Time off is the only antidote to Chelsea's ongoing malaise, according to Thomas Tuchel. 

The Blues were held to a 1-1 draw at Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday, extending their winless streak in the Premier League to four matches – their worst such run under Tuchel. 

Chelsea have won just one of their past seven top-flight matches and sit 12 points adrift of leaders Manchester City, who have a game in hand. 

The meeting with Brighton was Chelsea's 15th game in all competitions since the start of December and Tuchel believes the only way they can get back on track for a prolonged period is through rest. 

"We look tired. And we are. It's like this," Tuchel told BT Sport after Adam Webster's header cancelled out Hakim Ziyech's opener. 

"We knew they were well prepared, they had more time to prepare and you saw at the end the stadium celebrates like a victory. That's what you face. 

"We need our full strength to overcome these obstacles. In these moments there's no blame for the team. We tried everything. We are mentally and physically tired. We need some days off, there's no other solution. 

"We have two days off then we have two days to prepare the match against Tottenham. There's no other solution." 

Tuchel was critical of Ziyech after the 1-0 loss to City at the weekend and the former Ajax winger did not celebrate his first-half goal. He was also regularly engaged in heated conversations with Romelu Lukaku. 

The Chelsea boss was unbothered by either of those aspects, though.

"I am happy. [Ziyech] can score 20 more and not celebrate, I have no problem," said Tuchel. 

"It's normal that they talk. It's normal they're not happy and they don't like it if we say we want more from them. In the reaction to the goal, you can see we are tired because we are saving energy even there." 

Brighton boss Graham Potter said: "We're really pleased and proud of the performance, definitely. We gave Chelsea a good game. Our performance was full of everything. 

"It's not easy because they have some top players but the courage of our defenders... The boys played on the front foot as much as they could. They scored from not much, but it was a performance I really enjoyed. 

"We were well in the game and the boys could feel it was a good performance. Chelsea don't give much away, so you have to work for everything. We could maybe test the goalkeeper more, but I thought we had everything." 

Jurgen Klopp was left frustrated after a 2-2 draw against Brighton and Hove Albion, conceding that Liverpool were "not good enough" in the second half.

The Reds manager saw his team throw away a two-goal lead on Saturday, and they could even have lost it as the Seagulls pushed as hard as the hosts for a winner in the final quarter of the game.

Early goals from Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane were cancelled out by a fantastic strike from Enock Mwepu before the break, and then a second-half equaliser from Leandro Trossard.

Liverpool also had two goals disallowed, with Mane denied from making it 3-0 in the first half by VAR after the ball ricocheted off his arm when closing down Robert Sanchez, while Mohamed Salah saw his strike ruled out for offside, which would have extended his scoring run to 11 games.

Speaking to BBC Match of the Day, Klopp said: "It feels like a defeat. It's not only because we were 2-0 up and didn't win, it's because the game I saw, we scored two of the most beautiful goals I've ever seen us score, which were disallowed.

"The pressing goal for Sadio was just unlucky, if you want to teach pressing, you would show this situation. But disallowed for handball, I guess.

"Top moments in the first half where we showed how we can hurt Brighton, played some top passes through the centre and played really good football but were only 2-0 up.

"In the second half, we were not good enough. The body language I didn't like it at all. It was like 'oh my God, it's really tough'. Yeah, it was clear before the game.

"The best way to defend Brighton is to have the ball yourself and play in the spaces where they are exposed, but we didn't do that and that's a problem."

 

 

Meanwhile, Brighton manager Graham Potter was delighted with the effort from his team, and hailed it a "fantastic game of football".

"It's a fantastic performance, the players deserve all the credit. They've played with such courage and intensity, it was a fantastic game of football. Both teams went at it, we were toe-to-toe. It's a point for us and a performance we can build on.

"It could have been 3-0 but instead it was 2-1. Those little things need to go your way, but I think our second goal was really well worked. You could tell the crowd was frustrated and that's a sign of how well we were playing.

"It's a fantastic game of football against a wonderful opponent. We're happy with a point, delighted with the performance.

"There's a nice belief in the team, a nice togetherness and resilience. They believe in each other. I'm really pleased because they put so much into that game today."

Everton continue their search for Carlo Ancelotti's replacement.

One emerging candidate has plenty of familiarity with Liverpool. 

Could the Toffees turn to a former rival? 

 

TOP STORY – BENITEZ IN MERSEYSIDE RETURN?

Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has emerged as a strong contender to replace Carlo Ancelotti at Everton, the Daily Mirror and other outlets report. 

As the Merseyside club's interest in former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has faded, majority owner Farhad Moshiri apparently plans to speak to the 61-year-old Benitez. 

The Spaniard was Liverpool's manager from 2004-10, winning the Champions League title in 2005. He spent 18 months in charge of Chinese Super League club Dalian Professional before leaving by mutual consent in January. 

Others under consideration include Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Graham Potter, former Lille coach Christophe Galtier and former Toffees boss Roberto Martinez

 

ROUND-UP

- Chelsea have matched Paris Saint-Germain's offer of about €65million (£56.1m) to Inter for Achraf Hakimi, according to Sky Sport Italia, though Inter value the 22-year-old at €81m (£70m).

- Barcelona see Manchester City's Raheem Sterling as a potential replacement for Ousmane Dembele should the France international depart, according to Sport, and Marca says PSG have interest in Dembele. 

- David de Gea seems inclined to extend his stay at Manchester United and expects to be the first-choice goalkeeper ahead of Dean Henderson, The Sun reports. 

- Atletico Madrid rejected United's £10m bid for England right-back Kieran Trippier, according to Football Insider. 

- Roma are close to completing their long-rumoured signing of Arsenal's Granit Xhaka, Corriere dello Sport claims. 

- West Ham would like to sign Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard on a permanent deal, The Sun reports. 

- Tottenham have had discussions with Borussia Monchengladbach winger Marcus Thuram, RMC Sport reports, and The Athletic says Spurs could also be eyeing RB Leipzig's Marcel Sabitzer

- Former Roma coach Paulo Fonseca has emerged as Spurs' preferred option to replace Jose Mourinho and the sides have discussed a three-year contract, the Guardian reports. 

- Former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard could be in the mix for the Crystal Palace opening, the Daily Mirror reports. 

Referee Lee Mason was criticised for making a "horrendous decision" after controversially ruling out a Brighton goal in an eventful Premier League clash with West Brom.

The battle between two teams struggling at the bottom end of the table was settled in favour of West Brom thanks to Kyle Bartley's goal in the 11th minute.

However, Lewis Dunk's quickly taken free-kick appeared to have drawn Brighton level in the first half, his attempt coming with goalkeeper Sam Johnstone still situated by his post while lining up a defensive wall for the home team. 

Mason, who had appeared to blow his whistle to allow the game to be restarted, initially awarded the goal, then disallowed the strike instead.

A further delay in proceedings then followed when the on-field official was told to check the pitchside monitor following communication with video assistant referee (VAR) Simon Hooper.

The check appeared to be concerning the possible presence of an attacking player in an offside position, though it was then announced the goal had been ruled out as Mason had actually sounded his whistle for a second time before the ball crossed the line.

Dunk, however, was far from impressed by the eventual outcome.

"It's embarrassing, it's a horrendous decision," the Brighton captain told Sky Sports. "I said to the referee, 'Can I take it?'. He blew his whistle and I took it.

"I don't think he knew what he was doing. He gave the goal, why did he give it? I don't know why VAR was getting involved, he said: 'Goal'. You can look on the video, if you want."

Asked if Mason lost control of the game, the defender replied: "Yeah he did. Fact."

Brighton slipped to defeat at the Hawthorns despite having just over 70 per cent of possession and 15 attempts.

They also contrived to waste not one but two penalties, in the process becoming the first team in Premier League history to miss two spot-kicks by hitting the woodwork in a single game.

Pascal Gross squandered the first opportunity from 12 yards out in the opening half, while Danny Welbeck was also unsuccessful in the 75th minute having taken over penalty duties for the visitors.

The Seagulls will return south wondering quite how they managed to come away without anything from the fixture, but victory for West Brom boosts their survival hopes.

Sam Allardyce's side remain 19th in the table but have closed the gap down to eight points on 17th-placed Newcastle United, who sit a point and a place below Brighton ahead of hosting Wolves later on Saturday.

Offering his version of events over the free-kick goal that never was, match-winner Bartley told Sky Sports: "The ref blew his whistle he said to speak to someone in the wall, there was a bit of pushing.

"There was a bit of confusion but Lee Mason dealt with it really well and came to the right conclusion. It was a bit confusing, I don't think it would have been right for them to score like that."

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