Chelsea’s top-four rivals had advantage after cup exits, says Tuchel

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said its rivals for the Champions League places had failed to capitalize on the “huge advantage” they were given after early cup exits allowed them to focus on the race for the top four.

Chelsea has reached the final of the FA Cup, League Cup and Club World Cup, as well as the quarterfinals of the Champions League, and has played more games this season than any other Premier League club.

Despite its intense schedule Chelsea has a strong grip on third place in the league, leading fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur by five points and having played two games less. Arsenal and Manchester United are a further three points back.

United ‘made our life easier’, says goal hero Salah

United manager Ralf Rangnick raised concerns earlier this week about the Premier League’s decision to reschedule their game against Chelsea, while Mikel Arteta said last month that the scheduling of Arsenal’s games was “not fair”.

“They have been given a huge advantage,” Tuchel told reporters ahead of their league game against Arsenal later on Wednesday. “I was not happy when Tottenham were out of the (Europa) Conference League.

“Because I thought, ‘Wow, I know what Antonio Conte can do with teams when they are focused and he can train them physically’.

“I thought this will be a huge uplift for them in the domestic competition, and the same for Arsenal when they went out of the cup. I thought it would be a huge boost for them, because they have a very young and talented team. “

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