Thomas Tuchel called Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Everton a “strange result” as his side lost further points in their quest for the Premier League title.
Jordan Pickford starred as a very depleted Everton made his way to a draw at Stamford Bridge.
The England goalkeeper was called upon to make nine saves in a game in which Chelsea had 23 shots on goal, but had only one Mason Mount shot in 70 minutes to prove his dominance. That lead lasted just four minutes when Jarrad Branthwaite landed a sublime Anthony Gordon set piece to equalize.
“It was a strange result for this type of match,” said Chelsea manager Tuchel.
“We were strong enough today and I’m not sure at the moment why we were punished. We see teams conceding more chances than us, but we only have a draw.
“It worries me we have too many players out; today six or seven players. I think this is the problem right now, one of the key problems. In central midfield, for eight weeks. For today we had our forwards out and that was the case. for four weeks with Timo (Werner) and Romelu (Lukaku) out.
“We have to find the balance, be honest, critical of each other, but accept that sometimes we are punished for a little while.
“I would be more worried if we were completely out of shape, we concede the first goal and then we struggle to get back. It would be easier to analyze. I don’t think it is too easy to analyze our situation.”
He added BT Sport: “We lost great chances to get the result in the first and second half, we didn’t find the rhythm consistently and we tried to bring some energy off the bench, but it was tough. ‘we made it with a free kick.
“Football is hardly ever one of the reasons why things go this way, but one of the main reasons is, of course, the chances we lost today. We could have been two or three and we were playing with fire. It is. Obviously we have lost a lot of players, great personalities, regular players, but we will not use that as an excuse. “
Rafa: my best result at Everton
Away fans rolled out a banner reading “Rafa out” before kick-off, but toasted the Spaniard after a hard-fought, albeit fortuitous, draw for a team lacking 11 senior players due to injury and illness.
Asked if this turned out to be his most important result at Goodison club, Rafael Benitez replied: “You can say it, because we have so many problems, with injuries, with illness.
“The way the team played, reacted when we conceded, showed character. It’s a great point, not just the point, but the way we claimed it. Everyone understood how important it was and how difficult it was. after.
“Great character demonstrated, we are returning in many games. The way they worked we deserved something. We had too much bad luck with injuries. The team’s reaction was fantastic.”