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Chelsea stars face cup final axe with Tuchel furious over defeat

C

helsea stars face being dropped for Saturday’s FA Cup Final after Thomas Tuchel was left fuming over last night’s home defeat by Arsenal.

The top-four race was blown wide open after Emile Smith Rowe secured a 1-0 win for the Gunners and Chelsea boss Tuchel did not hold back, despite his side being in contention for a Champions League and FA Cup double.

The German was infuriated by Kai Havertz’s wasteful finishing when one-on-one with Bernd Leno, as well as Jorginho’s blunder that gifted Arsenal their goal. In a damning assessment, he accused his side of lacking hunger, focus and fight — and admitted he should have kept faith with many of the players who won at Manchester City last weekend.

That could see Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Marcos Alonso, Antonio Rudiger and N’Golo Kante all come back in to face Leicester on Saturday, although the latter is nursing an Achilles problem. Havertz and Christian Pulisic could both make way after ineffective performances last night, while Ben Chilwell also faces an anxious wait.

Tuchel said: “We were distracted, we were not focused, we were not ready to fight 100 per cent for this win. We were trying, but not hard enough. We wanted it, but not badly enough. Maybe I sent the wrong signals with seven changes. Maybe I left too many guys out who were fighting at City for a big, big win.

“We were not sharp enough, not with the same energy, hunger, attitude, and so it’s on us. It was totally unnecessary but it’s the reality.”

While Jorginho was guilty of gifting Arsenal their goal, Havertz was responsible for missing a gilt-edged chance with the game still goalless.

Tuchel did not even try to defend the German for his wayward finishing.

“It is very easy in front of goal, you take the decision to go for goal — he did something in between,” he said. “It is a crucial miss, because if we score after 11 minutes I think we have a big opportunity to win this game. We had the big chances to go ahead, we missed them.”


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