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Tuchel admits Chelsea looked 'mentally tired' in goalless draw with Brighton

Chelsea and Brighton played out a goalless draw on a night where the future of European football took shape.

The fixture was almost unimportant amidst the furore surrounding the European Super League, with Chelsea one of six English clubs to have initially signed up to the project.

News broke just before kick-off that the Blues intended to withdraw from the competition after widespread criticism from their fans.

Supporters protested outside Stamford Bridge and delayed kick-off by 15 minutes after blocking the team bus from entering.

Manchester City then announced their intention to withdraw from the competition.

With the Champions League still accepting teams on merit, it means the result puts Chelsea into fourth on the table, ahead of West Ham United on goal difference, and therefore in the qualification places for next season's competition.

Thomas Tuchel's side created little in the match, with Brighton having chances to go ahead late on through Adam Lallana and Danny Welbeck.

Defender Ben White was then sent off for the visitors in stoppage time for a second booking as Chelsea looked to counter-attack.

The Seagulls are now seven points from safety with six games remaining.

And speaking after the game, Tuchel admits his players looked mentally tired on the field.

"We are disappointed," the German told BBC Sport. "We wanted to have the win and know how crucial these moments are. We wanted to be in a place number three after this game. We did not make it and were lucky not to lose. We made big mistakes, looked tired, mentally tired. We did not deserve to win which is maybe for the first time since I come here.

"They defend very aggressive and we could not use the ball and create chances. We were sloppy when we did win the ball. We were not precise enough. We have to accept that we did not deserve. If you do crucial mistakes in your own half you get punished usually. We lacked the freshness to create something."

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Freddie Taylor

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