Premier League • England

Tuchel hails miraculous Chelsea recovery as updates given on injured trio

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel v Southampton October 2021

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel admitted his side did well to get past Southampton in the Carabao Cup following a host of late changes.

The Blues had already lost strikers Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner. Nevertheless, their woe continued when Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Ruben Loftus-Cheek suffered problems.

Tuchel instead went with Ross Barkley and Saul Niguez in midfield against the Saints in the quarter-final clash. Meanwhile, Malang Sarr slotted into the defence.

Kai Havertz headed the hosts into the lead just before the break. However, Che Adams equalised two minutes into the second period. The Scotland international tapped home after Kyle Walker-Peters’ saved effort.

Still, neither side could find a winner and the game went to penalties. While Mason Mount had an effort saved by Fraser Forster, Theo Walcott and Will Smallbone also failed from 12 yards.

As a result, Reece James netted the decisive spot-kick – just as he did in the previous round.

Tuchel said after the game: “We had some last-minute changes because three potential starters got injured in training so it was not planned like this and not so many options from the bench.

“We knew it was the first time we played together like this and things would be tough against a team who put so much pressure on you like Southampton and that was the way it was.

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“It was a nice match of football, good performances by both teams and a tough match but in the end we win with a penalty shoot-out.”

Tuchel expects Azpilicueta (shoulder) to be fit to face Newcastle on Saturday. Christensen will return to training on Thursday following surgery on his tooth.

Meanwhile, Loftus-Cheek reported some discomfort in his hip on Monday.

Tuchel said he felt happy to give other players chances and that “every competition is an important competition”. He added: “The problem is we have another match now in December which is pretty full.”

Hasenhuttl proud of Southampton display

Che Adams Trevoh Chalobah Southampton v Chelsea October 2021

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl made nine changes from the weekend draw at Burnley and praised his players.

“It was a superb intense game and we had five subs which was perfect. It gave us the chance to get to penalties,” he said.

“We have done everything we could today and it was a fantastic game to watch for everybody in the stadium.

“It was a thriller and a typical cup tie. We wanted to give them a tough evening and we did, I think. It is a pity we couldn’t take the win but I am very proud of my team. Everyone did a fantastic job.”

While Chelsea play Newcastle in their next game, Southampton face Watford.

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