‘That competition pushes us all’

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‘That competition pushes us all’: Ben Chilwell hails Chelsea’s strength in depth after Timo Werner was a late replacement for the injured Christian Pulisic before victory over Burnley
Christian Pulisic pulled up in the warm-up with a hamstring injury at Turf Moor
Timo Werner came in to replace the American and scored the Blues’ third goal
Chelsea have only let in one goal in six games with Edouard Mendy in the side

Ben Chilwell has hailed the strength in depth in Chelsea’s ranks after their 3-0 win over Burnley and says the fierce competition for places will stand them in good stead as they look to challenge for major honours this season.

Christian Pulisic’s injury nightmare in England continued after he sustained a fresh hamstring problem in the warm-up at Turf Moor, meaning that Timo Werner was drafted into the starting line-up at the last minute.

The German stepped up to the plate, tucking home his side’s third to round off an impressive victory as Frank Lampard’s men moved up to sixth.

Speaking to Chelsea’s website, Chilwell said: ‘Unfortunately, Christian got injured in the warm-up and we are all disappointed for him, but when you’ve got Timo to come in it’s a positive and shows what strength in depth we have.

‘That competition pushes us all, and it’s one of the key components to a good squad. We have a lot of good players, two or three in each position who are fighting for the shirt. That will help push us forward.’

Hakim Ziyech’s clever strike was his first Premier League goal to put the Blues ahead and Kurt Zouma’s bullet header on 63 minutes doubled Chelsea’s advantage before Werner put the game to bed.

It was also a good day at the other end of the pitch for the west Londoners as they kept a clean sheet for the fifth match in six, with Edouard Mendy only letting in one goal in his first half a dozen games for his new side.

‘It was a perfect day for us in terms of performance and attitude,’ said the left-back.

‘It was a tough match. We knew that if we came not ready for a fight we could get bullied. That’s what they want, to make it difficult. But we came ready for the fight and also played our style of football, which is important, and we got another clean sheet and three good goals.

‘Everyone put a shift in. We looked clinical in front of goal and solid as a defensive unit again.’

Mendy will face his old club Rennes less than six weeks after leaving as the two sides clash in the Champions League on Wednesday, before Chelsea host relegation strugglers Sheffield United three days later.

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