Thomas Tuchel’s decision to leave Romelu Lukaku on the substitutes’ bench as Chelsea chased an equaliser against Everton was “nonsensical”, according to Frank Sinclair. The Blues lost 1-0 against the relegation-threatened side on Sunday afternoon to prompt concerns over their efforts to finish third in the Premier League.
Tuchel’s side have held third place for the majority of the season, but wins for Arsenal and Tottenham on Sunday saw the gap reduced with four games left to play. Chelsea have now won just one of their last four Premier League games after Jordan Pickford inspired Everton at Goodison Park.
Richarlison put the hosts ahead in the 46th minute when he seized on a mistake from Cesar Azpilicueta to beat Edouard Mendy. Chelsea dominated possession and pushed for an equaliser, but were frequently thwarted by Pickford.
Tuchel brought on Mateo Kovacic, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech in the second half to no avail. The German manager’s substitutions left former Chelsea defender Sinclair bemused, with £97.5million summer signing Lukaku unused in the match.
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Rather than bemoaning their efforts in front of goal, the Chelsea manager appeared more concerned about his side’s recent defensive record. “We hate to lose, we are responsible for it, it was our responsibility in Old Trafford to not have more – we struggle to have consecutive clean sheets and top performances and that is why we lost today,” he told Sky Sports.
“We have to be without mistakes, disciplined in your positions and don’t make mistakes. When you have that much possession, we did not play our best match but we were in control, and then we gave a goal away and it kills the game for us because it is everything the opponent wants. It is a huge pattern in our season.”
Chelsea will look to bounce back when they host out-of-form Wolves at Stamford Bridge on Saturday before travelling to Leeds on May 11. They play Liverpool in the FA Cup on May 14 before concluding their season with Premier League games against Leicester and Watford.