Football

Tuchel: Loss to Arsenal a wake-up call

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said his side's 1-0 defeat by Arsenal yesterday morning (Singapore time) was their own fault and a "wake-up call" ahead of a huge end to the season.

The Blues would have all but sealed an English Premier League top-four finish with a win, but instead are now looking over their shoulders after a poor performance.

Emile Smith Rowe's first-half goal settled the London Derby after a defensive mix-up by the hosts in which Jorginho's wayward backpass was scrambled off the line by Kepa Arrizabalaga, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang teed up Smith Rowe to score.

"Totally our fault, nobody else's. We lost, it's totally our responsibility. We had huge chances. We made an own goal more or less - total gift," Tuchel said.

"We weren't on the pitch with the same energy... We weren't sharp enough and didn't have the same hunger and attitude as we're used to playing with. So it's on us.

"It was maybe too many changes from the last match and I take full responsibility for that. Maybe it's the last wake-up call for all of us."

With an FA Cup final on Sunday morning (Singapore time) against Leicester City, Tuchel rested the likes of goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, left wing-back Marcos Alonso and midfielder N'Golo Kante.

It resulted in only a third defeat in 26 games in all competitions for Tuchel's fourth-placed Chelsea, who have two EPL games to play.

They are six points clear of West Ham United who have three games left and seven ahead of Liverpool with four.

Arsenal's under-fire manager Mikel Arteta insisted his side have not given up hope of qualifying for Europe next term. They could make the new Europa Conference League and have an outside chance of reaching the Europa League.

"It was a big message. Europe is still mathematically possible, so we have to keep giving ourselves the last chance while it's possible," he said. - AFP, REUTERS

Football