Thomas Tuchel hailed Chelsea’s “outstanding” performance as they avenged their FA Cup final defeat to Leicester with a 2-1 victory in the Premier League but insisted “the job is not done yet” in the race for a top-four finish.
Chelsea dominated the game in front of 8,000 buoyant supporters at Stamford Bridge, taking a two-goal lead thanks to Jorginho’s penalty and Antonio Rudiger’s close-range finish then surviving a nervy finale after Kelechi Iheanacho had pulled one back.
The sometimes stormy victory lifts Chelsea up to third place, above Leicester, who will drop out of the top four if Liverpool beat Burnley on Wednesday, and puts their hopes of a top-four finish in their own hands ahead of their meeting with Aston Villa on the final day.
Tuchel was delighted with his players’ response to Saturday’s defeat at Wembley but urged caution as the Champions League race goes to the wire.
“It was an outstanding performance but the job is not done. We have two more to go,” he told Sky Sports, referencing the Premier League clash with Villa and the Champions League final against Manchester City.
The fans made a huge difference. You see the speed in our game, the hunger, the ambition. It was a very strong performance and I’m absolutely delighted the team can present itself like this in front of our fans.
“We needed exactly that today. It was a big win but it is not time for celebration yet.”
He added: “It was an OK performance in the cup, but today was a top performance.
First half was amazing, the quality and energy, and the second half as well. We gave an easy goal away that made us suffer a bit in the end but overall it was a very deserved win.”
The win might have been more comfortable had Chelsea not been denied a penalty in the first half when Timo Werner was kicked by Youri Tielemans in the Leicester box.
Tuchel was once again left frustrated by the decisions that went against his side.
“It’s a clear penalty. They [VAR] are horrible against us and it’s the third time in a row. We have a goal against Arsenal denied with handball, we have a goal against Leicester in the cup with a hand and today, it is a penalty but the foul goes against us.
“This has to stop of course but we were not worried at half-time. We just said ‘let’s do it again and force it’.”