Tuchel admits Chelsea can’t compete for the title

Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City side are eight points clear after Phil Foden scored the winner against Brentford.

Thomas Tuchel has admitted that Chelsea are not in a position to compete for the title.

Injuries and Covid-19 cases have hampered the Blues, who drew 1-1 at home to Brighton on Wednesday night.

They are now eight points adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester City.

And boss Tuchel says they are not strong enough at the moment to sustain a title challenge.

He said: “Why should we be? We have seven Covid cases and had four or five key players out for six or more weeks. How should we compete in a title race?

“This is where we are and you need to adapt your demands to the situation you are in.

“I simply don’t know what I can expect from my players in terms of physical fitness and intensity. I don’t know it anymore.

“Of course we can play much better, but we need a full squad over weeks and weeks – and then we play much better.

“You see the impact N’Golo Kante has if he only plays 30 minutes – one single player.

“If you add (up) the minutes he is missing over the season and the minutes from Mateo Kovacic, it’s too much.”

Tuchel insisted Chelsea’s poor display against Brighton was somewhat inevitable given the problems they have been facing.

And those problems increased, with Reece James and Andreas Christensen going off injured.

Tuchel said at his post-match press conference: “It’s too much. At some point it’s too much.

“That’s why I can understand that you will struggle if you play against a Brighton side with nothing to lose and plays with confidence.

“We knew before that this was going to be a tough match against a strong side.

“They came well prepared. I have not seen one team play a nice match against them.

“It was clear that we struggle. We have simply way too many players of whom we don’t know what we can demand – they come from long injuries and come from Covid. I simply don’t know what they are capable of doing.”