Left-back Ben Chilwell paid tribute to Chelsea’s supporters following their 2-1 victory over Leicester City at Stamford Bridge last night.
After losing Saturday’s FA Cup final at Wembley, the Blues, who are now up to third as a result of last night’s triumph, inflicted revenge on Brendan Rodgers’ side thanks to second half goals from Antonio Rudiger and Jorginho.
Centre-back Rudiger, who was nothing short of outstanding in the heart of the Blues’ defence, turned the ball home from a corner just two minutes into the second half, before Jorginho netted his seventh Premier League goal of the campaign from the penalty spot.
Leicester did pull a goal back thanks to substitute Kelechi Iheanacho, but it proved to be too little, too late for the Foxes, meaning the Blues are now on the cusp of wrapping up a top-four berth with just one game to go.
Assessing his side’s performance, Tuchel said: “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.
“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.
“It was in my opinion a well-deserved win but it’s not the time for praise and celebration. 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.”
Last night’s encounter at Stamford Bridge saw supporters in attendance for the first time since 2,000 were allowed inside for the 3-1 victory over Leeds United back in December. Although the ground may not have been full, those that did attend most definitely made themselves heard.
On their return, Tuchel added: “It was a completely different match. Football with spectators and without spectators, you can’t compare.
“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. This is what this team can deliver.”
The last 12 months has taught all of us that football can be incredibly different without supporters packing out the stands, as the emotion and drama that comes with them has been sorely missed.
With that said, and supporters now beginning to make their returns, Blues defender Chilwell has taken to Instagram to send a very simple but poignant message to them.
Alongside a photograph of him and his Chelsea teammates celebrating Rudiger’s opener, Chilwell said: “For the fans.”
Whilst it is only three words, Chilwell’s post sums up everything that football is about. It is about the fans and the connection between them, the club and the players.
Although Chelsea won’t have any of their own fans in attendance for Sunday’s trip to Villa Park to face Aston Villa, some will travel to Portugal for the UEFA Champions League final in a little over a week’s time.
To have supporters in attendance for a game of such magnitude will be a massive boost to both Chelsea and Manchester City, allowing both sets of players to respond to the truly great atmosphere that they will no doubt generate.
Source by Football London