Thomas Tuchel had a warning for his Chelsea players despite seeing them leapfrog Leicester with a 2-1 win over the Foxes at Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Rudiger’s first goal in 15 months and a Jorginho penalty inched Chelsea towards a top-four Premier League finish with victory over their FA Cup final foes.
Germany defender Rudiger bundled home Ben Chilwell’s deflected corner with his thigh as Chelsea shook off Timo Werner’s two disallowed goals at Stamford Bridge.
Jorginho calmly slotted a spot-kick to seal the Blues’ vital victory. The only worry is an early enforced exit for key midfielder N’Golo Kante.
Kelechi Iheanacho sidefooted in for Leicester to set up a nervy finish, but Ayoze Perez missed a golden chance as Chelsea held out for a result of major significance.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Tuchel was delighted with the win but warned the season is not done yet: “Fantastic. It was an outstanding performance but the job is not done. We have two more to go.
“The fans made a huge difference. The speed in our game, the hunger, the ambition. It was a very strong performance and I’m delighted the team can present itself like this in front of our fans.”
Asked if Chelsea were fired up from the FA Cup final defeat, Tuchel added: “We were fired up from our loss against Arsenal. Today we did what we do. We played courageous, high intensity, aggressive. Happy to have the win. I need to repeat, it’s not done.”
Tuchel also had praise for Werner, who had a real mixed bag of an evening: “It’s his job to be involved in everything and he needs to be involved on Sunday again. It’s no time now for extra praise. Enjoy, shut up, enjoy your free day and get ready for Sunday. I don’t feel comfortable now celebrating, I just say what’s needed.”
As for the VAR decisions against Werner, the German said: “It’s a clear penalty. They are horrible against us. It’s the third time in a row. This has to stop of course but we were not worried at half-time.”
The Blues now face Aston Villa in the final game of the season, knowing victory will secure a top-four spot. And Tuchel added: “It’s still in our hands. We need another huge performance but with fans in the Aston Villa ground will be super hard.”
Werner plays his part
Timo Werner, speaking to Match of the Day afterwards, said: “It’s good that we have fans back in the stadium. We missed it so much. That’s why you play football because you want a full stadium. There was only 8,000 here today but it was so loud. It made it a lot of fun to play today and you saw that on the pitch.”
On his disallowed goal and penalty decision, he added: “The first half was a bit like a mirror of the whole season for me. Always close, then at the end not really. When you are young and in the final of the Champions League it’s no problem.”
Werner admitted it was pivotal for the Blues to bounce back after their weekend disappointment at Wembley.
He added: “It was really hard after the final. You want to win every final. The game was so big that we couldn’t have so much things in our head about the final because we had to concentrate on this game. It was much more important because when you don’t play Champions League next season it means a lot.”