Chelsea

Chelsea

Premier League • England

Tuchel names two things Chelsea maintained to return to winning ways; provides Kovacic update

Samuel Bannister
Thomas Tuchel on the Chelsea touchline

Thomas Tuchel credited Chelsea for their “focus and high intensity” against Leeds United after putting in the performance they needed to get back on track.

Chelsea moved closer to Champions League qualification with a comfortable win at Elland Road. Goals from Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and Romelu Lukaku got the job done against relegation-threatened Leeds.

Now, Chelsea’s involvement in Europe’s top competition could be confirmed before they next kick a ball. If Tottenham fail to beat Arsenal on Thursday, the Blues and the Gunners will not be able to be caught in the top four.

It is good news for Chelsea after a run of three games without a win had prompted them to begin looking over their shoulders a bit.

Now, they are back on track as they prepare for an FA Cup final and their last two league games.

Their manager was pleased with the attitude they showed to shake off their recent dip in form.

Tuchel told Sky Sports: “We needed a performance like that. We deserved to win. That’s the best message.

“We were excellent right from the start and kept our focus and high intensity.”

It was the appropriate reaction after a draw with Wolves at the weekend. That only came after they conceded a 97th-minute equaliser.

But Tuchel talked with his players after the setback and they repaid him with their response against Leeds.

He added: “We cleared the air after the late equaliser against Wolves. We knew what was waiting. We had a lot of reason to trust ourselves.

“The players delivered. Full credit to them.

“We arrive [to the FA Cup final] with a clear mindset because we did what we needed to do this week. Good news.”

Tuchel gives Kovacic update before FA Cup final

As Tuchel alluded to, Chelsea’s next commitment is the FA Cup final against Liverpool on Saturday evening. Having lost to the Reds in the Carabao Cup final earlier this season, it gives them another chance for a trophy.

Tuchel has lifted the Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup during his time with Chelsea so far.

One thing he did suggest ahead of the FA Cup final, though, is that Mateo Kovacic is unlikely to be available. He had to go off after being on the receiving end of a foul from Daniel James, who was sent off.

Tuchel said: “I tell you not as a coach or an expert but I think it’s very unlikely we see him [in the FA Cup final].”

The manager will have lots of other things to ponder ahead of his team selection.

READ MOREChelsea transfer news: Billy Gilmour targeted by Rangers as two potential Ibrox exits loom