Thomas Tuchel insists Chelsea did not dent their Premier League title challenge at Wolves – but instead with three recent home draws.
Wolves held Chelsea to a goalless stalemate at Molineux, with the Covid and injury-hit Blues struggling for fluency.
Tuchel’s side slipped six points behind rampant leaders Manchester City following their fourth draw in eight top-flight encounters.
Defending champions City have won all eight in that same run, leaving Tuchel lamenting home draws with Burnley, Manchester United and Everton as opposed to Sunday’s deadlock at Wolves.
“The problem is not the points we dropped today,” said Tuchel.
“The points that hurt are the points we lost at home against Manchester United, Burnley and Everton.
“These are the six points that hurt, not today.
“I cannot and will not comment on decisions made from other games.
“We’ve never compared ourselves to anyone else in terms of Covid situation.
“We were just worried about the safety of the players, and the players were concerned about their health.
“Because we had several positive tests from the last few days, and that was it, and from there we go.”
Chelsea were missing as many as eight players due to Covid situations, with several more injured and a clutch of players rushed back into action.
The Blues could only name 14 outfield players in a depleted match day squad.
Chelsea were left “deeply disappointed” to see their request for a postponement rejected by Premier League bosses.
And then the Blues suffered further injury scares with Trevoh Chalobah picking up a knee concern and Hakim Ziyech a calf problem.
Asked for an update on Chalobah and Ziyech, a frustrated Tuchel replied: “Well this would be funny.
“This is what I mean; we can survive a game but we will pay the price at some point, that’s for sure.
“And maybe we already have with all our midfielders.
“Trevoh, hopefully it’s just painful, but at the moment it is very painful.
“We still have hopes that it’s not serious, but we need to wait for further examination.
“And for Hakim, I don’t think it’s bad, he got hit on his nerve and the calf was tight so he was limping and we had to take him off of course.”
Wolves spurned two fine chances to leave boss Bruno Lage mildly frustrated in the draw.
Daniel Podence tapped in at the far post early on, only to see his effort chalked off for Raul Jimenez’s offside.
And Leander Dendoncker should have buried his free header, only to nod tamely at Edouard Mendy.
“I think we played well, especially in the first half,” said Lage. “The players did everything I asked for the strategy, and we created two good chances.
“And after in the second half they had time to talk and adapt, and they created one good chance.
“It’s a good point for us; I think maybe we could deserve more than this, but OK.”