Thomas Tuchel’s first taste of a Premier League game outside London took place in freezing conditions against tough opponents, so no wonder he was pleased with the way his team stood up to the challenge at Bramall Lane.
Sheffield United may be at the foot of the table but they have proven problematic opponents for just about every other side in the division this season, and tonight was no different. The Blades might have gone ahead inside 35 seconds and then had a penalty overturned by VAR before Mason Mount fired us ahead on the stroke of half-time.
They got back on level terms through a Toni Rudiger own goal only for Timo Werner, who set up Mount’s opener, to win us a penalty just as he had at Tottenham. And just as then, Jorginho netted what proved the winner, leaving the boss to reflect on a third straight victory…
‘You arrive in Sheffield in February and it’s waiting for you,’ he said of the tricky conditions posed by the environment and our hosts.
‘It feels like a cup game when you arrive against a team full of energy and courage. Against a very direct and physical team, you have to accept that not all moments in the game are easy and we accepted that, which was good.
‘We had some difficult moments to overcome, we were lucky with the penalty not to be 1-0 down, but in general it was a deserved win and I’m happy for that because from here we can build confidence.’
Werner proved his worth with a major contribution in each half
‘It was a brilliant run to assist the first goal. It was a good decision to go around the goalkeeper for the second one. It was a foul and he got us the decisive penalty again.
‘I could feel that situation at Tottenham gave him a boost. I could feel him stronger and stronger every day. Today I could really feel him on the pitch. He was in the game mentally and physically. And he was decisive, that’s the most important thing.
‘If he continues like this the goals will come, I am sure.’
Tuchel was asked which Jorginho penalty technique he preferred
‘I liked them both because they were both in the net! I will never judge a player how to take a penalty or give advice. I played football at a lower level and you can feel the pressure when the ball is lying on the spot.
‘Jorgi can take the penalties how he feels confident. I am happy he could score both of them.’
Pulisic was not in the squad and Thiago Silva remains injured
‘Christian has some family issues to solve, and family is always first, so we decided to give him a rest.
‘Thiago we are fighting every day. He will be for sure out for the FA Cup. It will take several days, but we set the goal for Southampton, that’s maybe realistic but ambitious.
‘We are doing everything and I know Thiago will do everything to be ready as soon as possible. With a muscle injury you cannot take any risks so when it’s healed it’s healed, you can’t accept the pain like other injuries.’