Thomas Tuchel curses injuries and Covid as Chelsea are ten points behind Man City for the big clash
Thomas Tuchel curses injuries and Covid as Chelsea are 10 points behind Manchester City for the top two… but the Blues boss hasn’t given up on the title hunt just yet
- Chelsea travel to Manchester City 10 points behind their title rivals
- Thomas Tuchel lamented injuries and Covid in analyzing why the Blues are behind
- But the German boss claims his Blues side hasn’t given up on the title race yet
- Tuchel believes Pep Guardiola’s City have not suffered as his Chelsea side has
Thomas Tuchel’s bold statements about the pursuit of Manchester City may have lost their threat, but Chelsea are not ready to give up the pursuit just yet.
“We would like to be closer,” Tuchel said on the eve of today’s lunch clash at Etihad Stadium. “We would like to have more points. We are never happy when we stand behind our own standards and this is where we are.
‘At the same time, we have confidence. We are still hungry. The season is not over. We will never give up. We will try to bring out the very best.”
Thomas Tuchel claims Chelsea haven’t given up on Premier League title fight with Man City
Chelsea are 10 points behind Pep Guardiola’s City (left) for Saturday’s top two
Winning Tottenham in their Carabao Cup semi-final second leg on Wednesday saw Tuchel secure his third cup final as Chelsea boss – although he’s not afraid to admit the title is an award he craves.
“I don’t know if we can do it in 18 months, it depends on many factors, but I have the desire to win the Premier League with Chelsea,” he said. ‘A definite yes.
‘Will I be unhappy for the rest of my life if we don’t make it? Maybe not, but I’d be absolutely furious with myself if we didn’t try. So we will try and not hide that this is the goal.’
Tuchel’s team beat Pep Guardiola’s three times in six weeks at the end of last season, culminating in their Champions League triumph in May.
Tuchel admits he wants to add Premier League trophy to last year’s Champions League title
When they added Romelu Lukaku and City failed in a bid to beat Harry Kane, a real title race seemed to beckon between them and Liverpool, but 11 wins in a row have once again made the champions clear, on course for a fourth title in five years.
Chelsea are higher in the Premier League, but no closer in points than when they sacked Frank Lampard almost a year ago.
“The biggest difference is that they coped better with injuries and the Covid situation,” Tuchel said. “Maybe lucky, maybe they’ll do better. Fewer injuries to key players, fewer days out and fewer weeks of missing them. They have not suffered as we have.’
Tuchel’s point revolves around Mateo Kovacic, injured in training and out for six weeks before rushing back after a day of training due to a Covid outbreak at the club.
Tuchel has suffered from injuries like Mateo Kovacic (above) this season when we look at why City are leading the way
“Key players are key players because they have this huge influence on your dressing room, on your team,” explained Tuchel, who named N’Golo Kante and Thiago Silva as absentees who were also sorely missed and who lamented the distress of his defensive unit.
Central defender Andreas Christensen is the last to test positive and will miss Saturday’s game at City. Kenedy has been recalled from a loan at Flamengo, nearly four years after his last appearance for the club.
The Chelsea boss claims the Brazilian has the chance to revive a career at Stamford Bridge. “This is a huge opportunity for him to make his mark at this club,” Tuchel said. “We will push and support him as best we can. We can’t say Kenedy is the solution, but he can be a solution.
“We have injuries to the fullback. We have suffered a lot. We’ve suffered a lot in midfield from Covid and injuries, and with the midfielders coming back, we’re suffering in central defence.”
Blues defender Andreas Christensen is latest Chelsea player to test positive for Covid
Chelsea are also seeking to recall left-back Emerson Palmieri from his loan spell at Lyon and are considering a move into the transfer market to bolster with a full-back on the right.
City won at Stamford Bridge in September, overcoming their own struggles with Covid to clearly top the festive calendar.
They also fought back from behind to win in stoppage time at Arsenal on their last Premier League outing.
Chelsea seek revenge after City won 1-0 at Stamford Bridge in the reverse game
“Don’t make mistakes, win tight games, push luck on their side, so at some point you have to be honest and accept it,” Tuchel said admiringly.
“They are the benchmark, the best team in England at the moment. Delivering results at a level of consistency, quality. They opened the gap not in recent months, but in recent years.
“We have to go above and beyond to take City and be at the top of the Premier League. To outdo you just need everyone and if you have news like we had about Andreas – who is out after waiting so long for him to play after injury – that’s a bit of a knockdown, a mental setback for everyone. ‘