Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel admitted that first-half missed chances were behind his side’s failure to take all three points from Everton.
The Londoners were held to a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge despite dominating the game from start to finish. Toffees keeper Jordan Pickford was kept busy throughout and responded to the task. England’s number one made a string of superb saves in the first period to keep the hosts at bay.
Mason Mount finally broke the deadlock in the 69th minute. The England forward found a way past Pickford from close range after excellent work by Reece James.
But the Merseysiders were back on terms just five minutes later. Teenager Jarrad Branthwaite – on his first league appearance this term – slotted home at the far post from Anthony Gordon’s free-kick.
The Blues wasted many more chances after the break and found Pickford an immovable object at the back. And Tuchel confessed that it was tough to watch his charges surrender the advantage once again.
“Yes, of course (it is frustrating) to give away another lead,” he told BT Sport. “If we see the effort we bring in a match like this, the effort we need to score one goal and the effort the opponent needs to score an equaliser – 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 consistently and tried to bring on some energy from the bench, but it was hard. We had the lead and give it away with one free-kick.”
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Chelsea are now four points behind table-topping Manchester City and three behind Liverpool. In what is shaping up to be a three-horse race for the title, every result is vital.
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And the German tactician refused to blame a raft of absentees for the result, preferring to focus on his side’s obvious flaw.
“Football is almost never like one reason why things go this way, but one big reason is for sure the chances we missed today,” he added. “We could have been two or three up and were playing with fire. It is obvious we missed a lot of players, big personalities, regular starters, but we will not use it as an excuse.”
Next up in Sunday’s visit to Molineux to take on Wolves. Although the spread of Covid may have a say in proceedings.