Head coach Thomas Tuchel has admitted to feeling a sense of relief after Chelsea edged out Leicester City by a 2-1 scoreline in the Premier League.
Having had the better of the opening quarter, Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher gifted the initiative to the visitors after collecting two yellow cards within the opening half-hour.
The England international’s dismissal left the Blues at a distinct disadvantage, but two goals from Raheem Sterling after half time put the West Londoners in total control.
As expected, Leicester relentlessly pushed forward in response and soon halved the deficit through Harvey Barnes, keeping their hosts under pressure for the remainder of the contest.
However, Chelsea were able to hold on to secure their second victory of the season, moving the club into sixth position in the standings.
After the game, Tuchel acknowledged that his side should not have allowed Leicester into the match, either through Gallagher’s red card or after establishing a two-goal lead.
At a press conference, the German said: “I think we were in total control, had big chance, more than a chance with Ruben, had the penalty and marginal offside but it looked like not offside on our mobile devices. Suddenly, you’re one man down with Conor.
“We were sloppy on the set-pieces and concede on the counter attack. It was a bad decision from Conor and it gives yuo a disadvantage. We were happy we hung in and showed the mentality that was needed to come away with the win.
“Unfortunately, we conceded a goal that was not needed and then we were under pressure. We were lucky not to concede the equaliser but we did everything to have the chance and the reaction was very good.”
When asked further about Gallagher’s early dismissal, Tuchel suggested that he had little sympathy with the academy graduate who had been making his first Premier League start at Stamford Bridge.
Tuchel said: “Two red cards (the other being Kalidou Koulibaly‘s against Leeds United) are not needed and we can’t keep giving a big disadvantage.”
“He is responsible for what he did and of course he knows it was a huge mistake.”
Gallagher will now be suspended for Chelsea’s next Premier League fixture, which will be against Southampton at St Mary’s on August 30.