Thomas Tuchel was left rueing Chelsea’s failure to keep pace with their Premier League title rivals after missing too many “big chances” against Everton.

Chelsea slipped four points behind leaders Liverpool after being held to a 1-1 draw by Everton at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night.

Mason Mount’s 70th-minute opener was canceled out by a Jarrad Branthwaite effort for the visitors, who stole a point despite only recording five shots compared to the Blues’ total of 23 over the course of the game.

Why was Tuchel left frustrated?

Tuchel bemoaned his side’s lack of clinical edge post-match, telling BT Sport: “Yes, of course (it is frustrating) to give away another lead. If we see the effort we bring in a match like this, the effort we need to score one goal and the effort the opponent needs to score an equalizer – it is hard to swallow.

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“We missed big chances to get the result in the first half and second half we did not find the rhythm consistently and tried to bring on some energy from the bench, but it was hard. We had the lead and give it away with one free kick.

“Football is almost never like one reason why things go this way, but one big reason is for sure the chances we missed today. We could have been two or three up and were playing with fire.

“It is obvious we missed a lot of players, big personalities, regular starters, but we will not use it as an excuse.”

Chelsea missed ‘big personalities’

The Blues looked set to pick up a crucial win after Mount’s cool finish late in the second half, with Tuchel having been forced to leave out three key players due to positive COVID-19 tests.

Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner and Callum Hudson-Odoi are now self-isolating, while Kai Havertz was also missing due to illness, and Chelsea looked short of a spark in the final third in their absence.

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The hosts were punished when Branthwaite volleyed home in the 74th minute, and Tuchel pulled no punches when assessing what went wrong.

“We missed chances and struggled to find a high rhythm in the second half,” he added to BBC Sport.

“We didn’t have anyone on the bench, we put the last guys in that [we had] available and we are missing big personalities and quality.

“Liverpool is Liverpool, Man City is Man City. We do what we do, we have seven players out and had chances to miss the match.”

Pressed on the growing number of calls for the season to be postponed amid the rise in COVID-19 cases across England, Tuchel replied: “I will not get involved in this sport politics. We are all worried about COVID, it is close to us, we had four positives.

“Other games get canceled, ours didn’t so we have to do our best to win it.”

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