Thomas Tuchel has said the Premier League has exposed Chelsea to “huge risk” by forcing them to play at Wolverhampton on Sunday while Manchester City beat Newcastle 4-0.
Chelsea drew 0-0 against Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club at Molineux, Sunday. Manchester City defeated Liverpool 4-0 at home, while Tottenham held 10-man Liverpool to a 2-2 draw, denting their title hopes.
Only four games were played out of the 10 originally scheduled due to Britain’s worsening Covid-19 crisis.
On Monday, Premier League clubs will meet to decide what actions to take over the chaos, amid growing concerns over the competition’s integrity as the festive season approaches.
According to The Athletic, clubs are trying to ease the pressure by postponing a round of matches on December 28, 29 and 30.
Chelsea health risks for players
Chelsea had to field just 14 outfield players in their squad for the matchday on Sunday after their postponement request was declined, with N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic performing despite suffering from match fitness issues.
“We put the players at a serious health risk, not only as a result of Covid but also physically,” said an angry Tuchel, whose side managed just one shot on target.
Tuchel expressed uncertainty about Chelsea’s upcoming matches against Brentford in the League Cup and Aston Villa in the coming week. His team is six points behind Premier League leaders, Manchester City.
“I don’t know what will happen now,” he said. On Saturday evening, we thought we knew what would happen, but it didn’t happen.”
Defending Premier League champions Manchester City pounded relegation-threatened Newcastle to maintain their leadership at Christmas. Eddie Howe’s side took the lead after just five minutes when Ruben Dias nodded in the loose ball after Ciaran Clark failed to clear a simple header.
While Newcastle rallied briefly, City silenced St James’ Park just before halftime. Joao Cancelo’s right-footed strike from outside the area to beat Martin Dubravka.
Liverpool in second place
Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling scored in the second half as City secured an eighth consecutive win in the Premier League. It was Manchester City’s 34th league victory of the year, breaking the previous record for most wins by a team in a calendar year.
They finished the weekend with a three-point lead over Liverpool.
Thiago Alcantara’s suspected positive Covid test delayed Liverpool’s preparations for their trip to Tottenham.
Spurs took the lead in the opening minutes through Harry Kane, who was fortunate to escape a red card for a two-footed tackle on Andy Robertson.
Liverpool took the lead midway through the second half after Diogo Jota equalized against the wasteful hosts. Robertson headed the winning goal in the 35th minute.
Premier League Teams hit by covid
Five minutes later, Tottenham equalized when Son Heung-Min scored after Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker failed to clear the ball. Liverpool held on to earn a point, even after Robertson was sent off for a wild tackle on Emerson Royal following a VAR review.
In the current situation, Klopp said it was impossible to continue business as usual, warning that his side would not be able to play its league games on December 26 and 28.
Sky Sports reported that he said, “We have to talk about whether we should continue or not.” However, he added, “We cannot go on as usual and see who can play and who cannot play.”
Klopp added, “It might not be fair if some teams lose players and other teams do not lose players.” It’s a bit of a lottery, Klopp said. “We do everything we can, but you have to be lucky.”