Chelsea: Thomas Tuchel explains Ruben Loftus-Cheek FA Cup decision

Thomas Tuchel replaced substitute Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Thomas Tuchel replaced substitute Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Images: Getty)

Thomas Tuchel has explained why he substituted Ruben Loftus-Cheek just 15 minutes after coming on as a substitute in Chelsea’s FA Cup final defeat by Liverpool.

Loftus-Cheek replaced Christian Pulisic at half-time in extra time and was brought on as a centre-forward as Chelsea chased a winner at Wembley.

But neither Chelsea nor Liverpool managed to break the deadlock in Saturday’s final and Tuchel removed Loftus-Cheek just minutes from penalties and brought on Ross Barkley.

Former Everton star Barkley took Chelsea’s fourth penalty and fired his shot past Alisson but the Blues still lost the penalty shootout 6-5.

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Blues Academy graduate Mason Mount both missed from the penalty spot as Tuchel’s side lost to Liverpool on penalties for the second time this season.

When asked if Loftus-Cheek was injured, Tuchel said: “No, that was just a penalty shootout.

Liverpool have denied Chelsea another domestic trophy

Liverpool denied Chelsea another domestic trophy (Picture: Getty)

“Ruben doesn’t have a good story statistically and Ross does, so it was just because of the penalties.”

Despite suffering another Wembley final defeat, Tuchel spoke highly of his players and spoke of the performance in knocking out Liverpool for 240 minutes in the two games.

“As in the last final, the Carabao Cup, no regrets. I told the team that I’m proud,” said Tuchel.

“We played 240 minutes in the finals against what is perhaps the most dangerous attacking team in the world and the score is 0-0.

“We lose on penalties and we are disappointed and sad but at the same time proud because we showed everything we need. I was sure throughout the game that the momentum was on our side, but unfortunately I wasn’t right.

Kostas Tsimikas scored the winning penalty (Image: Getty)

“We’ve proven four times this season that we can bring excellence to compete with them at this level. All results were deserved and could have gone in our or their direction.’

Liverpool’s penalty shoot-out victory means Jurgen Klopp’s side could yet win a historic quadruple this season.

Klopp said: “I couldn’t be prouder of my boys, the postponement they’ve had, how hard they’ve struggled, early changes.

“We’re mentality monsters, but there were also mentality monsters in blue – it was a penalty. Chelsea played superbly but in the end there has to be a winner and that was us today.”

Liverpool will look to keep the pressure on Premier League title rivals Manchester City when they take on Southampton on Tuesday night, while Chelsea will look to recover on Thursday when they host Leicester City.

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Chelsea FC Chelsea: Thomas Tuchel explains Ruben Loftus-Cheek FA Cup decision

Nate Jones

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