Thomas Tuchel revealed Chelsea’s coronavirus epidemic has affected their championship contenders after Everton drew 1-1 on Thursday. After the latest Covid-19 injury, Tuchel’s team was missing Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, and Callum Hudson-Odoi. Ben Chilwell, who was injured, also tested positive, while Kai Havertz was unable to participate due to illness. The Blues have missed Mateo Kovacic, who is recovering from an illness he had in December.
Chelsea struggled to break down Everton until Mason Mount scored halfway through the second half at Stamford Bridge.
With 16 minutes remaining, Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite scored his first Everton goal despite dominating from start to finish.
Chelsea’s defeat against a struggling Everton team depleted by injury and sickness was a hammer blow.
“It is hard to swallow. We missed big chances to get the result in the first half and second half we did not find the rhythm,” Tuchel said.
“One big reason is for sure the chances we missed. We could have been two or three up and were playing with fire.
“We didn’t have anyone on the bench. We put the last guys in that we available and we are missing big personalities and quality.”
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Tuchel’s third-placed squad is currently four points behind table-topper Manchester City.
Chelsea has won just two of its past five league games, falling behind City and Liverpool.
Tuchel declined to say whether he thought the Premier League should temporarily pause the season owing to the Covid instances.
“I don’t want to get involved in the political stuff. If they decide we have to play we play,” he said.
“We are all worried about Covid. It’s close to us, we had four positives. Other games get canceled, ours didn’t.”
Everton manager Rafael Benitez was pleased with the draw, as his team has been winless in their last 11 league matches.
The Everton fans unfurled a banner reading, “Benitez – get out of our club” before kickoff.
After their team’s latest disappointing result, Chelsea supporters booed after the final whistle.