Winger Callum Hudson-Odoi played a big part in Chelsea defeating Aston Villa 3-1 on Boxing Day and also contributed with his views after the game.

The Cobham graduate had been missing from the squad for the last two games due to a positive Covid test but was back in the starting XI for the first time in a league game since the draw with Manchester United a month ago.

‘It was a massive game for us, it was very important, so we came here with the mindset knowing we had to come here and get the three points,’ Hudson-Odoi said post-match.

‘It was going to be a difficult game, we came here and gave it our best to get the three points.

‘Obviously we never want to concede goals. In football, when you keep a clean sheet, it's the most amazing thing to know that you've defended your box really well.

‘When we went down [1-0], the reaction was really positive from the boys. We wanted to try and get chances, create goals as soon as possible. We kept pushing and pushing and got the penalty. It was a good feeling, Jorgi scored it.

‘We kept pushing. We wanted to be more relentless, more creative which we did very well in the second half as well, so it was good.’

Hudson-Odoi also spoke of the huge boost given by the returning Romelu Lukaku, who scored the second goal before his powerful run also led to our second penalty of the afternoon.

‘Rom is an amazing player. His strengths are very good for us upfront. He knows how to hold the ball up so we can play around him really well.

‘When we get the balls into the box, he's always there to try and get a header or control it and set it back for the player behind him.

‘He's a massive player for us and we have to keep going, keep feeding him the ball in and around the box and hopefully he can find the back of the net.’

Lukaku and Hudson-Odoi were the first of a group of Blues players to have returned from Covid-19, and injuries to N’Golo Kante and Thiago Silva during the Boxing Day game meant Hudson-Odoi had to play the full 90 minutes, despite Tuchel admitting this was never the plan.

‘I’m absolutely shattered,’ he said, laughing. ‘Being out for a week has been difficult. It’s good to be back and I just want to keep pushing from here.’