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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel made a couple of changes to the side that faced Leeds United for their Premier League clash against Everton at Stamford Bridge.
Both changes came in the attacking department as Timo Werner, and Kai Havertz make way for Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech. Both the German internationals are absent from the Blues’ matchday squad, while club-record signing Romelu Lukaku also missed from the roster for the Everton clash. Mason Mount kept his place in the third attacking position for Chelsea.
There were no changes at the back either as the three-person defensive line of Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva, and captain Cesar Azpilicueta remained untouched. Meanwhile, Edouard Mendy continued between the sticks for Chelsea. Apart from Ross Barkley, the Blues had no attacking substitutions on the bench as Callum Hudson-Odoi is also missing, along with Lukaku, Werner, and Havertz due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Chelsea Lineup against Everton
Mendy, Azpilicueta, Silva, Rudiger, James, Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Alonso, Ziyech, Pulisic, Mount.
Pulisic played the 90 minutes trying to help the team to win the match. Alongside Ziyech and Mason Mount, the front three attackers, Pulisic played as a false nine. The USNMT star had a clear chance in the first half after a great play from the Moroccan player Hakim who centered the ball into the box where Pulisic shot but it was well saved by the goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who was the man of the match and hold the tie until the end of the game.
Chelsea vs Everton recap
Shorn of so many key players, Chelsea labored to break down stubborn Everton until Mason Mount netted midway through the second half at Stamford Bridge. Despite dominating from start to finish, Chelsea were punished for switching off at the back when Jarrad Branthwaite grabbed Everton's equalizer with 16 minutes left. It was the 19-year-old defender's first goal for Everton in just his third Premier League start.
Failing to beat a struggling Everton side decimated by injuries and illness was a hammer blow on a difficult day for Chelsea. Having led the table for several weeks, Tuchel's third-placed team are now four points behind leaders Manchester City. Chelsea have won only two of their last five league games as they lost ground on City and second-placed Liverpool.
With five games scheduled for this weekend called off due to Covid cases, and four others postponed at various times in the last week, Tuchel insisted he did not push for Chelsea's game to be canceled. "I don't lose any concentration or energy with questions like this," he said. "At some point, it's getting difficult in terms of overuse of players, but I was not involved in these thoughts."
The battling draw was a welcome sight for under-fire Everton boss Rafael Benitez, whose team have won only one of their last 11 league games. A banner reading "Benitez - get out of our club" was unfurled by Everton fans before kick-off. But it was the Chelsea supporters who were booing at full-time after their side's latest frustrating result.