Gus Poyet and Eniola Aluko were frustrated that Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi didn’t wrap up the points for the Blues before Brighton’s equaliser on Wednesday night.
Danny Welbeck’s added-time header stunned the embattled Blues to steal Brighton a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Romelu Lukaku’s early header ensured Chelsea leapfrogged Liverpool into second place, but the Blues only lead Jurgen Klopp’s men by one point with the Reds boasting a game in hand.
Chelsea have now slipped to four draws in their last five home league matches, to drop eight points behind leaders Manchester City.
Hudson-Odoi was played through by Lukaku in the second half but instead of going for goal he spurned a glorious chance by choosing to pass to Mason Mount.
His attempt to find Mount in the box was poor and comfortably intercepted by a Brighton defender.
“At this level you’ve got to be better,” former Chelsea forward Aluko said on Amazon Prime.
“It’s a 2 v 1 situation, maybe he needs to release it quicker. But you’ve got to make that pass, you have to make that pass.
“That’s the difference potentially between winning the game and getting a sickening equaliser at the end and drawing the game.”
Rom on target again! 💪 pic.twitter.com/HKh4eEqagK
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 30, 2021
On Hudson-Odoi’s chance, Poyet added: “I’m surprised he [Hudson-Odoi] needed to pass. It’s not like he tried to pass over the defender or around him.
“He hit the defender straight away. That’s very strange. Normally you miss that pass in behind because the other player is too far ahead of you or you try to play it too clever.
“He didn’t do one or the other. He just hit the defender. Very strange.”
When asked if Chelsea can still compete for the title, Blues boss Thomas Tuchel replied: “How should we be in it? We have seven Covid cases. We have five or six players out for six or more weeks. How should we compete in a title race?
“Everyone else who has a full squad, everybody in training has the full power to come through this league.
“We would be stupid to think we can do it out of Covid and injuries and just play, and everybody would be stupid to do it without 23 fit players.”