Premier League • England

Tuchel addresses late Leeds bust-up; insists Chelsea have ‘no alternative’

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel 2021

Thomas Tuchel laid down a marker to his Chelsea side after insisting there’s “no alternative to winning”, and commented on the clashes between the two sets of players at the final whistle.

Chelsea got back to winning ways in the most dramatic fashion possible. The Blues trailed after Raphinha netted from the spot, but that wouldn’t be the last time penalties would be the order of the day at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea levelled through Mason Mount before Jorginho converted a penalty won by Antonio Rudiger.

Vibrant Leeds substitute Joe Gelhardt pegged the hosts back with just seven minutes remaining, but it was the unlikely figure of Rudiger that would have the decisive say.

The centre-back won his second penalty of the match in injury time. Jorginho did what he does best, keeping his composure when slotting home from 12 yards to hand Chelsea a vital last-gasp win.

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Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Tuchel said: “It was a nice game of football. Very intense and I’m very happy with how we played.

“I think we deserved to win but of course it’s lucky when you have a late goal in extra time. But coming back twice is very impressive and I’m very happy we turned things around. It was tough work but we didn’t expect anything else.

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“There’s no alternative to winning in this dressing room. We have two days off now as we play again on Thursday. I’m really happy for the team and the staff that we have these two days with a feeling that we have turned things around.

“There are things to improve as always but I’m very happy with the result.

“We were lucky, we needed this. We were unlucky in last two games conceding very late goals so maybe this is exactly what we needed.”

On Jorginho’s two penalties, Tuchel said: “It’s not so easy two score two penalties. I wasn’t sure if he would take the second one. We believe in our players, it’s not easy so full credit to him.

Both sets of players clashed at the final whistle, though Tuchel insisted it was nothing to write home about.

“Emotions were boiling,” he added. “I think it’s normal. I didn’t hear it was anything serious so all good.”

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Jorginho pushes through the pain barrier

Matchwinner Jorginho also spoke to the press, saying: “It was very important to have these three points.

“We had a tough game, Leeds are a tough opponent but we deserved the win. The last-minute goal was just amazing. The whole stadium felt so good.”

“We can always give more. If you gave an extra 10% today we can improve again. We always need to want to improve to do more.”

On playing despite carrying a back injury, the Italy international said: “My back is not in the best condition, but [sometimes] you need to push yourself more to help the team.

“That’s what I needed to do. It’s hard, but I pushed to help my team.”

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