The England full-back struck late to wrap up a battling 3-1 victory as Thomas Tuchel‘s side dug deep to see off Southampton’s stubborn resistance at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
And Chilwell admits he simply played on at first because he wasn’t convinced his effort had crossed the line in the first place.
Ben Chilwell fired home Chelsea’s third goal to seal their 3-1 win over Southampton
The England international’s (middle) celebrations were muted despite scoring on Saturday
Chilwell, who admits he has had to remain patient before he made his first Premier League start of the campaign against the Saints, told the Chelsea website: ‘I thought it hit the post so I just played on!
‘I heard the ref’s whistle go and was a bit baffled to be fair. That’s why my celebration wasn’t really a celebration!
‘It is definitely up there with my best goals. It was kind of instinctive, it just came to the back post. The keeper was either on the floor or near the other post, so I thought if I hit the target I had a good chance.’
The 24-year-old added: ‘The manager was happy I was getting in the positions to score.
Chilwell admits he wasn’t sure whether his strike against Southampton had crossed the line
‘I had a couple of chances in the first half, second one could have done better, first one was a good save.’
Chilwell has had just 231 minutes this season, with the defender having to play a secondary role to Marcos Alonso at left-back, but he says he has remained geared up to make the most of any opportunity.
‘I wouldn’t say it’s been frustrating,’ he added. ‘It’s about being patient, training hard. Marcos has been playing well and I have had to respect that. I’ve been training hard to make sure when I get my chance, I’m ready.’
Chilwell has struggled for minutes under Thomas Tuchel but insists he’s just had to be patient
‘I felt fine on Saturday fitness wise. I’ve been training hard and making sure my fitness is 100 per cent, so when I did have the opportunity to play I was fine to play 90, and make sure I could make the same runs in the 90th minute as I did in the first minute.’
Saturday’s victory and Liverpool’s draw with Manchester City on Sunday ensured Chelsea headed into the international break top of the Premier League table.
And Chilwell added: ‘We have still had a good start to the season, and the performance showed we were full of confidence and energy. We were happy to get the win and it was a good day.’