Thomas Tuchel has discovered his latest Chelsea undroppable following late win against Man City

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Thomas Tuchel has discovered his latest Chelsea undroppable following late win against Man City

Match of the Day Pundit Alan Shearer waxed lyrical about the performance of Chelsea defender Reece James following the Blues’ 2-1 win over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening.

The Blues, who moved up to third place with a third consecutive Premier League victory, came from a goal down to beat the Premier League champions-elect, with left-sided wing-back Marcos Alonso netting a dramatic stoppage time winner.

Hakim Ziyech had already cancelled out Raheem Sterling’s opener, rifling in a low, powerful effort from the edge of the box that was too hot for Ederson in the City goal to handle.

But Chelsea were determined to leave with all three points in the bag, and so it proved when Spaniard Alonso turned in Timo Werner’s low cross.

Hailing his side’s second half efforts, Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel said: “It was a tactical match and you could see, well I had the feeling that we were a bit tired, a bit slow in decision making, a bit too rushed in decisions, rushed into our attacks, we lost the ball too early, but there was no big problem.

“At half time we said to ourselves ‘let’s continue like it is 0-0, don’t lose our heads now because of the last three minutes, take it as a 0-0 and from there we go.’

“They stepped up and tried to play with courage, to have more possession in their half and this is what they did.

“The momentum changed completely with the goal. I could feel it, the momentum was growing, the confidence was growing and we were adding more and more quality and pressure.

“We never stopped attacking, I am very aware and I will never deny that you need a little bit of luck in any match in football and we had it in the second half. It is a huge win, big reaction and a fantastic team performance in the second half. It is what it is.”

After the break, Chelsea most certainly stepped up their efforts, as they began to press City higher up the pitch and look to make good use of both Alonso and James in the wing-back positions.

The duo were two of five changes Tuchel opted to make to the side that defeated Real Madrid on Wednesday evening, coming into the side to replace Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell, respectively.

Whilst it may have been Alonso that netted the all-important winner, Shearer heaped special praise on the shoulders of James, who he described as being “magnificent” during the second 45.

“Reece James, who I thought, particularly in the second half, was magnificent, gave [Benjamin] Mendy a torrid time,” Shearer told BBC Sport’s Match of the Day.

“His pace, his drive and his quality to get up there… they couldn’t handle him. There were at least three or four occasions when he was able to do that.

“But when he is doing that he is pulling everyone else up there with him. It was great skill to get into that position and there is his teammate on the other side – Alonso.

“With both of them getting in there [the penalty area], James is actually looking for him and trying to pick him out.

“His first thought is to get past [Benjamin] Mendy and get it in there. It is a great ball and [Marcos] Alonso is unlucky not to get to it.”

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