Premier League • England

Thomas Tuchel takes surprise stance over referee decision; lauds ‘brilliant’ Chelsea goal

Thomas Tuchel Chelsea

Thomas Tuchel has taken a surprise stance over a referee decision in Chelsea’s 2-0 win against Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues were aiming to get back to winning ways after dropping points against Manchester City and Brighton in recent outings. They did just that with a comfortable victory over Spurs which handed Antonio Conte his first Premier League defeat since moving to north London.

Harry Kane seemed to put the away side in front with 40 minutes gone when he turned away from Thiago Silva and finished past Kepa Arrizabalaga. But the referee pulled him up for a slight push on Silva in the build-up.

Tuchel’s half-time team talk clearly worked as Chelsea went ahead in the 47th minute. Hakim Ziyech received the ball 20 yards from goal, following some good work by Callum Hudson-Odoi. Ziyech then curled a great effort into the top corner to mark his third league goal of the season.

Silva then got on the end of a Mason Mount free-kick to put Chelsea 2-0 up, which Spurs were unable to come back from.

During a post-match interview with Sky Sports, Tuchel said (via BBC Sport): “We were working extremely hard for it and it was a tough match. The effort was outstanding and it was a deserved win. It is so hard to create chances against them but we were relentless and kept on believing.

“Keep on going, there was no need for changes, some details of when to take the risk and when not. Encouragement to keep on going.”

Thomas Tuchel sides with Kane

The manager took a surprise stance over Kane’s disallowed goal. “I didn’t see it. Live I thought it was a goal and was surprised,” he said.

On Ziyech’s strike, Thomas Tuchel added: “I was right behind! I had the feeling it was a bit too high but it dropped at the right second. It was a brilliant goal. His technique was brilliant.

“The table is the table, it is our responsibility to prove ourselves every third day and now we have a break and it was important to go into this break with a performance we want. We needed this but needed also to do things better. The guys are very tired because it was a long run for us.”

The victory is a great way to mark the end of Tuchel’s first year at Chelsea. “A good year, a nice year,” he said. “I feel very good because it feels still like the first day, nothing has changed, it is exactly the right place to be. I feel an enormous amount of support – hopefully many more years to come.”

Find out which Premier League managers are constantly looking down on their rivals and which ones will forever struggle to hit the heights.

Ziyech rates his goal

On Chelsea’s tenacity, 23-year-old Mount said: “That’s us, the way we play. You could see straght from the beginning the desire to win the ball back higher. That was definitely us today.

“Over the last couple of weeks we haven’t had the results we wanted and you start looking around you and teams are creeping up. To win this game was massive for us.”

Ziyech was alongside Mount for the post-match interview. He was asked about his subdued celebration, which was also on show in midweek. “The game against Brighton we didn’t play well so there was frustration. But today we played well, they had some counter attacks but it wasn’t dangerous at all.

“How good was the goal? I think it was 10 out of 10. I thought maybe I hit it a little bit hard and in the end I saw it go in.”

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