Thomas Tuchel reserved praise for Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek after their late yet convincing win over Southampton.
Chelsea left it late at Stamford Bridge to collect all three points against Southampton, who threatened to hold out for a draw. Trevoh Chalobah scored his second goa for the club this season, but James Ward-Prowse levelled from the penalty spot to give the Saints hope.
For larger periods, Southampton looked likely to hold out for a draw against the European Champions, but a red card to Ward-Prowse turned the game on its head. Timo Werner then scored a goal to give Chelsea a late lead, before Ben Chilwell added a third to wrap up the game.
The second goal came after out-of-favour midfielder Ross Barkley was introduced and changed the complexion of the game with a decisive pass to Cesar Azpilicueta, who squared it for Werner to tap home.
Tuchel commented on his side’s commitment towards collecting three points stating Chelsea deserved to win the game. He said, ‘This was absolutely a deserved win. It was a good victory, and it was an entertaining game of football because Southampton were also strong. In my opinion, we did everything to deserve the win.”
However, the manager reserved praise for Ross Barkley, who came off the bench to make a telling contribution. The former Everton midfielder was instrumental in the build-up towards Werner’s game-winning strike. The manager also had words for Ruben Loftus-Cheek as the German boss spoke to Chelsea’s official site after the game.
Tuchel commented, “I’m also happy for Ross, who came on did what he had to do. He played a fantastic pass for Azpi in the build-up, he won some free-kicks, and he did well in an open game. He found some spaces, he plays with good energy, and his delivery was excellent.
“He had a very good situation already in Juventus where he delivered the pass to Romelu for our biggest chance in the game, and he had a good match in the Carabao Cup.
“Ruben and Ross at the moment feel no pressure because they are happy to have these chances and feel the support, and maybe they could not have imagined six weeks ago they would be in a position where they actually get important minutes. They can help us because they have this totally positive spirit, and they don’t feel the pressure.”