Thomas Tuchel compares West Ham to Atletico Madrid as Chelsea produce gritty display to close in on Champions League

Thomas Tuchel compared West Ham United to Atletico Madrid as he praised his Chelsea side after their 1-0 win in east London.

A rare goal from Timo Werner, only his second in the league since November, saw the Blues move three points clear of their fifth-placed hosts.

Thomas Tuchel compared West Ham United to Atletico Madrid
AFP

It was hardly Super League stuff from Thomas Tuchel’s side, but they got the job done ahead of a genuine European showdown against Real Madrid on Tuesday night.

West Ham, who kicked off behind Chelsea on goal difference, had every reason to be affronted at the proposed breakaway league given that they were above four of the six clubs involved when it was announced.

They were feeling hard done by again when a late VAR decision saw defender Fabian Balbuena shown one of the most ludicrous red cards of the season.

Nevertheless a favourable run-in means we may not have seen the last of David Moyes’ boys in the Champions League mix.

Timo Werner struck just before half time to seal three points for Chelsea
AFP

Chelsea, who have already seen off Atletico in this season’s competition, certainly had to work for the win and Tuchel noted similarities between Moyes and Diego Simeone.

“Honestly, it reminded me of Atletico when we played in Atletico,” he told Sky Sports.

“Very tough to play, you can win ball possession yes, but to really hurt them with ball possession is hard.

“You have to really earn your chances, you have to be very smart.

Chelsea knocked Atletico Madrid out of the Champions League earlier this season
Getty

“On the lowest level of crucial mistakes in midfield – you cannot afford to do easy mistakes.

“You have to be very patient and at the same time you have to be very aggressive. So we had a good mix between passing and counter-pressing and after ball losses we were brave in closing the spaces to close the counter-attacks.

“That was the key and it reminded me a bit of the Atletico games because there is a lot of quality and, you saw, once you lose a bit of intensity or distance they have the individual quality and the physical quality to hurt you.”