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Thomas Tuchel reveals he’s ‘very surprised’ by Chelsea star after Brighton draw

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Thomas Tuchel’s side lost further ground in the Premier League title race following last night’s 1-1 draw against Brighton (Picture: Getty)

Thomas Tuchel was a picture of frustration after Chelsea lost further ground in the title race following last night’s 1-1 draw against Brighton, but was at least encouraged by a return to form for one of his key players.

The Champions League holders looked set to secure a much needed victory, but were stunned in injury-time when Danny Welbeck headed home what, in truth, was a deserved equaliser.

Chelsea, already struggling with injuries, suffered further setbacks when Reece James strained his hamstring, while Andreas Christensen’s ongoing back struggles saw him substituted at half-time.

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For Tuchel, the one ray of optimism came in the performance of Romelu Lukaku who scored for the second game running with a bullet header and was a constant thorn in Brihgton’s side.

Lukaku returned to Stamford Bridge in the summer, but after an encouraging start his season has been interrupted by injuries and a bout of Covid.

The club-record signing looks to be back to his best, however, much to the relief of his manager whose side’s title charge has faltered badly in recent weeks.

Danny Welbeck scored Brighton’s late equaliser against Chelsea (Picture: Getty)

‘I’m surprised what he’s doing,’ said the Chelsea manager. ‘Actually very surprised, but I don’t know how long he can do it. We will try it and then we will see because nobody knows.

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‘I’m surprised because he was six weeks, eight weeks out, then when was trying to come back caught Covid and after that one training and let’s go. This is what we do at the moment.’

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Asked if his side were out of the title race, he added: ‘How should we be in it? 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?

‘Everyone else who has a full squad, everybody in training has the full power to come through this league.

‘We would be stupid to think we can do it out of Covid and injuries. Just play and everybody would be stupid to do it without 23 fit players.’


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