“No, you cannot plan but in this moment we lost too many balls,” Tuchel said after the game when asked if the change was planned.
“We had too many technical areas. Azpi looked very tired, Christian looked very tired. Same for Timo [Werner], he worked very hard last week.
“So no. We decide from what we see and what was necessary in the game."
Despite picking up a valuable away goal and going into the second leg in a commanding position, Tuchel appeared to be disappointed his side did not make more of their authority on the game.
"We started the game very very well, very aggressive with a lot of courage and quality,” he added.
"We deserved to win the first half, we had chances. We had a lot of half chance where we missed precision with the last ball.
"Unfortunately they scored from a set-piece and they had nothing else, we didn't allow any chances.
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"It was a disappointing score at half time. It was important we had to stay calm and not lose confidence and fight back into the game.
"I could feel today it was a very tactical game. The speed, the intensity dropped and you could feel that we are a bit tired.
“We only had two days in between two away games. We suffered a bit from that. One more day to recover would have been a chance to keep the intensity up and maybe he hurt Real Madrid.
“In the second half this was not possible and we have to live with 1-1."
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