Tuchel may bemoan fatigue but Spurs win shows backups like Sarr and Hudson-Odoi are up for the fight

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Tuchel may bemoan fatigue but Spurs win shows backups like Sarr and Hudson-Odoi are up for the fight

Thomas Tuchel used his program notes to tell Chelsea fans how tired his players were.

But the Blues’ comfortable 2-0 win over bitter rivals Tottenham on Sunday showed that even their tired backups are capable of beating most teams in the Premier League.

Thomas Tuchel said his players were tired after the last draw at Brighton, but his team looked full of energy as they beat Spurs on Sunday

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Thomas Tuchel said his players were tired after the last draw at Brighton, but his team looked full of energy as they beat Spurs on Sundaycredit: AP
Backup stars Malang Sarr and Callum Hudson-Odoi were particularly effective in the 2–0 victory.

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Backup stars Malang Sarr and Callum Hudson-Odoi were particularly effective in the 2–0 victory.credit: getty
Hudson-Odoi had Japhet Tanganga chasing Shadow all afternoon

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Hudson-Odoi had Japhet Tanganga chasing Shadow all afternooncredit: getty

Chelsea have played 18 games in all competitions since the November international break – the most of any team in the Premier League.

And as a result, Tuchel said he’s recently found it hard to be tough on his players – despite the fact he hadn’t won a Premier League game since Boxing Day before Spurs came to town.

Last time the German had given his players two days off to take a 1-1 lead at Brighton.

And it seemed to work as they pushed aside their London rivals, with Tuchel’s ‘backup stars’ doing particularly well.

Malang sir and Callum Hudson-Odoi can hardly consider themselves a guaranteed start if their bosses have their full quota of players.

Granted Hudson-Odoi has played the last six love matches, but he might have had a hard time coming into the running of minutes like this if it weren’t for injuries from key wide players.

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But both men were brilliant as the Blues shooed away Antonio Conte’s men with relative ease.

Hudson-Odoi ate Japhet Tanganga on toast all afternoon as he tormented her on Chelsea’s left side.

Of course his final product lacked the disappointment in the first half, but after the break he saw a different man as he became far more decisive and dangerous.

It was his driving run behind Tanganga, booked at the time, that cut him inside and fed Hakim Ziyech, who treated the Blues fans to a graceful finish in the top-left corner.

Stamford Bridge loyalists received a huge cheer when he sank of late and Tuchel should have no worries about joining him next time.

And Sarr was equally effective on the left-back.

Blues Brave ‘Fatigue’

He didn’t give Tottenham a sniff and faced every challenge thrown at the home team by Harry Kane and Steven Bergwijn.

The Frenchman also had to avoid a poor looking shin-high tackle from Matt Doherty in the first half, for which the Irishman somehow escaped with a red card.

Kepa and Mateo Kovacic were also more than efficient in place of first-choice stars Edouard Mendy and N’Golo Kante.

Virtually every blues player, first choice or not, was better than the XI in the white shirt at bridge, so perhaps it is Conte who should start the ‘we are so tired’ rhetoric.

Tuchel said on the programme: “Tuesday night was tough [at Brighton],

“We looked tired and that’s to be expected when you go into a game like this after a very intense 90-minute game in Manchester [vs Man City] three days ago.

“It’s hard to be hard on the players at the moment because I could see that they were mentally and physically exhausted.”

However, after Sunday such sentiments may fall on deaf ears as Tuchel seemed to be full of blues beans.

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