Thomas Tuchel explains why he didn’t bring Romelu Lukaku off the bench with Chelsea losing vs Everton
The Toffees took the lead early in the second half when Richarlison pounced on an error from Cesar Azpilicueta and calmly beat Edouard Mendy to send the home fans into raptures.
Chelsea controlled possession thereafter but were unable to find a way past an inspired Jordan Pickford who made several outstanding saves, most notably from Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger.
Despite his side’s obvious need for a focal point in attack, Tuchel snubbed Lukaku and threw on wingers Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech midway through the second half in search of an equaliser.
The Chelsea manager had been forced into a change at the interval with Mateo Kovavic replacing the injured Jorginho and Tuchel insisted it was that alteration that ultimately cost Lukaku any playing time against one of his old sides.
Asked why the club’s record signing was consigned to a place among the replacements, Tuchel said: ‘Because we had to take Jorgi off and we only had three changes.’
Chelsea have now taken just one point from their last three fixtures and having looked like they were nailed on to finish in third place, both north London clubs have pulled within touching distance and could yet overhaul the Blues.
‘It is disappointing because over the last four matches we don’t have enough points for what we want and it is concerning,’ said Tuchel.
‘We have one clean sheet over the last four matches and it is far too easy to score against us. We can’t stop doing individual mistakes. We struggle to have repetitive top performances. Today was an OK performance but OK is not enough.
‘We conceded in the first minute of the second half and it becomes more difficult,. The way we gave this goal away was absolutely unnecessarily. If we keep on giving goals away it ends up in the results we have had recently.
‘We were not on the highest level. We trusted the team. Maybe we could have changed more. That is something I will reflect on personally.’
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