Premier League • England

Thomas Tuchel threatens Chelsea no-show after stinging claim the Premier League won’t like

Steve Pearson
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel

Thomas Tuchel took aim at the Premier League after calling into question the decision not to postpone their match with Wolves despite late disruption.

Chelsea sought to have their clash with Wolves postponed after suffering further positive Covid cases ahead of the match. “We are deeply disappointed that our application was rejected as we felt we had a strong case for postponement of today’s match on the grounds of players’ health and safety,” said a Chelsea spokesman.

However, the Premier League ruled the show must go on. What resulted was the Blues dropping further points in the title race.

Chelsea came closest to scoring through makeshift striker Christian Pulisic. The American was twice denied by Jose Sa, with Leander Dendoncker spurning Wolves’ greatest chance at the other end.

The two sides cancelled each other out for much of the contest. As a result, the 0-0 draw saw the gap to leaders Man City rise to six points after they cruised past Newcastle.

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Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Tuchel said: “I don’t care about the point.

“I am pleased with the performance, especially in the second half. The first half was a bit of a struggle for us, we had to grow into the game.

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“Some players [Trevoh Chalobah and Christian Pulisic] had to adapt to new positions. We are not lucky enough in these moments to win games but I am happy with how we played. It was nice to coach from the sideline.

“Wolves don’t concede many chances or goals. We could not expect to create an awful lot but we tried and never stopped trying. The second half was very strong and given the circumstances I am happy with the performance.”

“If they make us play… shall we not arrive” – Tuchel

On the Covid-19 situation and the game going ahead, Tuchel insisted player welfare was overlooked on Sunday. In doing so, he also hinted Chelsea could refuse to turn up for their next match with Brentford if burdened with even more positive cases.

“I gave my opinion, the club gave its opinion,” added Tuchel. “We talk a lot about safety and protecting the players, not so sure we did this today. On we go.

“If we have tomorrow and the next test and the next positive I would like to speak to the Premier League about what they expect. If they make us play against Brentford shall we not arrive or not train? What should we do?

“Everyone is allowed to have an opinion. We had an opinion and the Premier League had an opinion. We agree to disagree.”

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Tottenham making big push for Chelsea favourite

Meanwhile, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is reportedly prepared to splash out ‘huge’ wages in an effort to convince Antonio Rudiger to swap west London for north London.

Football Insider claims that Spurs sporting director Fabio Paratici is working hard on a deal to land the imposing Germany centre-back on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Signing the 28-year-old would be a massive coup for Tottenham, especially with Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and PSG also chasing his signature.

However, to get their man they will have to break the bank in terms of wages. Players that move on free transfers do tend to demand greater salaries and signing-on bonuses, and that is what Tottenham will have to do to agree to snap up Rudiger.

Levy and Paratici also have to deal with the fact that foreign clubs can agree a pre-contract with the defender from January.

Real have long been touted as Rudiger’s preferred destination. However, Football Insider claims that Tottenham are hoping the combination of Paratici and Antonio Conte can convince the player to remain in England.

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