Thomas Tuchel complimented Chelsea substitute Ross Barkley after his performance in today’s 3-1 win over Southampton.
Chelsea leaped to the top of the Premier League table by beating Southampton by a two-goal margin at Stamford Bridge, albeit they left it late to wrap up three points.
Timo Werner and Ben Chilwell both scored inside the final 10 minutes to secure a Blues victory. However, this came after James Ward-Prowse was shown a red card when the match was tied at 1-1.
German manager Tuchel believes that one substitute had a key role to play in Saturday’s victory.
Barkley, who entered the pitch in the 83rd minute, made an impact almost instantly. The 27-year-old midfielder hit a stunning cross-field pass to Cesar Azpilicueta, who subsequently assisted the Werner goal to make it 2-1.
“I’m also happy for Ross, who came on did what he had to do. He played a fantastic pass for Azpi in the build-up [for Werner’s goal], he won some free-kicks and he did well in an open game. He found some spaces, he plays with a good energy and his delivery was excellence,” Tuchel said.
Tuchel words should encourage Barkley after Southampton cameo
Barkley, 27, is at a stage of his career where he should be playing regular football.
The £96,000-a-week man isn’t going to be in the Chelsea XI too much, but he’s had some positive signs to build on in the past week.
He’s now come off the bench in back-to-back matches, something which seemed implausible at the beginning of the season when he ended up sticking around the squad at Stamford Bridge.
It would be an unlikely turnaround if he manages to get back into favour under Tuchel, but stranger things have happened. He can be lifted by the manager’s post-match comments about him today.
Chelsea midfield depth is impressive
All of a sudden the Chelsea options in the centre of the park looks very strong.
N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic are the central midfielders most considered the senior trio vying for starting positions this season.
However, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, along with Barkley, have shown signs they are able cover. In addition, loan signing Saul Niguez will be hoping he can get more of an opportunity.
Keep up to date with all the latest Chelsea news and opinion by following The Chelsea Chronicle’s Twitter account here.