May 21, 2022

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Thomas Tuchel delivers verdict on Chelsea’s difference to title-chasers Man City and Liverpool

3 min read

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has assessed the gap between his side and Premier League title-challengers Manchester City and Liverpool as the end of the 2021-22 campaign nears. The Blues have been left with little to play for in the top-flight with a place in next season’s Champions League all but confirmed.

But with a 14 point gap currently separating them from Jurgen Klopp’s side, concerns have started to mount that a title challenge could be further away than many had feared. After the arrival of Romelu Luakku in the summer, there had been hopes that the Blues could compete for the biggest prize in English football.

While they did exactly that until Christmas, the gap has rapidly widened in the weeks since. Only the FA Cup remains on the table for Tuchel this season with a final against Liverpool set for May 14 but closing that gap in the league will be top of the agenda throughout the upcoming summer transfer window.

READ MORE: Thomas Tuchel delivers Declan Rice verdict after Chelsea target rejects third West Ham contract

“I would say that I tried everything and that everybody in the building tried everything, the players as well,” he told a press conference ahead of their clash with West Ham. “There is room for improvement and the gap is big, but we are competing with two of the most successful teams that ever played in this league. So the stakes are high.

“Given the last two defeats here at Stamford Bridge, the gap is bigger than it should be. Before that, it was still bigger than it should be but I think it was due to circumstances, not down to our effort, quality or whatever.

“It could’ve been smaller but there were reasons for it but the effort and ambition was there. It’s no problem to be ambitious and maybe not reach it. It would not suit us if we played it down and told everyone before the season that we open the bottles of champagne if we are fourth. No, we tried hard and at some point the gap opened.

“We see now dramatically in the last games against Brentford and Arsenal why the gap is that big. Man City and Liverpool don’t have these matches in the season. We are ninth in the home table, we conceded late goals against Burnley and Everton and these were games that we dominated but struggled to convert our chances.

“From there the gap was growing but we have to say at the moment, right now, we have to be the best we can be. There is room for improvement, of course, and we will be ready for a good fight from next season on because [this season] we let the gap open, it’s too big.

“We should not feel ashamed or as disappointed that it holds us back to be good now because there is no shame in it. In general, is very tough to finish in the top four in this league and from there we try to compete.”

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