Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has found ‘final missing piece’ to win Premier League title

Thomas Tuchel gives verdict on Chelsea's 1-0 win at Brentford

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has found the ‘final, missing piece’ to win the Premier League title, according to former England striker Peter Crouch. And it has come in the form of keeper Edouard Mendy, who produced an outstanding performance to keep Brentford at bay in Chelsea’s 1-0 victory over their west London rivals on Saturday.

Chelsea lined up with a makeshift defence for their short trip to Brentford after Antonio Rudiger was ruled out with a back injury and Thiago Silva was left out after playing for Brazil hours earlier.

And it showed throughout the match as Brentford penetrated the away backline time and time again.

Chelsea took the lead on the stroke of halftime courtesy of a belter from Ben Chilwell, but were pinned back for long periods of the second half.

And the Blues were indebted to Mendy, who made six saves to ensure his side departed with all three points.

The man of the match kept his best save until the dying moments as he instinctively tipped over Christian Norgaard’s thumping acrobatic effort.

The Senegal international had already denied Ivan Toney, Saman Ghoddos and Pontus Jansson from close range.

Mendy has been in sensational form since joining Chelsea last September from Rennes and has now recorded shutouts in 20 of his 38 Premier League matches.

“Thomas Frank had it right after Chelsea somehow beat Brentford on Saturday night, when saying his team would have won that game nine times out of 10,” Crouch wrote in the Daily Mail.

“The reason they didn’t? Edouard Mendy. Mendy underlines the importance of a goalkeeper to a title-winning side. He is the final, missing piece that could get them over the line this season.

“Chelsea were hanging on and it is one of those games they would have drawn or lost in previous years.

“That Mendy save from Christian Norgaard at the end was unbelievable, and there were a few more.

But it is Mendy’s overall contribution that has given them an added calmness since he arrived from Rennes last year.

“His touch is spot on when dealing with horrendous back passes, he comes and takes crosses with authority.

“Look at all the teams to have lifted the league title and one common theme is trust in an exceptional goalkeeper.

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“Mendy is a major influence in Chelsea now finding themselves in the mix. There are other factors, of course.

“You have to be strong everywhere but the margins are so fine that the goalkeeper is often a deciding factor.

“Mendy has slotted in seamlessly — signed at 28, with experience and mistakes behind him, he is one of those goalkeepers who goes largely unnoticed most of the time.

“That is exactly the sort of steadiness you want. And when his moment in the spotlight came this weekend, he turned dropped points into three points.”

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