Chelsea players met Thomas Tuchel's high expectations in their 2-1 win over Leicester City on Tuesday, with the manager afterward lauding their outstanding performance that was driven by the return of fans at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues, coming off an FA Cup final defeat against the Foxes, took a two-goal advantage through Jorginho in the 66th minute after having a pair of goals ruled out by VAR and a strong penalty shout denied. They were, in Tuchel's words, competing "with high intensity and aggression" in the face of "horrible" circumstances.
With the victory, Chelsea moved into third place in the Premier League with just one more match to go. They would seal a top-four finish with a victory over Aston Villa next Sunday.
- Ballon d'Or 2021 Power Rankings: Could Lewandowski still catch Messi?
- Barcelona's big week: Three games which could decide Koeman's future
- European zeroes to Premier League heroes: How Lingard and De Gea turned their Man Utd careers around
- UAE Arabian Gulf League: Al-Jazira claim top spot after thrashing Sharjah FC 3-0
What has been said?
"On Sunday we had the post match talk and you go on from there," Tuchel told BBC Sport. "Today is what we demand, played with high intensity and aggression and the team did very good.
"It was a strong performance and well-deserved performance. No time for celebration, the job is not done yet, two more games to go. Very happy to play in front of supporters, it was a huge difference today.
"We defended so strong, did not give many chances but escaped with a deserved win. It is a different game with fans."
The manager added to Sky Sports: "The fans made a huge difference. The speed in our game, the hunger, the ambition. It was a very strong performance and I'm delighted the team can present itself like this in front of our fans."
Tuchel rips VAR
Tuchel was infuriated by the denied penalty claim in the first half, when Timo Werner appeared to be kicked in the box by Youri Tielemans.
"It's a clear penalty," he said. "They are horrible against us. It's the third time in a row. This has to stop of course but we were not worried at half-time."
Chelsea visit Aston Villa next weekend with their own fate in their hands, as nothing Liverpool or Leicester do from here matters as long as the Blues earn all three points.
Tuchel's men will encounter visiting fans for the first time in the Premier League this campaign, which he said will present a unique challenge.
"It's still in our hands," he said. "We need another huge performance but with fans in the Aston Villa ground will be super hard."