Chelsea boss Tuchel slams Stamford Bridge pitch after Arsenal loss – ‘Not in our favour’

Chelsea v Arsenal: Pictures

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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel accepted blame for tactics and team selection after losing 4-2 at home to Arsenal on Wednesday evening, but proceeded to point out difficulties with the Stamford Bridge pitch during his post-match press duties. Blues defender Andreas Christensen was excused for his individual error which led to the Gunners’ opening goal as Tuchel pointed out that the same pitch trouble had hurt them before. 

Chelsea and Arsenal played out a breathless encounter in which Eddie Nketiah rewarded Mikel Arteta’s faith with an impressive brace at Stamford Bridge. The youngster was joined on the scoresheet by Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka, with Timo Werner and Cesar Azpilicueta’s duo of first-half goals proving to be in vain. 

After the final whistle, Tuchel was regretful about his team’s individual mistakes. Andreas Christensen clumsily gave the ball away for Nketiah’s opener, but the boss also pointed out unusual issues with the home pitch. “We need to have the tactics right, it’s doubtful if I had this right, and you need the team selection right, it’s doubtful I got that right,” he admitted.

“It is a very difficult pitch we have here. It’s not to our favor. The ball bounces very awkwardly in front of Andreas… We had the same mistake against Real Madrid.”

Tuchel was predictably spiky after the disappointing defeat, and his verdict will come as unwelcome news for those that take care of the grounds in west London. The Gunners, meanwhile, made better use of the conditions on Wednesday evening and boosted their chances of finishing in the top four. 

The boss was forced into several tough selection calls just three days after a taxing FA Cup semi-final date at Wembley against Crystal Palace. In the cases of Christensen, Romelu Lukaku and Malang Sarr in particular, Tuchel may wish he had kept them on the bench after a pair of dismal displays. 

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