Thomas Tuchel hailed an “amazing” performance from Chelsea after they put Juventus to the sword in a 4-0 victory to qualify for the Champions League last 16.
Chelsea cruised through with a game to spare and replaced Juve at the top of Group H with an emphatic win at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.
Trevoh Chalobah marked his first start in the competition by scoring a contentious opening goal after Antonio Rudiger appeared to have handled the ball in the penalty area and the outstanding Reece James doubled Chelsea’s lead with a rasping drive.
Callum Hudson-Odoi added a third and the fit-again Timo Werner put the icing on the cake by coming off the bench to complete the scoring with the last kick of the game, consigning Juve to their heaviest Champions League defeat.
Champions League holders Chelsea outclassed the Bianconeri as they extended their unbeaten run to 10 matches since losing to the Serie A side in September and head coach Tuchel was full of praise for his players.
“We wanted to stay patient but at the same time not fall asleep,” Tuchel told BT Sport. “We wanted to increase the rhythm and intensity. It’s so tough to create and score but we created so much. Amazing performance and a fantastic result.
“We were sharper than in Turin, we took more risks, something we lacked in Turin. We had control, but by pure control, you cannot hurt Juventus – you need to penetrate, you need runs off the ball. We were very good and scored nice goals.”
The Premier League leaders’ resounding win appeared to come at a cost, though, as Ben Chilwell and N’Golo Kante sustained knee injuries.
Tuchel said of the duo: “Ben has a sharp pain in the knee. N’Golo twisted his knee a little bit. They will both be examined tomorrow [Wednesday].
“They are very sad things because N’Golo was very good before he went off and Chilly has been in a fantastic moment.”
Mason Mount dropped to the bench as Hakim Ziyech came into the team, while Werner had to settle for a substitute role with Christian Pulisic making only his second start.
Tuchel did not have to call upon Romelu Lukaku from the bench as Chelsea gave another demonstration of their strength in depth and the Blues boss says it is much easier keeping his squad happy when they are in such great form.
“The best thing to keep them happy is to win and everyone has to fight for their place,” he said. “We still have some tough decisions.
“I feel like they are disappointed [when left out] but they will never let the team down and show it for too long and it doesn’t affect their work ethic.
“We are in a good place. Sometimes you take tough decisions – it’s like this in football. The best thing is to win and we want to keep on winning.”
This was Tuchel’s 50th match in charge of Chelsea in all competitions, and the 32nd win (D11 L7). The Blues have kept 31 clean sheets in those 50 games, more than any other side in Europe’s big-five leagues since his first game in charge in January, conceding just 24 goals.