Thomas Tuchel revealed that Timo Werner ruled himself out of coming off the bench in Saturday’s FA Cup Final defeat because of a hamstring complaint.
Chelsea fans were stunned that £52million Werner was not among the six substitutes used by Tuchel in an energy-sapping 120 minutes at Wembley that ended 0-0 before Liverpool won 6-5 on penalties.
Another star Germany forward Kai Havertz, who scored the winner in last season’s Champions League final. wasn’t even included in the Chelsea 18 because of another hamstring injury
Timo Werner (L) ruled himself out of coming off the bench in Saturday’s FA Cup Final defeat
‘Kai did not train because of hamstring problems and we thought he would injure himself,’ said Tuchel, whose side have now been beaten in the last three FA Cup finals.
‘We did a test on Saturday morning but it was not better. Then Timo felt uncomfortable in the warm-up and said he could not play. A hamstring as well. We had no options.’
In the end, Tuchel sent on midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek to play up front in extra-time before he was replaced himself 15 minutes later so Ross Barkley could take a penalty in the shoot out.
Manager Thomas Tuchel said Werner ruled himself out because of a hamstring complaint
Liverpool beat Tuchel’s side on penalties to lift the FA Cup at Wembley stadium (above)
‘It was clear that we would have to suffer in this game,’ said Tuchel. ‘You can’t escape a match like this without pain.
‘Taking Ruben off was purely for penalties. Ruben has not a good history statistically and Ross has.’
Chelsea won the European Super Cup and Club World Cup earlier in the season but have failed to add to silverware since owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned and the club put up for sale.
‘We have proved we can produce peak performances to compete with Liverpool in individual games. The difference is they can do it Saturday-Wednesday. They have a bigger squad.
‘Like the Carabao Cup final, I have no regrets. I told the team before the game I was proud of them.
It was Kostas Tsimakos who tucked the 13 penalty of the day into the bottom right hand corner
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s Mason Mount failed to convert from the penalty spot to keep them in it
‘We were competitive after the first 15 minutes, excellent. In 240 minutes of two finals we have been zero-zero against the most dangerous attacking team in the world.
‘We are sad but at the same time we were proud. I was sure we would win right up to the last minute but unfortunately I was not right. That is life in sport.’
Tuchel admitted injuries had caught up with his team. N’golo Kante came off the bench having had just one training session at low intensity. Matteo Kovacic played despite being injured against Leeds on Wednesday.
‘I don’t know how he could fit into his shoe,’ added Tuchel.
‘We have everything to win trophies but there is a gap because Liverpool have built a team over many years. The sanctions will not make it any easier to close it.’
Tuchel admitted injuries had caught up with his team. N’golo Kante (right) came off the bench having had just one training session at low intensity