June 28, 2022

‘Over the last weeks that we had the same situations’

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has confirmed that Andreas Christensen pulled out of their FA Cup final clash with Liverpool on the morning of the game.

The Blues boss, who also stated that it was not the first time the defender has left a matchday squad at short notice, revealed that Christensen had told him that he did not want to be considered for the match because he did not feel ready to play, despite not being injured.

The Denmark international has previously complained of stomach issues before games. He was expected to start the final against Jurgen Klopp’s side at the weekend, and his withdrawal from the squad is thought to have been a ‘major blow’ to the Blues’ preparations and plans.

Christensen’s departure from the team hotel on Saturday morning is said to have left his teammates ‘shocked and confused’.

Tuchel defends Christensen

However, Blues boss Tuchel has since claimed that the centre-back didn’t ‘refuse’ to play, adding that the club had to ‘accept’ it.

Speaking about the incident ahead of Chelsea’s clash with Leicester on Thursday night, Tuchel said: “Andreas came the morning of the match to tell me he’s not ready.

“He had his reasons, they stay private and confidential. It was not the first time as you can see. Over the last weeks that we had the same situations.

“We thought that we are in a good progression. He played very strong in the match before the final. The conversation took place and we have to respect it. He still has our support but for tomorrow we’re not sure.”

The German was keen to defend his player, adding: “I don’t think that it’s that he does not want to play. There is a big difference,’ he added.

See also  Graeme Souness wants Ukraine to beat Scotland in World Cup playoff tie

“I don’t know the reason but he is always very nervous. I don’t know what to say. We had to accept it and we will accept it.

“I try the best I can to not take things personally. I still believe that Andreas wanted to play and I still believe that he could.

“He struggled over the last weeks as you can see when he was not in the squad, although he was physically available. So that was not completely out of the blue sky.

“It was not the ideal situation for us because we thought we had prepared him in the best way possible in the game against Leeds. He is a key player and if you arrive in a final you want your best players available and this was not the case.”

Tuchel Christensen Chelsea

Christensen expected to leave Stamford Bridge

The Dane – who is expected to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season and complete a move to Barcelona – ruled himself out of the starting XI prior to Chelsea’s 1-0 win over West Ham after suffering stomach cramps ahead of kick-off.

He also asked to be taken off at half-time in the 4-2 defeat to Arsenal last month, and has missed matches against Everton, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Luton and Liverpool (Carabao Cup) this season.

Related links: