Three things Tuchel got right and one he got wrong as Chelsea suffer title blow
Chelsea fell further behind Manchester City in the Premier League title race after being held to a draw at home to Brighton, with the Blues also suffering injuries to Reece James and Andreas Christensen.
Thomas Tuchel’s men made hard work of their clash with the Seagulls, who dominated the second-half and forced Edouard Mendy into several impressive saves.
But it was Chelsea who went ahead through Romelu Lukaku’s first-half goal, with the Belgian heading in from a corner after 28 minutes.
Brighton put the hosts under pressure after the break and secured a remarkable draw when Danny Welbeck headed in in the first minute of injury time.
Here, Daily Star Sport looks at three things Tuchel got right and one he got wrong as Chelsea slipped further back in the title race…
Following a bout of COVID-19, Romelu Lukaku had started Sunday’s trip to Aston Villa on the bench, before turning the game on its head after coming on at half-time.
Tuchel admitted following the game that he had ignored medical advice by handing Lukaku so many minutes so it would have come as little surprise if he again started as a sub.
Instead though, Lukaku started up-front, providing the presence that the Blues have been lacking in his absence.
The Belgian won five duels and five aerial battles, as well as scoring the crucial goal in the first half to put Chelsea ahead.
Who was your man of the match as Chelsea defeated Brighton? Let us know in the comments section…
Experience at the back
Cesar Azpilicueta ‘close to joining Barcelona’ as Chelsea face losing another defender
Though Thiago Silva had been ruled out injured, Tuchel still had several options when it came to the make up of his back three.
Ultimately, the Chelsea boss went for experience, with Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen starting the game.
That trio kept Brighton’s terroriser in chief Neal Maupay relatively quiet, with the striker having only 18 touches, losing three duels and having an Expected Goals ratio of just 0.07 in the first-half.
Azpilicueta also helped Christian Pulisic to adapt to his right wing-back role, a position the American has little experience in.
James against Lamptey
While Reece James was forced off through injury after only 27 minutes, by that stage he had successfully negotiated the challenge offered by Brighton star Tariq Lamptey.
James started the game as the Blues’ left wing-back as Tuchel looked to counter the threat of the Seagulls’ pacy right-back.
The Chelsea defender restricted Lamptey during his time on the pitch, with his pace matching up well against the Brighton man’s.
Attempt to kill the game
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Two of Tuchel's substitutions were injury-enforced, but he used his third and final permitted change to attempt to kill the game.
With Brighton stamping their authority on the game and putting major pressure on Mendy's goal, the Blues boss brought on N'Golo Kante for Callum Hudson-Odoi.
The move to introduce the Frenchman was an attempt to reinforce what had become an embattled Chelsea midfield, who were being overrun by Brighton.
But instead, it led to Chelsea falling further and further back into their defensive line, which Brighton exploited to claim a draw.
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