Thomas Tuchel claimed his Chelsea side are barely hanging on during the festive period, and suggested the Premier League should re-think one of their rulings.
Chelsea returned to winning ways in the league with a hard-fought 3-1 victory over Aston Villa. Despite Steven Gerrard missing the contest while self-isolating, Villa took the lead through a bizarre Reece James own goal.
Chelsea hit back almost immediately after Jorginho fired home from the spot. But with the first-half a meandering affair with relatively little goalmouth action, Tuchel sprang into action at the break.
The Blues boss introduced Romelu Lukaku to proceedings in place of Trevoh Chalobah. Lukaku provided an impetus Chelsea had been lacking in the final third and quickly got his name on the scoresheet just 10 minutes later.
His impact did not finish there, however, when Lukaku proved too quick and too strong for Villa’s defence when winning an injury time penalty. The automatic Jorginho once again converted from 12 yards.
MATCH REPORT: Tuchel influential after inspired change sees Chelsea edge out Aston Villa
Speaking to the BBC after the match, Tuchel didn’t hold back regarding the strain his players are currently being put under. In doing so, he suggested it is ludcirous that the Premier League have not re-instated the five substitutions rule.
“We showed a very good reaction after their goal,” said Tuchel.
“The own goal made things super complicated. The reaction was very good. We defended strong and did not allow big chances. It was a deserved win but hard work.
Injuries, Covid absences spark Tuchel rant
“We have concerns for injured players. We let Callum Hudson-Odoi play 90 minutes after Covid. Thiago Silva got injured. N’Golo Kante is injured. Mateo Kovacic is playing after injury and Covid without any preparation and training.
“We’re just filling holes where we can fill them. We play teams without international duties. Five changes were invented because of Covid. Now we’re in the middle of Covid and some teams are having games postponed and others aren’t. Three changes is a big disadvantage.”
When asked if he thinks five subs should be allowed, and if he…