Chelsea boss Tuchel not concerned by Ziyech’s non celebration
BRIGHTON, England : Hakim Ziyech refused to celebrate his opener for Chelsea in the 1-1 draw at Brighton and Hove Albion and spent much of the first half bickering with team mate Romelu Lukaku on Tuesday.
But manager Thomas Tuchel said he was unconcerned by Ziyech’s sulky reaction – an apparent response to the manager’s criticism of Chelsea’s attack last weekend.
“I am happy. He can score 20 more and not celebrate I have no problem,” Tuchel said. “It is normal that they talk, are not happy and don’t like it if we say we want more from them.”
Ziyech’s fiercely-struck low shot gave Chelsea the lead after 28 minutes but they were out-run by a tenacious Brighton side who deservedly levelled after the break when Adam Webster powered home a header from a corner.
The draw extended third-placed Chelsea’s winless run in the league to four games and they are 12 points behind leaders Manchester City having played a game more.
Tuchel admitted his side were physically and mentally jaded after a punishing schedule that has seen them play 15 games since the start of December.
“We have played since November; we play and play and play. We need to recharge the batteries and disconnect. This is my feeling,” Tuchel said.
“In the reaction of the goal, you can see that we are tired. We are relieved to score but there is no joy.
“We will use Friday and Saturday to prepare for Sunday against Tottenham.”
On record signing Lukaku, whose relationship with Tuchel has been strained this season, the German said: “There are too many questions about Romelu and too many answers about Romelu.”
Ninth-placed Brighton continue to impress under Graham Potter and would not have been flattered if they had won.
“I’m so proud of the players. It was a fantastic performance. They gave themselves a chance to win, but it wasn’t to be. The supporters appreciated the way they played. We take the point and move forward,” Potter said.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis)
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