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away win Thomas Tuchel hits out at Premier League decision makers as Chelsea beat Aston Villa

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Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea scores their side's second goal during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Chelsea at Villa Park on December 26, 2021 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea scores their side's second goal during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Chelsea at Villa Park on December 26, 2021 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Romelu Lukaku of Chelsea scores their side's second goal during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Chelsea at Villa Park on December 26, 2021 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel lashed out at the Premier League's decision to press on with the fixture list, as his side battled to an impressive 3-1 win against Aston Villa.

Romelu Lukaku climbed off the bench to inspire Chelsea's comeback victory as he continued to haunt Villa, as the striker scored his first Premier League goal since a September brace against the same opposition as the visitors came from behind to secure a vital win.

Lukaku has now scored nine goals in his last 10 top-flight appearances against Villa and also caused havoc to win a stoppage-time penalty for Jorginho to score his second goal of the game.

Jorginho's first penalty had earlier cancelled out Reece James' own goal as Villa ran out of steam after an impressive opening half to remain 10th, with Chelsea now six points behind leaders Manchester City.

Despite the victory, Tuchel was not happy that he is being forced to play so many games over Christmas, despite problems with injuries and Covid.

"They make us play all the time even if we have Covid. We have new injuries and it won't stop. People at the green table, in offices make these decisions," said Tuchel.

"It's not fair today. He (Lukaku) had a very good performance. He's not ready for that even if he wants it. We've all been in bed for 10 days with flu. He was a game changer today. I'm super impressed with the guys but I'm super concerned.

"We will have the same discussion on Wednesday again. Nobody asked us. If we say what we want to change it's not possible.

"We are struggling, we are pressing our players. I have maximum respect for what the players did today.

"We do changes because of injuries. We don't change for tactical reasons any more. We thought Hudson-Odoi can share minutes with Lukaku but Kante is injured, Silva is injured. We have three changes. It backfired on us. Hudson-Odoi was outstanding today, one of his very best performances. We were in doubt he can play one half but he played 90 minutes."

Asked whether five substitutions should be allowed in the Premier League to ease player fatigue issues, Tuchel was quick to offer a definitive response: "Of course. Zero chance. We are the only league who play in winter which I love but we're not protecting the players. All other leagues have five changes.

"Then we compete against them in the Champions League. It's a bit frustrating. It will not stop. Brighton will play a super physical game then we have two games against Spurs, who are out of Europe and fully focused on the league and Carabao Cup."

Meanwhile, Lukaku insisted the Blues have to treat every Premier League encounter "like a final" to stay in the title race.

"I think we are the hunters now," Lukaku told Sky Sports. "The last results for us were not the best. And now we have to chase.

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"Every game for us from now until the end of the season is like a final.

"You have to treat them like a final because every game is so difficult in the Premier League. I think I needed a performance like this today.

"It's tough when you're not there and every player always wants to be involved but the manager has his reasons.

"I kept working hard, it was good for us to win and for myself personally, I was happy with my performance and now I want to push on."

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