Timo Werner quipped “two goals might be too much” after he was Chelsea’s match-winner, but also missed a glorious chance, in the London derby at West Ham.
Werner had not found the back of the net in 14 games for club and country, but the Germany striker ended his drought to secure a 1-0 win that strengthens Chelsea’s grip on fourth spot in the Premier League.
The former RB Leipzig star ended a flowing first-half move he was involved in, yet someone failed to hit the target from a few yards out when the ball fell nicely for him after the break.
Werner was relieved to get back on the scoresheet at London Stadium, but knows he ought to have taken his goal tally for the season to 12.
Despite his struggles, Werner has been directly involved in 20 goals for Chelsea this season (11 goals, nine assists) – the most of any player for the club in all competitions.
He told Sky Sports: “The second chance I have to score, but I have to come back slowly. One goal is enough. Two goals might be too much for the beginning!
“I’m very happy that we won this game. It’s a big win for us in the race for the top four. It’s the best feeling after winning a game to score a goal.
“It was really important for me and for the whole team. It’s great to be back on the scoresheet.
“Callum [Hudson-Odoi] said to me I’ll score today, and 30 seconds later Tammy [Abraham] came to me and said I’d score today. They told me to point to them when I score.”
Werner’s goal was his first since February 15 and he is confident there will be more to come ahead of a Champions League semi-final first leg at Real Madrid on Tuesday.
“This season it’s not only the confidence, maybe it’s also luck,” he added. “Last year the ball always went in, this year it’s different.
“I’m confident that the chances like my second one will also go in in the next weeks and months.
“The draw against Brighton [on Tuesday] was tough for us because we wanted to get the win before the West Ham game. Now we have this gap to West Ham. It was really important ahead of a big game on Tuesday, when we play against Real Madrid.”
West Ham’s misery was compounded when Fabian Balbuena was sent off by referee Chris Kavanagh following a VAR check after catching Ben Chilwell following through after clearing the ball.
Balbuena is the first West Ham player to be sent off against Chelsea in the Premier League since Paolo Di Canio in January 2002, while the Blues have now kept 10 league clean sheets under Thomas Tuchel, equalling the quickest a manager has recorded 10 clean sheets in the competition (Luiz Felipe Scolari also achieved this feat in 14 games back in 2008).
Chelsea are three points clear of the fifth-placed Hammers and four better off than Liverpool, who drew 1-1 with Newcastle United earlier on Saturday, with five games to play.