Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has explained why he replaced Andreas Christensen in his side’s 4-2 defeat to Arsenal in the Premier League.
Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah opened the scoring for the visitors at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, before Chelsea’s Timo Werner equalized the next minute. In the 27th minute, Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe secured a 2-1 lead before Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta equalized before half-time.
But while the home side failed to beat the Arsenal goalkeeper afterwards, Mikel Arteta’s men scored two more goals.
Tuchel removed Christensen, who played 45 minutes, including a bad pass leading to Nketiah’s goal, for the second half.
“He [Christensen] said he couldn’t go any further so I guess he had some issues and that’s why. I don’t take out a player for making one mistake. I also have to say that the pitch here is difficult to play,” Tuchel said after the game against Arsenal, according to Chelsea media.
Tuchel also stated that the Stamford Bridge pitch was a “difficult” pitch that had already cost them their Champions League game against Real Madrid earlier this month.
“Maybe it sounds like an excuse, but it’s a very difficult field we have here and it’s not in our favour. The ball bounced very awkwardly for Andreas when he tried to play this ball and we also had the same mistake against Real Madrid cost us the Champions League,” Tuchel said.
Meanwhile, 22-year-old Nketiah became the first Arsenal player to score a brace against Chelsea in the Premier League since October 2011, when Robin van Persie scored a hat-trick, Goal.com reported.
After 32 games, Arsenal are fifth in the 2021-22 Premier League with 57 points, the same as fourth-seeded Tottenham. Antonio Conte’s side is one place ahead because of their superior goal difference. Meanwhile, Chelsea are in third place with 62 points.