THOMAS TUCHEL says Covid passport red tape caused lateness issues for Antonio Rudiger, after the defender’s delayed arrival for the Blues clash with Tottenham.
But the Stamford Bridge boss revealed he was pleased to see his side overcome the hurdle to pick up their fourth win in the Prem this season.
Thomas Tuchel revealed Covid passport issues led to Antonio Rudiger’s late arrival at Tottenham StadiumCredit: Alamy
Rudiger was in fine form for the Blues against Tottenham netting Chelsea’s final goal of the gameCredit: Getty
On the in-form defender’s late arrival at Spurs Stadium, Tuchel said: “I was not concerned but it is strange when your player arrives late. He had some passport issues.
“It was like this in the first half. We were there but not fully there. I was glad we were able to overcome these situations.
“We are competitive and we want to be competitive. It is no excuse to say we are not ready.
“We want to produce results and we can. It’s what we want at the club.
“We are competitive at this level to win already but we still have things to improve.
“The first half was proof of that. It’s good to have these hard situations now and to overcome them.
“We are able to produce deserved wins so it’s a good basis to keep on going.”
Chelsea were fortunate to finish the first half of the match on level terms.
During that period their hosts gave as good as they got on a day that saw both sides honour former Blues and Tottenham great Jimmy Greaves.
But the strength and squad quality of the Champions League winners, who play Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup next, eventually shone through.
I had the feeling we wanted to impress by pure skills but in derbies like this, it is not always about just skills
And they got the upper hand with three second-half strikes including a drilled injury-time effort netted by Rudiger.
After the result, Tuchel added: I was absolutely not happy with the first 45 minutes.
“There were individual performances which were great in the first half from Kepa and Thiago Silva.
“Even more players were good but in general we lacked intent, energy and relentlessness in duels and 50-50 balls.
“I had the feeling we wanted to impress by pure skills but in derbies like this, it is not always about just skills.
“ It is about aggression, winning duels and performing better as a team.
“We spoke clearly about it at half-time. In the second half, it was a very good performance and a deserved win in the second half.
“It was a very good reaction so I am happy with the performance in the second half.”
Chelsea, who are competing for silverware on all fronts this term, will take on Man City at home next in the league.
The last encounter between the sides was the 2021 Champions League final.
And that game saw the Blues crowned Kings of Europe following an impressive tactical performance that led to their 2-1 win.