Chelsea’s Premier League clash against Newcastle on Sunday had one of the worst build-ups to it for the Blues as the focus was entirely on the club’s controversies off the pitch.
From owner Roman Abramovich being forced into a sale of the club to the government sanctions handicapping the club’s finances, it has been a difficult few weeks at Stamford Bridge.
Against this backdrop, Chelsea headed into their beloved home ground, where fans did gather in numbers despite the restrictions to cheer the Blues on.
For much of the game, Newcastle looked the better side as they kept Chelsea at bay and had the better, clear-cut chances. But Chelsea did find the decisive breakthrough through Kai Havertz who tucked away a pinpoint cross from Jorginho in the 89th minute.
The win strengthened Chelsea’s position (3rd) on the table and was perhaps the perfect example of the solidity the fans and those at the club needed on the pitch during this tough period.
It would also be the best way to prepare for the key UCL tie against Lille on Wednesday, a complicated match for Chelsea due to sanctions also impacting the club’s travel plans.
But manager Thomas Tuchel is not one bit worried about the arrangements as he reinforced the staff’s support for the club in the post-match presser by offering to drive the players himself in case, they were not able to procure a flight.
🗣️ “We can go by plane. If not, we go by train. If not, we go by bus. If not, I drive a seven-seater!”— Sky Sports (@SkySports) March 13, 2022
Thomas Tuchel is letting nothing stop him from getting to Lille for Chelsea’s midweek Champions League fixture… 🚌pic.twitter.com/1AYxWknWvp
“My last information is we have a plane [for Lille] and we can go by plane and come back by plane. If not we go by train, if not by bus, if not I will drive a seven-seater,” remarked the German coach.
Since the government restrictions were announced, Tuchel has been clear about his position on the manager’s job as he stated that he will remain in the role till the end of the season without a doubt, which has been music to the ears of Chelsea supporters.
With the team still in the hunt for the FA Cup and the Champions League, Tuchel and his side would be hoping to secure those trophies to calm the nerves during the ongoing uncertainty off the pitch.