West Ham United captain Mark Noble said Chelsea’s having “phenomenal” options on the bench made the difference in Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge.
Thomas Tuchel’s men dominated the possession of the ball throughout the game but struggled to convert it into big goalscoring chances.
To put it into perspective, Chelsea had 70 percent of the ball in the first half and failed to register any shot on target.
It was quite a surprise that Tuchel waited until the final 15 minutes of the game before making substitutions as his two strikers; Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, were having a hard time dealing with West Ham’s low block at that point.
It worked out well in the end, and according to Noble, having such good options on the bench was key to Chelsea’s win.
“It’s like with teams coming to us – they know we’re going to put them under pressure at times, and you have to be resilient,” the 34-year-old told West Ham TV after the game.
“For Chelsea to be able to bring on Romelu Lukaku, Hakim Ziyech, and Christian Pulisic, who scored the goal… it’s phenomenal.
“I’m just gutted because I thought the boys who came in, and the squad deserved more, but that’s football for you. We’ve got to pick ourselves up.”
Each of the three substitutes played a big part in the win.
Ziyech’s presence on the right flank helped increase Chelsea’s attacking momentum.
Lukaku won an important penalty, and while Jorginho failed to score from the spot, West Ham had to play with 10 men in the last five minutes of the game.
The hosts capitalised on it and Pulisic, whose fresh legs caused a lot of problems for David Moyes’ side, scored the late winner.
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