‘We were lucky’ – Tuchel makes bold Chelsea assessment of Watford win

Thomas Tuchel gives orders to Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Christian Pulisic during Watford vs Chelsea, December 2021

Thomas Tuchel admitted his Chelsea side were “lucky” to take all three points as they “didn’t cope” against Watford at Vicarage Road .

The Premier League leaders were put under the cosh by the relegation battlers right from the off. A pause in play due to a medical emergency in the crowd gave them chance to regroup, but they remained very uneasy in defence. One quality second-half move was all that ended up separating the sides.

And Tuchel made no attempt to protect how poor his team were, or disguise how fortunate the win was.

The German coach told Amazon: “That’s not us. We were absolutely not ready today for this match. I missed maybe to find the right approach to make my team ready.

“We had the break due to very sad circumstances – hopefully the person is better. Even this break after the first 11 minutes did not change our approach. We did not cope with the pressure, with the first ball, second ball.

“We had a lot of changes but too many faults. It did not get better. The only thing we could do was hang in there and focus on the easy things. It was a lucky win.

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“I see this totally as an exception from the rule. I will not insist too long on this match because it’s so unusual for us to play like this.”

Tuchel had to make three injury-enforced changes to his team. And a further four fresh faces starting as well seemed to disrupt their system.

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Defender Trevoh Chalobah hobbled off in the second half and could be joining a growing list of players on the sidelines. That is not ideal for Tuchel with eight games still to go in 2021.

He added: “The next game on Saturday, the most worried I am is about the injury for Trevoh. The doctor was on the pitch 20 times today it felt like. It’s a big loss from Trev. I’m a bit worried.

“Havertz was very strong today. I felt he was the one player reaching his level today. We missed some players and we had some overloaded.

“We stole three points – we don’t have to talk around it. For the first time it feels like a lucky win.”

Tuchel had ‘firm words’

Mason Mount celebrates his goal during Watford vs Chelsea, December 2021

Chelsea’s first goalscorer, Mason Mount, revealed Tuchel had given the team a stern talking to during the lengthy medical break.

“He [Tuchel] said some firm words to us in the dressing room and it got us going,” said Mount. “And we know that as a group, obviously he said it but as individuals, as leaders within the group we know that we didn’t started good enough.

“We had 11 minutes in our own half, we didn’t keep the ball, no possession, no football in their half. So we know individually.

“We knew it was gonna be a tough game coming here. Any little chances we had, we had to take.

“I probably should’ve done better in the first half when I hit the post. I could’ve gone across goal. But Hakim [Ziyech] comes on, he gets his goal.

“The three points is big for us after obviously the last game [1-1 draw vs Manchester United].”

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