Tuchel finally explains why he brought in Saul to play as a number 9

Photo: Getty images

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Chelsea started with a strong squad to beat Everton at Stamford Bridge on Thursday, but the worrying thing was that Thomas Tuchel had little attacking threat on his bench to change the game.

With the scores tied at goalless, the Chelsea manager decided to bring on Saul Niguez and Ross Barkley in place of Marcos Alonso and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Surprisingly, Tuchel opted to play the struggling Saul as his false nine, and Pulisic reverted to a wing-back role.

Explaining his substitution, Tuchel said: “We played with Saul as our number nine and we went with Trevoh because maybe we score a goal from a set-piece, because he’s very strong at set-pieces. It was the chance we had so we are taking the decisions and then making the best out of the situation.

“I’m concerned that we have too many players out, I think today six or seven players out. This is one of the key problems in the moment. You know about the situation in the midfield since eight weeks and again all our strikers are out, we had this situation just like four weeks ago when Romelu and Kai were both injured for weeks. So we struggle obviously with this and at the same point we always focus on the solution and on the guys we have on the pitch. We were strong enough to win the game today.

“Again, I’m not so sure right now why we get punished like this. I see teams concede much more chances than we do, I see teams concede much more half-chances than we do. We conceded absolutely nothing and still it’s a draw. I think we have a huge possibility to sit here with a 3-0 for us and it would be a fair result, but I cannot change it anymore and that’s why we need to find the balance in being honest and critical with each other, but to accept sometimes that we get punished for not a lot.”

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VICTOR N
Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.