Thomas Tuchel felt that Chelsea “stole three points” with their 2-1 victory at Watford on Wednesday.
The Blues were far from their best from the off at Vicarage Road. They completed just 71 per cent of their passes for their lowest passing accuracy in all competitions under Tuchel and their worst since facing Liverpool in the Premier League in May 2018.
Mason Mount put them in front after a 30-minute break in play while a fan received medical attention after suffering from a cardiac arrest – Watford later confirmed the supporter had been stabilised. However, Emmanuel Dennis became the first Watford player to score in three consecutive top-plight games since Troy Deeney in 2017 when he equalised before half-time.
Tuchel’s men looked destined to drop points for the third time in four Premier League games but substitute Hakim Ziyech steered home his first top-flight goal of the season to seal a third straight league win at Vicarage Road for the first time in Chelsea’s history.
“We stole three points. We don’t have to talk around it. It feels very, very good, it’s an important three points of course. For the first time it feels like a lucky win,” Tuchel, who made six changes to his line-up, told Amazon Prime.
“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 and hopefully it was enough time to keep them safe. 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, I admit that, 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.
“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.”
Top of the league. pic.twitter.com/w8Ihmy6xz3
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 1, 2021
Ziyech was sent on in the 60th minute as a replacement for Trevoh Chalobah, who hobbled off with an apparent hamstring injury that gave Tuchel cause for concern ahead of Saturday’s meeting with West Ham.
The Blues were without Ben Chilwell, Reece James, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic on Wednesday, while Jorginho and Timo Werner were still injury concerns despite being on the bench. Romelu Lukaku played 20 minutes off the bench as he continued his recovery from an ankle problem.
“The next game on Saturday, I am most worried about the injury for Trevoh Chalobah and we got a lot of hits today. The doctor was on the pitch like 20 times to treat players,” said Tuchel.
“It’s a big loss from Trevoh and we already have some injured key players. I’m a bit worried about that because the next game is on Saturday at 12:30.”
— Trevoh Chalobah (@TrevohChalobah) December 1, 2021