CHELSEA star N’Golo Kante has given manager Thomas Tuchel a fresh injury concern ahead of the FA Cup final.
The French World Cup winner was absent from the Blues squad that fell to a 1-0 defeat against London rivals Arsenal due to an Achilles injury.
Chelsea star N’Golo Kante missed the defeat against Arsenal due to injuryCredit: EPA
In his absence, Billy Gilmour started but was hooked at half-time while Kante’s midfielder partner Jorginho was responsible for the Gunners goal.
Tuchel made seven changes for last night’s defeat following the 2-1 win over Manchester City at the weekend.
And the German admitted Kante was an enforced absence as he is suffering from an Achilles problem.
Tuchel told Chelsea TV: “N’Golo was [left out] for pain management.
N’Golo was [left out] for pain management. He has pain in the Achilles and he suffers from that, so there was no chance
“He has pain in the Achilles and he suffers from that, so there was no chance [that he could play against Arsenal].
“We miss [Mateo] Kovacic, we didn’t have N’Golo on the bench. This is a huge blow for us in terms of intensity and attitude.
“For Toni [Antonio Rudiger], it was an overload and risks of injury.
“We already lost Andreas Christensen, so there was no chance I take this risk now to have two central defenders out, that was the point. Same for Timo Werner.”
But Tuchel rejected the notion that fatigue played a factor in the defeat as he replied: “No, because we had seven changes so clearly not tired.
“I think we were distracted, we were not focused, we were absolutely not ready to fight 100 per cent for this win.
“We were like trying but not trying hard enough. We wanted it but not badly enough, this is it. Maybe I gave the wrong signal with seven changes.
“Maybe I left too many guys out who were fighting City for a big, big win. So I have my part in this and take responsibility, but it does not lower my disappointment, everybody’s disappointment, but it’s our fault.”
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