Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says his players were “mentally” and “physically tired” and it was the reason for their poor outing against Brighton on Tuesday night.

Tuchel told Skysports while explaining his side’s recent poor league form.

He said: “I answered this question a hundred times, if you look at our situation of long-term injuries, of key players injured, and of Covid and you look at our schedule you will have the answer.

“We are mentally tired and physically tired, you can see it in our performance, it’s as easy as that. We need to recharge the batteries, we need to reconnect.” He said.

“This is my feeling, that’s why I give the players two days off and then we will use Friday and Saturday to prepare for Sunday.” He added.

Chelsea’s match last night was their 18th in 59 days, the previous 18 took 87 days.

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The former Dortmund boss also gave the extent at which his team needed two days off, he added: “So, so badly. You can say it’s an excuse but it’s like this.

“Look at our schedule when we arrived at Man City, we had Carabao Cup in between, they did not. When we arrived here, they had more days to prepare. We’ve played like this since November, we are the team that plays and plays and plays.”

A brilliant header from Adam Webster in the second half cancelled out Hakim Ziyech’s long-range first-half opener as the Blues lost grounds on pace-setters Manchester City in the title race.

Hakim Ziyech shoots to put Chelsea ahead in a league match against Brighton at Amex Stadium.

Tuchel’s side had gone ahead through the Moroccan international but missed a flurry of chances to double their lead.

But Graham Potter’s men wouldn’t let that be the only goal of the game and they came out guns blazing for the remaining 45′. Their effort paid ofd as they got the equaliser when Webster slapped a thunderous header past Kepa and into the Chelsea goal.

Adam Webster sends a thumping header past Kepa Arrizabalaga during Brighton’s 1-1 draw against Chelsea in the Premier League

Both teams had to share the spoils of a 1-1 draw as result but Chelsea were the bigger losers on the night. The result left Thomas Tuchel’s men 12 points off top spot despite having played a game more than Manchester City while Brighton remain ninth.

Tuchel further commented on the Amex Stadium being a difficult ground for Premier League sides saying: “Other teams will struggle to get points here, and it’s even tough if you’re full strength and not tired. There are some obstacles to overcome here and I refuse to be angry because it’s not about the ambition.

“We were a bit lucky to be 1-0 ahead and you can take advantage to score a second one, but we struggled to show the quality. We know the reasons behind it and we demand a lot from us. But it’s not the moment to be too harsh on the team.”

Brighton are now unbeaten in each of their last three Premier League matches against sides starting the day in the top three, having lost 17 of their previous 22 such matches 💪

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Tuchel and his side will look to bounce back following the debacle as former manager Antonio Conte will be in town with his Tottenham Hotspurs side as another London derby date is set.