Boehly watches on as Chelsea's season continues to fizzle out

‘We used to be a very solid team’: Todd Boehly watches on at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea’s season continues to fizzle out… but Thomas Tuchel has little sympathy for his players after Wolves’ late equaliser

  • Chelsea 2-2 Wolves: Blues suffer late collapse and throw away two-goal lead
  • Prospective buyer Todd Boehly watched from the stands at Stamford Bridge
  • Thomas Tuchel says that players must accept that playing for Chelsea is tiring
  • Fatigue is catching up with the Blues after a draining season on multiple fronts 

Thomas Tuchel and Cesar Azpilicueta sifted through the problems and possible reasons without settling on an explanation for Chelsea’s collapse.

Seven Premier League games since the international break in March have yielded only eight points for the Blues, a dispiriting run of form littered with mistakes and lapses in concentration untypical of a team that suddenly seems weary and anxious for this campaign to be over.

‘We used to be a very solid team, defending together, we didn’t make mistakes,’ said captain Azpilicueta, after Wolves fought back from two down at Stamford Bridge to snatch a point courtesy of a header by Conor Coady in the seventh minute of added time. Drawn games have proved costly, this season, especially at home.

Cesar Azpilicueta admits that the Blues are making problems for themselves in defence

‘Sometimes we have given goals away by ourselves,’ said Azpilicueta. ‘It’s very disappointing, very frustrating. We are putting ourselves in a difficult position. We shouldn’t be here, we were in a much better position five games ago but we are here and now we need to get points if we want to finish in the Champions League places.

‘We have not been as sharp as we are normally. We have so many games but we are Chelsea and this is what we fight for every season. We need a last push. We have to do it and pick ourselves up.’

There are excuses available, not least the distraction of uncertain times in the boardroom and doubts over the futures of several players. On top of this, prospective new owner Todd Boehly was at the Bridge on Saturday.

There will be fatigue after a long season going deep into all competitions but there was little sympathy from the head coach, who grumbled about his players’ failure to execute the game-plan.

Prospective new owner Todd Boehly watched from the stands as Chelsea drew against Wolves

Thomas Tuchel says that players must accept that playing for Chelsea is going to be tiring

‘If you sign for Chelsea and play on this kind of level it’s not always easy, and it’s not always enjoyable,’ said Tuchel. ‘It’s tough, it’s tiring, it’s draining. That’s what you need to accept and that’s what we demand from everybody.’

In particular, he was reluctant to praise Romelu Lukaku, who scored twice in 138 seconds — his first goals in the Premier League this calendar year — and was clearly irritated by questions about the £97.5million record signing who started for only the second time in 10 games.

‘Every striker is a very sensitive player,’ said Tuchel. ‘I don’t know any strikers who have their confidence if they are on a streak where they don’t have the role they wish for. It’s the same for Romelu, so you see immediately, the second one is immediately easier because he had his goal.

‘He fought hard for his goal. They are like this, they are sensitive because they are decisive and that is why it s super-important for him.’

Despite their concerns, Chelsea should have enough points in the bag to secure a top-four finish. With three to play, they are five clear of Tottenham in fifth place with a far better goal difference. They also have the FA Cup final against Liverpool on Saturday.

Romelu Lukaku scored twice in 138 seconds against Wolves – his first league goals of 2022

‘Everything is decided in the last couple of weeks and hopefully we can make it happen all together,’ said Azpilicueta.

Wolves remain in the race for a place in Europe and are seeking to take momentum into their final three games of the season, when they can influence the title race with fixtures against Manchester City, on Wednesday, and Liverpool on the final day.

‘We want to finish the season as strongly as we can because a few people have been writing us off,’ said Coady. ‘To come back from 2-0 down against the European Cup holders is huge, and it’s important to harness it and take this into another tough game on Wednesday.’

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