Thomas Tuchel admits Chelsea were 'very lucky' to beat Brentford
Thomas Tuchel has admitted that Chelsea were 'very lucky' to beat Brentford on Saturday evening, as the Blues had goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to thank, after he produced a string of match-winning saves at the Brentford Community Stadium.
The European champions took the lead through Ben Chilwell on the stroke of half-time, but they were then forced to withstand a barrage of attacks from the buoyant hosts. Brentford ended the match with seven shots on target and over 15 efforts at goal, but the visitors stood strong - largely thanks to their shot-stopper.
And Tuchel confessed that Chelsea were 'very lucky' to come away with all three points, praising his players for their display in the first 70 minutes, but stating that big characters such as Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger were sorely missed towards the end of the game.
"Very strong for 70 minutes, very lucky for 20 minutes.
"In the end the last 20 minutes were suddenly a cup game. They had nothing to lose and they found momentum. It felt like we had one player less.
"We were not clear enough in the challenges. They found the belief and we focused too much on defending.
"I was very content with the first 65-70 minutes where maybe we should have scored more.
"It helps if we have Toni [Rudiger] or Thiago [Silva] to help calm the game down and with that first touch to counter the pressure. We trust the guys who are young, if you don’t play you cannot get experience.
"It is better to be there [top of the table] but there are way too many teams who are close so it is not the main point in October."
Tuchel was also full of praise for shot-stopper Mendy, describing the Frenchman as 'key to the clean sheet,' after making some wonderful saves late in the game to deny the Bees.
"We escaped with the three points thanks to Edouard (Mendy). In the end; they took risks and the atmosphere gave them a lot of courage.
"He was concentrated in the first half; they trouble you with long throws and set pieces. They created big chances and he was the key to the clean sheet."
Chelsea returned to the top of the Premier League table with the narrow victory, leapfrogging Liverpool at the summit.