Thomas Tuchel admits the injury suffered by Andreas Christensen during Chelsea’s win over Manchester City has the potential to make the result at the Etihad Stadium bittersweet.
The Dane has been in excellent form for the Blues since stepping into the side at the beginning of February, establishing himself a virtual ever-present in the starting XI.
Christensen was deployed in the centre of the Chelsea back three against Pep Guardiola’s side this afternoon and had produced a composed display until, just before half-time, he failed to deal with a long pass forward.
Under pressure from Gabriel Jesus, Christensen didn’t make contact with the ball as he attempted a clearance and instantly fell to the turf – City would go on to score their opener through Raheem Sterling.
The 25-year-old defender received several minutes of treatment on the pitch after the incident; an apparent hamstring injury ended his involvement in Chelsea’s victory.
With the FA Cup final to come next weekend and the Champions League final at the end of the month, there is understandable concern among Blues supporters that Tuchel could be without Christensen for the run-in.
The Chelsea head coach is hoping that isn’t the case, although the extent of the injury wasn’t yet clear when he spoke after the game.
“I hope, I hope, I hope that it’s not too bad and he can recover in the next few days,” Tuchel told Sky Sports. “I’m not sure but this [win] would be absolutely bittersweet if it’s a long injury.”
Chelsea came from behind to win at the Etihad. Hakim Ziyech struck a second-half equaliser before Marcos Alonso popped up with a scruffy stoppage-time winner.
It is the second victory the Blues have recorded over City in the past month and yet another confidence boost for Tuchel and his players ahead of facing Guardiola’s side in the Champions League final.
“We know very well, and I’ve said this before and will repeat it, this result will not change the final because that’s a very unique game,” Tuchel explained.
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“You can’t predict what will happen, so you need to be well prepared. We will have some changes again, they will have some changes again. But we will arrive with the knowledge we are capable of beating them.
“This is what we have now and it will not change until Istanbul.”