Thomas Tuchel has admitted that Aston Villa were a ‘tough opponent for Chelsea ‘again’ on Wednesday night, as he told his post-match interview.
Aston Villa were knocked out of the EFL Cup via penalties at Stamford Bridge, after both teams couldn’t be separated in normal time.
Both sides made several changes to their XI, with Villa starting with 19-year-old Cameron Archer up front, and it was the teenager who levelled the scores in the second half after Timo Werner’s opener.
Whilst the home team dominated the ball, Villa did have a number of big chances, especially when it was goalless, with Archer going through on goal on two occasions.
After losing 3-0 against Chelsea earlier on in the month, which flattered the home team because Villa had nearly 20 efforts on the opposition’s goal, they were once again a problem for the European champions.
Tuchel thinks the supporters would have enjoyed last night’s game because it was a typical cup tie and his team had to ‘fight hard’ to progress.
“It was a tough opponent again,” said Tuchel. “In the second half, we got stronger and stronger. But it was a tough opponent.
“It was a nice cup game and I think nice to watch for the spectators in the stadium, with a good end for us.
“And it feels good because we had to fight hard for it.”
Dean Smith will feel hard done by because that’s two trips to the capital where they possibly deserved more.
But the Villa boss will, no doubt, take heart from what he saw, especially from his young guns.
Archer is making a name for himself this season and it does seem as though he is next in line behind Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins.
Given that Villa play two up top, if either of them were to get injured or suspended then there is a big chance that Archer will be the one to get the nod to start.