Thomas Tuchel has revealed the half-time team talk that earned Chelsea a stunning comeback to beat Manchester City.
The German admits his side could have been out of the game when going behind just before the break and then conceding a penalty.
Raheem Sterling fired Premier League champions-elect City ahead – but Sergio Aguero’s bungled Panenka gave Chelsea a lifeline.
And Tuchel used that to inspire the 2-1 win.
He said: “I think we were lucky that it did not take too much to come back and stay in the match because we were lucky enough to not be 2-0 down.
“Could we have lost the game in these four minutes? Yes. Did we deserve to lose it in these four minutes? No. For me, it was a clear 0-0 draw at half-time.
“It was a tactical match and you could see. 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 and I could feel the confidence was growing, we played with more quality and pressure and we didn’t stop attacking.”
Hakim Ziyech levelled for Chelsea before Marcos Alonso’s injury-time winner.
But City were incensed when referee Anthony Taylor refused to award a penalty when Sterling went down under a challenge from Kurt Zouma.
Tuchel responded by claiming the City forward was fortunate not to have been sent off in the first half.
“I only saw it live and I was in fear that he will maybe give it,” he said of the penalty claim. “But I found our first one a 50-50 situation. If he gives it live because it’s his impression, okay maybe it’s not worth overturning it from VAR.
“If he wouldn’t whistle it live in his first impression, I think it also wouldn’t be worth overruling from VAR so it was a pretty tough one.
“So the second one I didn’t see, I just heard that it was also lucky for Raheem Sterling to be on the field because he had a huge foul against Timo Werner.
“You need these things. I am not here to talk about, I have no reason to talk bad about the referee, they are doing their best and this is how it is.
“I absolutely can admit you need a bit of luck, also with offside decisions and with decisions like this. This will never change.”