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'I could not believe what I saw' - Tuchel salutes Chalobah bravery for playing on after Keita tackle

6:38 AM MYT 02/03/2022
Chalobah Carabao Cup Liverpool Chelsea 2020
The youngster was involved in a nasty challenge at Wembley over the weekend and looks set to miss a slate of upcoming matches

Thomas Tuchel has saluted Trevor Chalobah's resolve after the Chelsea defender played through the pain barrier in Sunday's Carabao Cup final against Liverpool, with the German adding the centre-back needed stitches after the final whistle following Naby Keita's tackle.

The youngster was involved in a nasty challenge with the Reds midfielder at Wembley over the weekend, but soldiered on as the Blues came up short in a mammoth 11-10 penalty shootout loss following a 0-0 draw after extra-time.

While Chalobah's bravery following Keita's less-than-auspicious tackle has been somewhat eclipsed by Tuchel's own tactical gambles late on, the manager was more than happy to hail his player's fortitude, recounting the tough post-match scenes he heard down the corridor.

What has been said?

“I could not believe what I saw after the match," Tuchel stated. "There was surgery literally in our dressing room and I am not joking. They were stitching him up. I could not believe it. After the match, they were doing the stitches, I just heard him scream. It looked horrible.

"I could not believe he played one more minute with this kind of injury but he played the rest of the match and scored a penalty. I would say he has shown some balls but that would be the wrong line but he was really brave to do this. Full credit to him.

“[It was] very close to his... You could not look away. It was open and it needed to be closed. We are working on it. He was very tough and he has my full respect.”

Defender set to miss upcoming games

Chalobah's injury means that he is expected to be absent for Chelsea's immediate return to knockout action, as the Blues face Championship outfit Luton Town in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday.

Having secured two trophies already this term in the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup, Tuchel will hope to add to his haul, knowing that the Premier League title race is now likely beyond his side as Manchester City and Liverpool continue to fight it out at the top.

Subsequent games against Burnley and Newcastle United might still come too soon for Chalobah to return, but he could well be in the frame to feature in his side's Champions League second leg with Lille in a fortnight.

Further reading

Tuchel calls for Abramovich questions to 'stop'


What next for Kepa after another Carabao Cup final to forget?

Chalobah questions referee over Keita tackle