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Thomas Tuchel reveals reason for Reece James change after Chelsea’s FA Cup defeat

Reece James played as part of a three-man defence as Chelsea were beaten by Leicester City (Getty)

Thomas Tuchel has revealed that Reece James’ position was changed in order to nullify the threat of Jamie Vardy in Chelsea’s FA Cup final defeat to Leicester City.

Tuchel missed out on the chance to secure his first piece of silverware as Chelsea boss as his side were beaten 1-0 at Wembley on Saturday.

Youri Tielemans’ excellent long-range strike in the second half sealed the win for Leicester, while Chelsea had a late goal from Ben Chilwell ruled out for offside via VAR.

Following the defeat, Tuchel has come under fire for playing James as part of his three-man defence, while Cesar Azpilicueta was deployed as a wing-back on the right flank.

But Tuchel has explained that he wanted to utilise James’ strength and speed in order to keep Vardy quiet.

‘Reece played in the back three and we put Azpi up higher,’ Tuchel said after the match.

Thomas Tuchel claims Reece James' position change was to nullify the threat of Jamie Vardy in Chelsea's FA Cup final against Leicester City

Thomas Tuchel claims Reece James’ position change was to nullify the threat of Jamie Vardy (Getty)

‘They changed the position because we knew about the favourite position of Jamie Vardy in counter-attacks and the transition game.

‘We wanted Reece’s power and acceleration and top speed against him to eliminate this threat. He did fantastic today. I’m very, very happy.

‘On the same side we wanted to have Azpi a bit higher because he takes from his experience and character a bit more risk than Reece in the last line.

‘If Azpi had scored the first goal and it was not deflected beforehand it would’ve been a great decision.

‘So now it’s a normal decision, it was a decision for tactical reasons, for Reece’s top speed and I’m very happy with how we defended in general today.’

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