Thomas Tuchel was in no mood to look ahead to Chelsea’s blockbuster clash with Liverpool after watching his side give up more ground in the title race by drawing with Brighton.
The Blues led for over an hour thanks to Romelu Lukaku’s 28th-minute opener but Danny Welbeck came off the bench to snatch a point for the Seagulls in added time.
The 1-1 stalemate means Chelsea have dropped points in three of their last four Premier League fixtures and leaves them eight points behind imperious leaders Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola’s side were also in action on Wednesday night and beat Brentford 1-0 to make it 10 top-flight wins in a row.
If the growing gap at the top of the table was not enough, Tuchel’s woes were compounded by injuries to Reece James and Andreas Christensen.
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The Chelsea manager has been a vocal opponent of playing fixtures with numerous players on the sidelines and a growing number ruled out through coronavirus.
With Ben Chilwell out for the season and James suffering a hamstring complaint, Tuchel declared he has “no wing-backs” during a bitter response to a question about Sunday’s encounter with Liverpool.
“We need[ed to make] another two changes because of injuries. In the dressing room they are completely exhausted,” the German told Amazon Prime Video.
“It’s the same subject every single match day now. We have two injuries again.
“We have players who normally need to be out after 60 minutes. That’s the point, nothing else. No prognosis. Hamstring injury (Reece James).”
Quizzed on how the draw could affect his preparations for Liverpool, Tuchel interjected: “No need to look ahead [to the Liverpool game]. Liverpool can try to find players who are ready to play.
“We have no more wing-backs. Everyone’s injured. Players come back from Covid situation and we are playing, playing and playing.
“I will always protect my players. First of all we need to digest this and talk about the next game.”
Tuchel also claimed Chelsea were subject to a “horrible decision” and that nothing went their way after Christian Pulisic went down under Joel Veltman’s challenge early in the second half and the penalty appeals were waved away.
“We had a horrible decision from the referee,” the former Paris Saint-Germain boss said. “It was a clear penalty for 2-0. Not even checked. So, everything [was] against us.”
Tuchel added: “Very frustrating, of course. Very disappointing because we gave everything.
“We had enough big chances to decide the match and it was a very intense match.”