Speaking in his post-match press conference, Tuchel revealed that the Denmark international had been withdrawn at half-time against the Gunners due to injury, despite suggestion that the change had been a tactical substitution.
The 26-year-old centre-back set the wheels in motion for what was to be a bruising night for the Blues, with his tame backpass allowing Eddie Nketiah to net his first Premier League goal of the season.
Having not resurfaced for the second half, it was believed that the £31.5m-rated man had been dragged off by his manager for that error, although the former Paris Saint-Germain moved to quash that speculation, while also blaming the pitch for the player’s early error: “He said he cannot continue, so I think he had some problems. I don’t take a player out because he makes one mistake.
“To say the pitch is difficult to play here it maybe sounds like an excuse, but it is a very, very difficult pitch that we have here. It’s not in our favour.
“The ball bounces very awkwardly in front of Andreas when he wants to play this ball. But still, we had the same mistake against Real Madrid that cost us the next round of the Champions League, and this one cost us the next match. I can’t remember when we got two goals like this.”
While his manager may be attempting to dig him out of a hole by targeting the home turf, there is no denying that it was a costly error from the 55-cap international, with that early blunder setting the tone for what would be a dismal defensive display all-around.
Although Christensen has since come out and taken responsibility for his high profile mistake, it will do little to appease his doubters, namely talkSPORT pundit Dean Saunders, who suggested that the £80k-per-week man is “not good enough” in the wake of the defeat.
That view was echoed by club legend Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who admitted that both the Dane and a handful of his teammates, simply weren’t up to scratch: “Lukaku, Christensen, Sarr and Alonso were just not good enough for a Chelsea team who should be challenging for the Champions League or Premier League.”
That may appear a rather brutal assessment, although in truth, should his injury complaint cause him to miss this weekend’s game against West Ham United, it could well prove to be something of a blessing in disguise, with the more experienced Thiago Silva likely to be a welcome addition to the side in his absence.
While not the worst performer among Tuchel’s squad this season – he currently ranks 15th for average match rating – the 6 foot 2 giant has not set the world alight either, with the player ranking in just the top 70% for tackles made among central defenders in Europe’s top five leagues over the past year, as well as ranking in just the top 44% for clearances made, as per FBref.
There are also those of a Chelsea persuasion who are simply keen to see the back of the one-time Borussia Monchengladbach loanee, amid reports that he has agreed a deal to join Barcelona this summer on a free transfer.
While the fact that the west London outfit are currently unable to offer new deals may have been a factor in that decision, supporters will no doubt be angered by the player seemingly jumping ship, particularly after he suggested last year that he was in it for the “long-run” at the club.
As they prepare for the visit of the Hammers on Sunday, his name not being mentioned on the teamsheet may prove something of a boost rather than a notable blow.