Chelsea came into Sunday’s game looking to cut out the catastrophic mistakes at the back that have plagued our performances of late, and then get back on the winning track at Stamford Bridge — not the happiest hunting grounds this season for whatever reason.
Mission accomplished on both counts then. Not emphatically, not spectacularly, not perfectly. But we got the goal we needed in the end, kept a clean sheet despite another makeshift defensive configuration (and a couple near-mistakes), and were able to keep our position in third comfortable for another round.
Thomas Tuchel, who had acknowledged earlier in the week that the squad’s confidence had taken a hit and our mentalities had been affected by our strange results at home, was happy enough seeing his squad fight to the very end and grind out the necessary three points.
“Games like this against West Ham are, in my opinion, very hard to have a hard and spectacular game. And full credit. They normally defend with eight or nine players deep around their box, and they do this so disciplined that it’s very hard to find spaces to accelerate.
“I did not expect a spectacular game in general, and the first half was a bit stuck. But that was because of a bit of uncertainty after the latest results here at home. We grew into it, never lost discipline, we never lost patience, understood the situation better when to accelerate, and we joined a bit with more courage and players when the acceleration was there.
“So we grew into it and created more chances minute to minute in the second half and then got the winner. Me personally, I don’t know if there is any other way to play against them. I don’t want to confuse it that we don’t give everything. It can feel like this if you play against West Ham with a lot of possession, but at the same time, you have to be careful and disciplined to control the counter-attacks.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
Job done. Six to go. Next!