Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel revealed the similarities between West Ham and a European powerhouse in the fallout of a hard-fought 1-0 win.
Chelsea took one step closer to securing Champions League football with a vital London derby win at West Ham. The Blues dominated for much of the contest, restricting their opponents to fleeting sights at goal.
The lively Timo Werner settled the tie with a late first-half finish after superb work from Ben Chilwell down the left.
Werner could’ve put the game to bed after the break, but screwed wide from point-blank range with Lukasz Fabianski seated after making a save.
Nevertheless, the win puts Chelsea three points clear inside the top four.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Tuchel said: “The boys are very, very happy in the dressing room, it was a great performance, an amazing result and I think a well-deserved win for us.
“The first 10-15 minutes in the second half, we did not come out very well from the dressing room but the last half-hour was excellent and the first half was excellent.
“It was a pretty normal preparation and we did not talk one more word about Super League from Tuesday on. I felt everybody was very concentrated and enjoying the focus on the game.
“We said we could arrive with confidence because before we have had crucial away matches on the highest level in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup and we knew we could deliver and win these matches.”
Regarding the matchwinner Werner, Tuchel added: “He always gives everything, he could have made it more comfortable but I am very happy because he played a very good match.”
Praising the resiliency of West Ham, Tuchel compared playing David Moyes’ men to facing European powerhouse, Atletico Madrid.
“Honestly, they reminded me a little bit of Atletico, said Tuchel. “Very tough to play.
“You can win ball possession, but to really hurt them with ball possession is hard. You have to really earn your chances. You have to be very, very smart and on the lowest level of crucial mistakes in midfield.”
Werner reveals Chelsea teammates’ encouragement
Chelsea striker Timo Werner also spoke to the press, telling Sky Sports: “The second chance I have to score, but I have to come back slowly. One goal is enough. Two goals might be too much for the beginning!
“I’m very happy that we won this game. It’s a big win for us in the race for the top four. It’s the best feeling after winning a game to score a goal. It was really important for me and for the whole team. It’s great to be back on the scoresheet.
“Callum [Hudson-Odoi] said to me I’ll score today, and 30 seconds later Tammy [Abraham] came to me and said I’d score today. They told me to point to them when I score.
“This season it’s not only the confidence, maybe it’s also luck. Last year the ball always went in, this year it’s different. I’m confident that the chances like my second one will also go in in the next weeks and months.
“The draw against Brighton was tough for us because we wanted to get the win before the West Ham game. Now we have this gap to West Ham. It was really important ahead of a big game on Tuesday, when we play against Real Madrid.”