Thomas Tuchel admits rotation cost Chelsea in Arsenal loss

Tom Gott
Thomas Tuchel got it wrong against Arsenal
Thomas Tuchel got it wrong against Arsenal / Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has shouldered the blame for Wednesday's 1-0 loss to Arsenal, admitting his decision to rotate the team so heavily backfired.

Tuchel made a total of seven changes from the side that earned a 2-1 win over Manchester City - a game which also featured five changes of its own - and the Blues looked disjointed as a huge Jorginho error gifted the Gunners their easiest goal of the season.

Chelsea dominated on the stats sheet, enjoying close to 70% possession but barely forcing Bernd Leno to break a sweat in the Arsenal goal, and Tuchel suggested after the game that his excessive rotation was to blame.

"We had three days, we are on a good run, we had a good mood," he told Sky Sports. "The choices were not so good today from my side for the lineup so that's on me. We were unlucky, of course. But we did everything today to lose.

"I'm not happy with my lineup. It's easy to say afterwards. But it was too many changes, I should not have done it like this. It's something in particular - but I will not tell you.

Kepa Arrizabalaga
Kepa Arrizabalaga was brought back in goal / Marc Atkins/Getty Images

"I felt it a little bit coming yesterday in training. I'm a bit unlucky that it's proven today on the pitch. I regret... but it's like this. 'We could have [done this], we could have [done that]', and that's what it's all about.

"I did not feel us in the same way involved, sharp with intensity and energy like the last game and these are the per cents who are missing today."

Interestingly, Tuchel did not even seem to be aware of the number of changes to his lineup before the game. When asked to explain his selection, he said: "You're scaring me now, seven [changes] to the City game? It didn't feel like we had so many changes. If it's really seven, then it's a lot, I agree."

Thomas Tuchel
Tuchel did not seem aware of his rotation / Pool/Getty Images

The defeat means Chelsea have tumbled back into a battle for a spot in the top four. The Blues now sit fourth in the table, six points clear of West Ham (who have one game in hand) and seven clear of Liverpool (who are two games behind).

"It was always a big fight," Tuchel concluded. "It's still in our hands. Another chance missed. But we had some good results so we have to cope now with a loss."

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