Thomas Tuchel has revealed Timo Werner told him he could not play in the FA Cup final after feeling discomfort in the pre-match warm-up. Eyebrows were raised as to why the German wasn’t summoned from the bench – particularly in extra-time – with Liverpool looking jaded towards the end of 120 gruelling minutes of action.
Werner is one of the quickest attackers in the game and with the Reds seemingly there for the taking, Werner’s absence seemed baffling.
But now Tuchel has offered an explanation as to why his compatriot did not feature at Wembley, explaining he felt tightness in his hamstring.
“Timo was injured and uncomfortable during the warm-up and said he could not play,” he said.
Chelsea had their chances to win the game with Romelu Lukaku and Christian Pulisic squandering several notable opportunities.
The Blues were handed a lifetime during the penalty shootout also, when Sadio Mane missed the chance to etch Liverpool’s name on the trophy.
His compatriot Edouard Mendy denied him with a brilliant save down to his left to keep the Liverpool man at bay.
But Mason Mount’s miss – a fine save from Alisson – saw the shootout swing back into Liverpool’s favour and this time they would not let it slip.
Kostas Tsimikas was the man to step up and he cooly sent Mendy the wrong back to cement his status as a Liverpool icon.
It was heartbreak again for Chelsea, who have already tasted defeat to Liverpool on penalties in the League Cup final back in February.
However, Tuchel does not want his team to stand around feeling sorry for themselves…
“We have everything it takes to win trophies, we proved it by the way,” he added.
“We have a Club World Cup and a European Super Cup and I don’t feel sorry this was at the beginning of the season and in winter.
“Like in the last final, the Carabao Cup, we had no regrets. I told the team I was proud of them.”
Jurgen Klopp was very complimentary of Liverpool’s opponents, claiming Chelsea are also very much ‘mentality monsters’ in their own right.
The FA Cup-winning boss said: “It was an incredible, intense game against Chelsea – they would have deserved it [the win] exactly the same way, like in the Carabao Cup – that’s how small the margins are.
“I couldn’t be more proud of my boys, the shift they put in, how hard they fought, early changes.
“All of these things, missing good chances, overcoming good moments from Chelsea, then having really good moments ourselves.
“Then in the penalty shootout, it was nerve-racking, my nails are gone but I really feel for Chelsea – for the second time, 120 minutes and you get nothing, that’s too hard. But for us I’m pretty happy.
“We are mentality monsters but there were mentality monsters in blue as well – it was one penalty. Chelsea played outstanding but in the end there must be one winner and that was us today.”