Later News Dec 02

Tuchel admits Chelsea were ‘lucky’ in Watford win; Guardiola hails Man City match-winner Bernardo


Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel was a relieved man this morning (SGT) after his side barely eked out a narrow 2-1 win over a battling Watford side to stay top of the English Premier League (EPL).

 

While the Blues headed into the match at Vicarage Road as overwhelming favourites, the Hornets proved to be a peskier opposition than expected, and were arguably good value for at least a point.

 

A 29th minute strike from Mason Mount gave the visitors the lead, but Watford struck back two minutes before the break through Emmanuel Dennis. But though Claudio Ranieri’s men looked the more threatening side after the break, their decision to do a Timo Werner tribute act whenever they had a goalscoring opportunity meant they were unable to fully capitalise on their dominance. 

 

The three points ultimately went to Chelsea after Hakim Ziyech bagged the winner in the 72nd minute, but Tuchel admitted that his side were ‘lucky’ to have gotten away with the victory.

 

WATCH: Tuchel reacts to Chelsea's 'lucky' win over Watford

 

“We never found the right attitude. We had big problems individually and as a team. We never felt solid,” Tuchel said. “We missed some players. We had some players overloaded. We stole three points. We don't have to talk around it.

 

“That's not us. We were absolutely not ready for this match. I missed maybe the right approach to make my team ready. We did not cope with the pressure, with the long balls. It did not get better after the delay.

 

“The second half was a bit better. We showed the mentality to do what is necessary. I don't want to be too harsh but I want to admit Watford played strong. The only thing we could do was hang in there and focus on the easy things. It was a lucky win.”

 

Tuchel will be thanking his lucky and expensively assembled stars that his Chelsea side got the victory, as they would otherwise have been bumped down to third in the table, with both Liverpool and Manchester City also winning their respective matches.

 

The Reds thrashed Everton 4-1 in the Merseyside derby, while Man City overcame a resurgent Aston Villa side 2-1, with Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva both getting onto the scoresheet.

 

WATCH: Guardiola praises new Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard

 

In particular, Bernardo’s goal – a stunning volley – caught the attention of Man City manager Pep Guardiola, who labelled the Portuguese as “the best” for his match-winning strike.

“He is the best. He was the best two or three seasons ago. He was the best then too,” Guardiola said of Bernardo. “He has a special ability to do whatever he wants with the ball. Against a good goalkeeper it was an incredible finish.

 

“You have to go back to when we won with 98 points, review the videos, you will see the same player like this right now.

 

“To come here against this opposition, I was really impressed with who they are, and to be able to beat them is an incredible step for us.

 

“The importance is being there [at the top]. We’ve had an incredibly tough first part of the league; we are there one point behind. The important thing is the way we are performing, the way we are performing is a high level.”

 

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