Wednesday, January 19

Zola praises one player, rates Chelsea’s chances of winning title after 2-1 win at Watford


Chelsea legend, Gianfranco Zola has singled out Antonio Rudiger for praise after the Blues managed to hold off Watford 2-1 in the Premier League on Wednesday.

Hakim Ziyech came on in the second half to fire in the winner at Vicarage Road after Emmanuel Dennis had cancelled out Mason Mount’s first-half opener.

It was Chelsea’s tenth win of the season which keeps them in their place at the top of the table above Manchester City and third-placed Liverpool.

Zola told reporters, “Sometimes you don’t play your best, either because you aren’t in great form or the opposition puts you under pressure.

“But wins like this are important for the morale. Watford did everything they have to do, they started well and were competitive.

“I guess it shows what the Premier League is about when Chelsea bring on Ziyech and [Romelu] Lukaku. This is the difference between big teams like Chelsea and Watford.

“Chelsea defended so well from set pieces. Watford have big guys but they [the Chelsea defence] were always in good positions and Antonio Rudiger defended exceptionally well from set pieces.

“They won the game because of their great quality. I wouldn’t say they stole the game.”

Thomas Tuchel’s Blues have only lost one league game this season and are one and two points ahead of Man City and Liverpool respectively.

Asked to rate Chelsea’s chances of lifting the title this season, Zola added: “We saw today they didn’t play their best but they managed to win and score two goals.

“It makes me comfortable that it looks strong everywhere. They can bring players in and they change the game. They can go really far with this team.”

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