Boss Thomas Tuchel met 10-man Chelsea’s 5-2 Premier League capitulation at the hands of relegation battlers West Brom with kid gloves.
Tuchel tasted defeat for the first time at the Stamford Bridge helm, with his club-record 14-match unbeaten start coming to a crushing end.
Tuchel insisted Thiago Silva’s 29th-minute red card for a second booking turned the game but the German manager also conceded the Blues were off colour throughout a dispiriting defeat.
Refusing to read the riot act in the dressing room at full-time, Tuchel insisted he would delay any lengthy post mortem until Sunday’s training session at the Blues’ Cobham headquarters.
“We cannot lose our heads now and take away the trust we have in these players,” said Tuchel.
“It was the moment after the game to be honest, be calm and to tell everybody to breathe.
“This will be a hard evening for everybody.
“We had completely different plans how to start this match day so we have to accept it now, it’s our first loss together.
“It’s important to find a way to deal with it together.
“So there were some quick words to calm everybody down and delay the talks until tomorrow because it would be too emotional now and too much frustration, so that would not be productive enough.
“This is my responsibility. I trusted this line-up and I still think the line-up was strong enough now in this game.
“We were rusty, we were sloppy in the build-up in our own half and made many, many unforced errors.
“We didn’t adapt our positions under pressure.
“We gave away easy ball losses that led in the end to a red card and that cost us the game.
“There were two games, a game 11 against 11 and the game where we were a man down afterwards.”
Matheus Pereira’s fine brace sparked West Brom’s stunning west London rout, inflicting Chelsea’s first defeat since January 19.
Callum Robinson bagged a double of his own and Mbaye Diagne also hit the net for the Baggies’ first league win at Stamford Bridge since 1978.
Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount struck for Chelsea but the Blues were bested in every department by Sam Allardyce’s side.
Baggies manager Allardyce hailed a victory which gives the men from The Hawthorns a fighting chance of Premier League survival.
“It just gives us hope, I think that perhaps on the quality of the performance and the way we demolished Chelsea, perhaps it gives us a little bit more than hope,” said Allardyce.
“It gives us hope that maybe we can reach this performance again starting a week on Monday against Southampton.
“It keeps us going, it keeps us alive.
“We can’t complain about the quality of this performance, the outstanding performance of all the players.
“They demolished Chelsea with an undefeated team since the new manager arrived.
“People cannot say that Chelsea were under par, and not that they went down to 10 men, they must say, and you must say, it was because of the quality of our performance.
“They were off form because we were so good.”