“Of course.” That was the blunt two-word answer Thomas Tuchel gave after being asked whether or not the 2-2 draw with Wolves felt like a defeat. Tuchel saw his Chelsea side go 2-0 up at Stamford Bridge, but the points were shared after goals from Francisco Trincao and Conor Coady.
“It’s about the structure, where you lose the ball, individual positions, then opponent takes a crazy approach because they have nothing to lose,” Tuchel said about Chelsea’s performance in the last 15 minutes. “We could not score the third one, huge chances to score the third.”
Chelsea had been in cruise control before Trincao’s strike, with Romelu Lukaku scoring a quick-fire brace to put the Blues two goals to the good. The 28-year-old scored his first and second Premier League goals in 2022 – and they were much-needed.
The draw for Chelsea means the Blues are now four points above Arsenal in fourth place, but the Gunners could reduce the gap to just one point should they beat Leeds United on Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, Tottenham picked up a surprise point at Anfield to dent Liverpool’s title chances, but it did put Spurs five points below Chelsea.
Below, football.london goes through some of the biggest talking points from the match at Stamford Bridge. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below …
Lukaku proves Tuchel right
Tuchel hinted on Friday afternoon that Lukaku could start against Wolves – and it turned out to be true. The Belgian started as the No. 9 for Chelsea, with Kai Havertz dropping down to the bench.
As he is in most of his press conferences, the Chelsea head coach was asked about Lukaku’s situation in his pre-match press conference. Tuchel insisted that the striker remains a part of his plans going forward and also described him as a “big player”.
“I want him to be an important part of the squad,” Tuchel said on Lukaku. “Right now, he is a very important part of the squad next season. There is no way, no recruitment, no players about to leave because it is simply not possible.
“If the situation changes, we need anyway to adapt all the time to contractual situations, individual situations of the players, what we want and think, and what the development will be. We signed a big player, and he is still a big player . “
Lukaku proved Tuchel right on Saturday afternoon with a superb performance. It was the type of display Chelsea supporters thought and hoped they would be getting from the striker when he re-signed for the club in a £ 97.5million deal last summer.
Chalobah’s decision causes confusion
Plenty of Chelsea supporters were left baffled on social media, with Tuchel opting to bring on Malang Sarr instead of Trevoh Chalobah, who ended up being an unused substitute. Sarr entered proceedings with three minutes of the 90 remaining.
Cesar Azpilicueta, who was not at his best against Wolves, was the man replaced for Sarr. Chalobah, who hasn’t featured since last month’s 1-0 victory over West Ham United, seemed the obvious option to come on and see out the 2-1 lead at the time.
Chalobah has made just one appearance since the international break in March. Whatever is happening remains a mystery. The Cobham graduate has been superb when called upon this season – in what is his breakthrough campaign with the senior team.
Tuchel was asked about Chalobah and his situation before the 4-2 defeat to Arsenal last month. He said: “Trevoh played a lot and has had a very, very good season so far.
“He had a little dip in form some weeks ago, but for many weeks, he is back in full shape in training. We had a talk recently, but I can not prove [what he said] with minutes and game minutes at the moment, but he is exactly at the level where he was at the beginning of the season.
“It’s impressive because he overcame this kind of period where things felt a bit more difficult for him during the winter period. He had some mistakes and was not so comfortable on the pitch or as reliable as he used to be. Now he is back to full strength. He just needs to be patient. “