Thomas Tuchel heaped praise on Chelsea star Jorginho for playing through his back pain to rescue his side with a late penalty.
Chelsea recorded a 3-2 win over Leeds in a fiery encounter at Stamford Bridge with Jorginho converting two penalties.
The last came in injury time as he kept his composure to deliver the home side all three points and ensure they keep pace with Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the table.
The Italian has been suffering with back pain due to overplaying in recent weeks but continues to play through it in order to help his team.
With N’Golo Kante ruled out through injury and Mateo Kovacic testing positive for coronavirus earlier this week, Tuchel was clearly grateful for Jorginho’s services.
‘He’s super important. Jorgi sacrifices himself since many weeks actually,’ the German said.
‘I was aware that this moment would come where he would suffer because he played a Champions League campaign with us, the Euros with Italy and all the qualifiers to the World Cup.
‘It’s not only physical effort but also mentally very demanding and then he had no pre-season and started the Super Cup game straight away so I knew we would arrive at some point in the season where he feels his body not fully fit.
‘He is aware of the situation that we miss Kovacic and N’Golo so he sacrificed himself and gives his very best every day.
‘He spends hours and hours with the physios and medical department to get himself in the best shape possible so it was a big reward for him today because it’s not easy to score two penalties in one game.’
Discussing his injury, Jorginho said after the match: ‘My back is not in the best condition, but [sometimes] you need to push yourself more to help the team.
‘That’s what I needed to do. It’s hard, but I pushed to help my team.’
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