Thomas Tuchel explains Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s Chelsea cameo and Ross Barkley decision in FA Cup final defeat

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With Kai Havertz injured, Timo Werner not fit to feature and Romelu Lukaku ineffective, Tuchel had to juggle when it came to deploying a striker.

Hakim Ziyech and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were both brought on, with the latter operating as a centre-forward towards the end of the first-half of extra-time at £97.5m signing Lukaku’s expense.

Just 14 minutes after Loftus-Cheek’s introduction, however, Tuchel brought the England international off and replaced him with Barkley.

The former Everton midfielder has not played since the third-round win over Chesterfield in January, though scored his penalty in the shootout.

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After the game, Tuchel said: “It was purely for penalties. Ruben has not a good history statistically and Ross has so it was purely for the penalties.”

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