Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel heaped praise on defender Ben Chilwell for bouncing back from being sidelined at the start of the season to score the decisive goal in the Blues’ 1-0 win away to Brentford on Saturday, his second strike in two games.
Chilwell, who also scored for England in a World Cup qualifier earlier this month, was left out of Tuchel’s team in August and September after being overlooked by England during Euro 2020.
“I felt him a little bit tired, I felt him mentally drained and it needs its time,” Tuchel told reporters.
“Today he was he was strong again, he is in good shape,” he added. “We need him in shape we need everybody: we have many, many games, many competitions to play and I’m happy with, of course, his goal because it gives him a lot of confidence.”
Chilwell scored in the 45th minute when Brentford failed to clear and the ball dropped kindly for him 12 yards out to hit a half volley, a goal which had echoes of the one he scored against Southampton in Chelsea’s previous match.
Chilwell paid tribute to the hosts for their late onslaught which somehow failed to earn them an equaliser, and he also praised Brentford’s supporters for the intense atmosphere they created in their first league derby against Chelsea since 1947.
“In the last 20 minutes to half an hour they were really pushing them on and it was hell on earth,” he told Sky Sports.