Thomas Tuchel admitted our final game of the season felt a little strange given there was nothing on the line but he praised the application of his players to sign off with a win.
Goals from Kai Havertz and Ross Barkley earned us all three points against already-relegated Watford, the latter coming late in stoppage time after the Hornets had snatched an 87th-minute equaliser through Dan Gosling.
That left Tuchel fearing another case of déjà vu but Barkley’s winner ensured a bright ending to a tumultuous season at Stamford Bridge.
‘When you play a game with not so much pressure than usual, it can be a little strange but I am happy we won,’ said Tuchel after the match.
‘It looked like we almost gave it away again at the end and had another draw at home but we came back strongly. Reece and Ross turned it around in our favour. I’m happy for Ross to score on what was his 100th game in a Chelsea shirt.
‘It was a mood changer for us today and we are happy to end with a win. The season was more or less finished for us so we gave some players an opportunity to play who didn’t have many minutes. I was happy they could show up and take a deserved win, which is a big step up in terms of consistency for us.
‘We also managed to get Chilly back on the field which was really nice so overall I’m happy for a good final day.’
The boss was asked whether he has considered moving to a back four next season given imminent defensive departures…
‘I don’t think it’s a problem of structure that we have because we delivered on a very high level with performances. We’re looking in every direction but I think the structure suits our players very well like Thiago Silva and our midfielders in the build-up, as well as Reece James and Ben Chilwell because they have a bit more freedom to attack on the sides.
‘There were some reasons to play this structure and the way we played it was very successful, on a high level very stable so actually it’s not the plan to change it but maybe we are forced to. It’s no problem to adapt or find solutions but the problem is that we are simply forced to be passive and this is what we don’t like.’
There was an update on the fitness of Marcos Alonso and firstly Callum Hudson-Odoi…
‘It’s more or less a muscle injury that affected the whole of both legs and gives a lack of force that he can simply bring. The tests showed he lacked mobility and force to be on the pitch so that’s why we miss him now for so long.
‘Marcos Alonso had a back problem in our first match against West Ham where he needed to go out and then he missed some matches. He had more or less the same through the last games and he played with this pain through the match against Leicester. Now he felt the muscle contraction goes right through to the hamstrings so it made no sense to take this risk with him.’