Blues boss claims ref lacked Tuch of class at the Bernabeu
Thomas Tuchel pointed the finger at ref Szymon Marciniak for "smiling and laughing loudly" with Carlo Ancelotti after Chelsea’s Champions League heartbreak.
Tuchel was brimming with pride at the final whistle for the manner in which his side battled back from a 3-1 first-leg deficit to be within touching distance of the semi-finals.
Goals from Mason Mount, Antonio Rudiger and Timo Werner had put the Blues in firm control against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.
But an 80th-minute strike from sub Rodrygo sent the tie into extra-time and Karim Benzema’s header proved the difference, with Real advancing 5-4 on aggregate.
And Tuchel, who was booked by Marciniak during the match, was not impressed to find the official being a little too friendly with Ancelotti at full-time.
The Blues boss said: "I think this is the very, very worst time to do this.
"After 126 minutes with one team giving their heart and desire, fighting to the very last drop.
"I know Carlo is a gentleman and a nice guy but when I wanted to go and say thank you [to the referee], I see him smiling and laughing loudly with the opposition coach.
"I think it's very, very bad timing."
Tuchel, 48, was also unhappy Marciniak did not check the VAR monitor himself when a Marcos Alonso effort was disallowed for handball in the second half.
He added: "If you play against Real Madrid you can maybe not expect everybody has the courage.
"I did not see the goal but I told him I'm super disappointed he didn't go to check it himself.
“You should stay the boss and not give decisions like this to somebody in a chair and isolated from the atmosphere.
"A referee has a certain style, things he allows and doesn't allow, so I think he should stay in charge and check it on his own, then he could explain it better.
"But this is just my opinion. Maybe it's too much to ask for in matches like this against this opponent."
Having lost the Carabao Cup final to Liverpool earlier this season, Tuchel will hope his side rebound from their Madrid disappointment to beat Crystal Palace in the FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday.