Chelsea have now drawn four of the last five games of any kind against Brighton, and we’ve now drawn four of the last five at home in the league as well — all four 1-1 in fact. Perhaps tonight’s draw was inevitable then.
At the same time, this game could’ve gone so many different ways, with so many potential turning points in the 90 minutes. César Azpilicueta hit the post. Mason Mount had a goal ruled out for a supposed foul. Christian Pulisic got kicked in the area and neither referee deemed it worthy of a foul. We failed to take advantage of an easy 2-v-1, and we missed a myriad of other great openings that won’t have registered on the xG totals. Chelsea were the better team early and late; Brighton dominated in between. They scored at the very end, just when it looked like we might straggle over the finish line.
All that probably adds to the sense of frustration, not just for the fans, but for the coaches as well. Thomas Tuchel certainly feels like the fates are against him at the moment, with Chelsea also picking up two more injuries, to Reece James and Andreas Christensen.
“We started very, very well until the injury for Reece James, which was a huge blow. Andreas was until then one of the top players on the pitch. [Then] with NG we were again much better, had huge chances and honestly, I would never usually say it but we have 100 per cent a penalty against Christian Pulisic, a 50/50 challenge from Mason Mount before the equaliser.
“The ball is going into the net, why does he need to whistle before the ball is over the line? Why? We have VAR to check, why can we not wait? If he decides then it is a foul then decide it but why is he so sure? Does he want to keep the tension up? The penalty is a joke, honestly a joke, not to interfere from VAR.”
Chelsea are eight points off the pace set by Manchester City, who’ve now won ten in a row. Even if conditions were ideal for us, that would be a hard pace to match. And conditions are far from ideal.
“We have simply way too many players with who we don’t know what we can demand. We have long injuries, they come from Covid, I simply don’t know what they are capable of doing.
“[So] how should we be in [the title race]? We have seven Covid cases. We have five or six players out for six or more weeks. How should we compete in a title race? [We] would be stupid to think we can do it out of Covid and injuries.
“[But] this is the reality, this is where we are and we have to adapt to the demands of the situation which you are in. This is what I am saying. I competed very hard for the win at Brighton at home.
“I don’t know what I can expect from my players in terms of physicality, intensity or minutes. Nobody knows anymore because we have never done something like this. We play trial and error and see what I can do. I will protect my team. We can play better but we need the full squad over weeks and weeks.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
Time to let this negative energy go.
Liverpool are up next. The title may be out of reach already, but there’s plenty left to play for this season, including the top four, not to mention four potential trophies in the League Cup, FA Cup, Club World Cup, and of course the Champions League.
Through adversity we grow stronger.