Tuchel puzzled by Chelsea’s slump after Everton draw

After Chelsea’s 1-1 draw at home to Everton, head coach Thomas Tuchel says he is baffled by his side’s drop in form.

Thomas Tuchel gestures from the sidelines during Chelsea’s EPL contest against Everton.   -  REUTERS

Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel said he was baffled by his side’s drop in form after a 1-1 draw at home to a struggling and under-strength Everton on Thursday, saying it was not just down to the absence of key players through injury and COVID-19.

The result left Chelsea in third place, four points behind Premier League leader Manchester City after 17 games.

“For me it’s not so easy to analyse why we are dropping points,” Tuchel told reporters. “I see teams concede much more chances than we do ... We conceded absolutely nothing and still it’s a draw.”

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Chelsea, which failed to capitalise on its early dominance over Everton, went ahead in the 70th minute with a Mason Mount strike, only to let in an equaliser four minutes later when Jarrad Branthwaite connected with an Anthony Gordon free kick.

‘Disappointed’

The result had echoes of Chelsea’s recent 1-1 draws at home to Manchester United and Burnley, both which the Blues also dominated in terms of chances created. “I am not so sure right now why we get punished like this,” Tuchel said. “We will not look away. The dressing room is very disappointed, I am very disappointed of course.”

Tuchel refused to blame the poor run on injuries to key players such as Romelu Lukaku or an outbreak of COVID-19 at the west London club which sidelined Lukaku and fellow strikers Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi for Thursday’s game.

Kai Havertz was also out with illness and was waiting for the results of a COVID test. “Of course, we suffer, for sure,” Tuchel said. “But there is never one reason for a lack of results that we clearly have right now.”

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