Tuchel claims Chelsea defender was taken off for being 'too offensive' during Wolves draw
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel admitted that he decided to take Cesar Azpilicueta off late into the second half due to the defender’s risky plays in Saturday’s draw against Wolves.
The Blues were dominant in the first hour of the game and even managed to grab a two-goal lead, thanks to Romelu Lukaku’s brace.
Wolves, however, reacted well with their substitutions. They pulled a goal back through one of these subs, Francisco Trincao, who beat Edouard Mendy with a fabulous strike.
The goal also turned the tide of the match as Chelsea began losing control in midfield.
One of the reasons, according to Tuchel, was Azpilicueta’s positioning, which was why he replaced the captain with Malang Sarr in the last minutes.
“Azpi was very, very active in the first half, but he was too offensive,” the German said in his post-match press conference (via Hayters TV).
“We struggled there in that position because Azpi took too much risk.
“Sometimes we were in a two against two with Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] the only spare player.
“He had a yellow card on top [of that]. That’s why we changed.”
Being one of the experienced players in the team, Tuchel certainly expected more from the Spain international.
Unfortunately for Chelsea, the substitution proved insufficient. Conor Coady found the equaliser during the added time and secured a point for the visitors.
This result means Chelsea are now just four points above fourth-placed Arsenal and six points above fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, each with a game in hand.