Thomas Tuchel’s excellent decision making proved pivotal as Chelsea clambered past West Ham 1-0 at Stamford Bridge. Christian Pulisic’s effort in the dying moments handed the Blues three crucial points in the race for Champions League qualification.
The West Londoners sit third in the Premier League; Chelsea are five points adrift of Arsenal and seven from fifth-placed Tottenham with a game in hand. Jorginho looked as if he had crushed the home faithful’s hopes after Łukasz Fabiański gathered his ‘pathetic’ penalty.
The Blues will undoubtedly be happy with another win under their belt, though had it not been for Tuchel’s decision making and tactical architecture, then Chelsea may not have waltzed away victorious. With no more than a quarter of an hour to play, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz made way for Hakim Ziyech, Romelu Lukaku and the goalscorer Pulisic.
With a lot to delve into, we Carefree Chelsea at football.london, plucked out at the good, the bad and ugly moments from the clash.
Good: Alonso is proving the doubters wrong
Marcos Alonso is far from the perfect player, but that shouldn’t limit the praise that he rightfully warrants after a clash whereby his persistence proved the difference. The 30-year-old full-back was somewhat a constant threat down the left-hand side until his final delivery into the box proved decisive, assisting Pulisic in excellent fashion.
Credit where credit is due. Alonso did well. Pulisic, obviously, deserves an honourable mention for eating his dinner, but it was Alonso who served the winning dish.
Bad: More paper plastered over the cracks
While Chelsea can be very happy with another three important points, the result feels as if it’s just plastering more paper over the cracks. Tuchel is working his magic on a side with little to none of his own signings through unprecedented times.
Another result which proves why the Blues boss needs a blank cheque in the summer from the new owners. Back Tuchel.
Ugly: Jorginho loses his step
The less said about Jorginho’s penalty, the better. I’ve never been too bothered by who takes penalties, but following his effort, I’d genuinely love to see a ‘whoever won it, takes its rule in place – or it be an unwritten rule that strikers get priority.
“Pathetic,” Graeme Souness said on Sky Sports Super Sunday. “It bounces before it gets to the goalkeeper. That’s exactly how not to take a penalty. No conviction. It’s in the centre of the goal. Easiest save the goalkeeper’s ever made. Poor penalty.”