After his Chelsea side’s crucial 2-1 revenge win over Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, Thomas Tuchel said his team had taken a big step towards ensuring a top-four finish in the Premier League, but added a word of caution.
Chelsea moved into third place with 67 points, three days after losing in the FA Cup final to Leicester, and if they win their final game away to Aston Villa on Sunday, they will be guaranteed a Champions League berth.
If they had lost, they would have been forced to defeat Manchester City in the Champions League final later this month in order to compete again next season.
“It felt like a huge effort and a top performance. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a big step but it’s only a step, it’s not done yet,”Tuchel said as quoted by the club’s website.
“We have to get over the line on Sunday. It was a team effort full of intensity, full of hunger and ambition. We played many, many minutes with a lot of quality.”
With goals from Antonio Rudiger and Jorginho, Chelsea can clinch third place with a win away to Aston Villa, a remarkable turnaround from when Tuchel took over in mid-table.
“It was in my opinion a well-deserved win but it’s not the time for praise and celebration,” he said. “It’s not the time about philosophy and whether this is more than three points.
“There’s another game to catch on Sunday we’ll be prepared and aware to finish the job.”
Tuchel was greeted by home fans for the first time at Stamford Bridge, with the 8,000 allowed in creating a fantastic atmosphere. It had made a difference, he claimed.
'You need to bring the spectators to their feet and excite them. This team is doing that.' 👏— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) May 18, 2021
“It was a completely different match. Football with spectators and without spectators, you can’t compare,” he added.
“It was amazing and I said to your colleagues it’s exactly what we want. We want everybody happy that comes to the stadium and feels the energy from the team.”