Thomas Tuchel’s Thiago Silva plan ruined after Chelsea defender’s sending off

Chelsea star Thiago Silva always knew he wouldn't play the full 90 minutes on his return to the first-team against West Brom.

But the Brazilian also expected to play more than half an hour at Stamford Bridge.

Thomas Tuchel's plan for Silva was to start the 36-year-old on his return from injury – but then replace him with Andreas Christensen.

However, a launching into a challenge on the edge of the Chelsea area, Silva was sent for an early bath after picking up his second yellow.

The former PSG man can have no complaints regarding the two bookings, both of which were warranted during the Premier League's early kick-off.

Christensen did come on shortly after Silva's dismissal, replacing Hakim Ziyech who had underwhelmed during the opening stages.

It was potentially a mistake to throw the veteran defender in from the start.

But speaking this week, Tuchel said he had qualms over Silva's fitness.

"To me, personally, he does not have to prove [his fitness]," the German said. "I know him. He was my captain in Paris and he is an outstanding professional player.

"He is first on the training pitch, the last to go. He takes care at home. I know what he is doing to be fit.

"His age does not play a big role in my judgement because he could be easily 28 or 29. He takes a lot of care so that he can play at this kind of level.

"I think it was very brave to take this step at the end of his career, to take a step towards Chelsea at this stage when some players take it a little easier."

Also speaking in the build up to today's match, Silva discussed being focused at all times while playing for Chelsea.

"You have to perform at the highest possible level, especially when you’re in a big club like Chelsea," he told the club's official website.

"This is a competition that requires everything from you in every game, every minute, every second.

"You can be winning 2-0 with five minutes to go yet the game has not ended yet. There are things that could only happen in a Premier League match, which is why it is so exciting and one of the greatest leagues in the world."

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