The final result may have favored only Manchester City, who now have a double-digit lead at the top over both Chelsea and Liverpool, but tonight’s 2-2 draw between the two chasers of the defending champions was indeed brilliant entertainment and a reminder that football, at its best, is just as glorious and amazing as it can be frustrating and disappointing. Or as Cesc Fàbregas once said iconically, “football is [FUNNING] unbelievable”.
How else can you explain this game, and especially the first half, which saw Chelsea go behind by two thanks in great part to individual mistakes, then almost go into half-time with a 3-2 lead thanks to brilliant goals from Mateo Kovačić (!) and Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount missing by an inch all in the span of five minutes at the end of the half?
Head coach Thomas Tuchel certainly could appreciate the effort from his charges, especially in turning the deficit around when it could’ve been all too easy to crumble into submission.
“We fight for the win. We struggled to win the games that can be on our side, today there are no regrets. It was a brilliant match of football. We started very well and were then 2-0 down from individual mistakes that get punished at this level.
“We turned it around, we were close to winning it but it was on the edge and could have gone either way. We continue.”
It’s been a trying month for the Blues, with injuries, infections, and a certain interview, and results have not been stellar. That said, it’s now just 1 defeat in 21 in all competitions, and while we’ve had a few too many draws, we certainly remain on the right track, as Tuchel himself said a couple days ago.
And results like today can add to that belief and that confidence, which will be important as we begin a month of January full of massive games both in the league and the League Cup (including Wednesday’s semifinal first leg against Spurs).
“You can win it anytime if you still believe and I am happy with the attitude and the quality we showed. We can still improve, we still struggled because of injuries and changes we had to make but we don’t want to be greedy. I am happy with my team.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: BBC Sport
Onwards and upwards!