Tuchel lauds 'amazing' Chelsea demolition of sorry Juve

By Sports Desk November 23, 2021

Thomas Tuchel hailed an "amazing" performance from Chelsea after they put Juventus to the sword in a 4-0 victory to qualify for the Champions League last 16.

Chelsea cruised through with a game to spare and replaced Juve at the top of Group H with an emphatic win at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

Trevoh Chalobah marked his first start in the competition by scoring a contentious opening goal after Antonio Rudiger appeared to have handled the ball in the penalty area and the outstanding Reece James doubled Chelsea's lead with a rasping drive.

Callum Hudson-Odoi added a third and the fit-again Timo Werner put the icing on the cake by coming off the bench to complete the scoring with the last kick of the game, consigning Juve to their heaviest Champions League defeat.

Champions League holders Chelsea outclassed the Bianconeri as they extended their unbeaten run to 10 matches since losing to the Serie A side in September and head coach Tuchel was full of praise for his players.

"We wanted to stay patient but at the same time not fall asleep," Tuchel told BT Sport. "We wanted to increase the rhythm and intensity. It's so tough to create and score but we created so much. An amazing performance and a fantastic result.

"We were sharper than in Turin, we took more risks, something we lacked in Turin. We had control, but by pure control you cannot hurt Juventus – you need to penetrate, you need runs off the ball. We were very good and scored nice goals."

The Premier League leaders' resounding win appeared to come at a cost, though, as Ben Chilwell and N'Golo Kante sustained knee injuries.

Tuchel said of the duo: "Ben has a sharp pain in the knee. N'Golo twisted his knee a little bit. They will both be examined tomorrow [Wednesday].

"They are very sad things because N'Golo was very good before he went off and Chilly has been in a fantastic moment."

Mason Mount dropped to the bench as Hakim Ziyech came into the team, while Werner had to settle for a substitute role with Christian Pulisic making only his second start.

Tuchel did not have to call upon Romelu Lukaku from the bench as Chelsea gave another demonstration of their strength in depth and the Blues boss says it is much easier keeping his squad happy when they are in such great form.

"The best thing to keep them happy is to win and everyone has to fight for their place," he said. "We still have some tough decisions.

"I feel like they are disappointed [when left out] but they will never let the team down and show it for too long and it doesn't affect their work ethic.

"We are in a good place. Sometimes you take tough decisions - it's like this in football. The best thing is to win and we want to keep on winning."

This was Tuchel's 50th match in charge of Chelsea in all competitions, and 32nd win (D11 L7). The Blues have kept 31 clean sheets in those 50 games, more than any other side in Europe's big-five leagues since his first game in charge in January, conceding just 24 goals.

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    "In the second half, Hertha were a bit better. Overall, it's a deserved win and a very good game from us."

     

    Muller was also impressed by the team's efforts, especially in creating the number of chances they did.

    "We played well. We had a lot of attacking players on the pitch," the 32-year-old said after scoring his sixth league goal of the campaign.

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    Muller added, quoted on Bayern's official website: "The first half was maybe even a bit better than the second because we had more control.

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  • Juve star Chiesa out for seven months following knee surgery Juve star Chiesa out for seven months following knee surgery

    Juventus winger Federico Chiesa will not play again this season after undergoing knee surgery on Sunday.

    The Serie A giants said Chiesa is likely to be sidelined for around seven months, meaning he could return in the early stages of the 2022-23 campaign.

    That would give Chiesa a chance to prove his fitness to Italy boss Roberto Mancini ahead of the World Cup starting in November, providing the Azzurri qualify. It definitively means Chiesa can be ruled out of Italy's plans for the World Cup play-offs.

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    Chiesa was hurt in the thrilling 4-3 Serie A victory over Jose Mourinho's Roma two weeks ago, sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury. He was substituted in the first half of that game.

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    Hakim Ziyech's excellent recent displays for Chelsea are making Thomas Tuchel reconsider his approach. 

    A stunning, curling effort from 20 yards saw Ziyech put Chelsea on the path to a 2-0 victory over Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday, with Thiago Silva adding the second. 

    It followed his goal against Brighton and Hove Albion, with the former Ajax winger benefiting from a formation change by Tuchel following injuries to wing-backs Ben Chilwell and Reece James. 

    Tuchel acknowledged being able to play in a more advanced wide position is benefiting Ziyech and it is something he wants to consider as a long-term option. 

    "It was a very nice goal actually. The build-up to the goal was good, the movements around Hakim to bring him into this position, and the shot was, of course, brilliant," said Tuchel. 

    "It was one of the very nice goals so far and I am very happy because he deserves it first of all today. It was a very important goal to get the lead and so well done, excellent. 

    "It was one of his best matches today because he was very reliable. It was also maybe his best position to be on the wing. We had the wide position on the right wing, that position does not normally exist in that particular manner when we play 3-4-3, it is more of a wing-back. 

    "Maybe we can think about doing this. It was good because it gave him the opportunity to take risks where it was possible to take risks. He was very reliable on the ball in moments where it is necessary. 

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    Chelsea have now won four games against Tottenham this season, the three most recent of which have come in January. 

    Spurs have failed to score in six straight meetings with the Blues - the longest barren run against a single opponent in their history - and their goalless streak now stands at 547 minutes. 

    Frustrations seemingly boiled over in the stands with Antonio Rudiger appearing to be targeted by missiles thrown by visiting spectators, though Tuchel did not feel the incident warranted sweeping action. 

    "I'm not worried. I mean, I sent a message to our fans and supporters [before the game] that we love to have them close to the pitch. We love that it is a brilliant atmosphere, that they are not behind fences, behind nets, whatever. From there everybody needs to show respect and behave and follow guidelines," said Tuchel. 

    "In general, I am not concerned because right now I enjoy the atmosphere, also in away stadiums. It is brilliant, and if this is a new trend we should act together so it stops as soon as possible to protect the environment of this game and the atmosphere because it is absolutely unique here in England." 

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