England will have to overcome a wretched record in European Championship knockout matches if they are to get past their old nemesis Germany in the round of 16 on Tuesday.

The Three Lions go into the match having never won a knockout game in 90 minutes at the Euros, with four of their previous six attempts ending level and two leading to defeats.

Four of those past instances went to penalty shootouts and England only progressed from one of them, against Spain in Euro 96.

That victory came at Wembley, so perhaps the locale of Tuesday's clash will at least provide England with an edge – after all, they are unbeaten in their 14 Euros and World Cup matches (excluding penalty shootouts) at the 'Home of Football'.

 

While former Germany international Stefan Effenberg suggested that all the pressure will be on England because of the home crowd, Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate senses an opportunity.

The rivalry may be weighted more towards England in terms of the significance attached to these fixtures, but Southgate was keen to impress on his players that history is within their grasp.

"It's a great opportunity for this team to make some history and give people memories of England-Germany fixtures for the future that are a little different to some of the ones they've been flooded with over the last few days, which mean absolutely nothing to them because they weren't born," Southgate said.

"The game is probably worthy of more than the second-round stage. We're playing against a very good side.

"They won't fear coming to Wembley. We'll have to play at our very best. We've got to be tactically, physically and psychologically well-prepared."

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

England – Raheem Sterling

With Harry Kane faltering in the group stage, looking a shadow of the sharpshooter who is usually so reliable for Tottenham and England, the goalscoring burden has fallen on Sterling. Despite a disappointing second half to 2020-21, the Manchester City winger has scored both of the Three Lions' Euro 2020 goals, taking him to 14 in his past 19 appearances for his country after just two in his first 45 caps.

 

Germany – Kai Havertz

From an individual perspective, Havertz's first season at Chelsea was not especially impressive. Having been roundly criticised in England during 2020-21, he will surely be eager to catch the eye here, and given his start to the tournament, many would back him to do just that. He's already got two goals, though the fact his non-penalty xG of 2.7 is the highest of anyone in the tournament suggests he's been a threat beyond those two efforts. For example, the total xG of sequences he has been involved in (3.8) is bettered by only Pedri (4.6 - before Spain played Croatia) and Memphis Depay (4.4). Write him off at your peril.

 

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Germany's Ilkay Gundogan has scored twice at Wembley, for Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 Champions League final and for Manchester City in the Premier League. He could become just the second player to score at the ground for a club side and the German national team after Per Mertesacker.

- This will be the 13th meeting between England and Germany at Wembley. England won four of the first five such games (L1), including the 1966 World Cup final, but are winless in their previous seven against the Germans at the national stadium (D2 L5).

- This will be England's 300th international match at Wembley, with this the 77th match they will have played at the new site since it reopened in 2007. The Three Lions have won 187 times at this venue (D73 L39).

- Germany have reached at least the semi-final in each of the last three editions of the European Championship. Indeed, since the tournament was expanded in 1996, the Germans have reached at least the last four of the competition each time they have progressed to the knockout stages.

- Germany have conceded at least once in each of their previous eight matches at major tournaments (Euros and World Cup), since a 3-0 win against Slovakia at this stage of Euro 2016. Only once have had they had a longer run without a major tournament clean sheet, which was in their first nine World Cup matches between 1934 and 1954.

Germany scraped through to the knockout stages of Euro 2020 and set up a last-16 showdown against England after Leon Goretzka's late equaliser earned them a 2-2 draw with Hungary.

Adam Szalai of Mainz, who has spent most of his career in the Bundesliga, gave Hungary the lead in Munich after 11 minutes to leave Germany facing an early exit.

There was a brief reprieve when Kai Havertz scored a 66th-minute header, but just 91 seconds later Joachim Low's men were caught napping and Andras Schafer took full advantage in restoring Hungary's lead.

Goretzka rescued Germany from their first exit at this stage of the competition since 2004, and sent Hungary crashing out in the process.

Germany have never exited consecutive major tournaments at the group stage but need at least a draw against Hungary to be sure of avoiding that fate.

Joachim Low's side suffered an awful early elimination at the 2018 World Cup and were facing further pain after losing their Euro 2020 opener against France.

The 2014 world champions recovered with a stunning 4-2 win over holders Portugal, though, and could yet top the group with a win, setting up a meeting with a third-placed finisher.

But Germany face a highly motivated Hungary side, who will themselves make the last 16 with a win after drawing at home to France.

 

The only previous occasion on which the teams met in the group stage saw Germany fall to a record defeat, 8-3 at World Cup 1954. They did recover to beat Hungary in the final, however.

And the Magyars have not won their final group match since the 1966 World Cup.

Marco Rossi acknowledges the odds are stacked against his side, describing simply qualifying for the tournament as a "major achievement" on the eve of the match.

"We play against three teams that may get to the semi-finals and play in London," he said.

"Our group has been called a 'Group of Death' and evidently the one to fall there is Hungary. In theory, it's hard to disagree with someone making such a prediction."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Germany – Kai Havertz

Chelsea team-mate Timo Werner has so far been kept on the fringes, but Havertz became Germany's youngest ever European Championship scorer at 22 years and eight days old against Portugal. Only three younger players – Thomas Muller (20 in 2010), Franz Beckenbauer (20 in 1966) and Lukas Podolski (21 in 2006) – have scored in consecutive tournament games for Germany, as Havertz could.

Hungary – Roland Sallai

Hungary have only scored once so far at this tournament, but Sallai assisted Attila Fiola's strike against France and is suddenly a man in form for his country. Sallai has also scored twice in his past four international appearances, his three goal involvements as many as in his first 20 games for Hungary.

KEY OPTA FACTS

– Germany and Hungary's only previous meeting in Munich was 110 years ago, in a friendly played in December 1911 at the city's MTV-Platz stadium. Hungary won 4-1.

– Under Joachim Low, Germany have beaten Hungary both times they have met – both friendlies, by an aggregate scoreline of 5-0 (3-0 in Budapest in 2010, 2-0 in Gelsenkirchen in 2016).

– Hungary are without a win in each of their past five matches at the European Championship (D3 L2) since a 2-0 victory against Austria in 2016. Indeed, that 2-0 win versus Austria is their only clean sheet in their 10 matches in the competition.

– Against Portugal last time out, Germany's four goals took them to 302 scored overall in major tournaments (World Cup and Euros); indeed, no other European nation have yet reached 200 such goals (France 184 next highest).

– Fiola has scored two goals in his past four appearances for Hungary, after failing to score in his first 33 games for his country. Indeed, Fiola (31y, 122d) is the second-oldest player to score for Hungary at the European Championship after Zoltan Gera (37y 61d) against Portugal at Euro 2016.

A host of European football's heavyweights were in action on another day of high drama at Euro 2020 on Saturday.

The stand-out result was Germany's thumping 4-2 win over holders Portugal at the Allianz Arena in Munich, which featured yet another landmark strike from Cristiano Ronaldo. 

In the same group, tournament favourites France were held to a surprise draw by Hungary, while, in Group E, Spain's stuttering start continued with a 1-1 draw against Poland.

Using Opta data, Stats Perform takes a look at some of the best facts from across the day's action.

Portugal 2-4 Germany: Holders give Die Mannschaft a helping hand

Portugal made some unwanted history as they slipped to a resounding defeat against Germany at the Allianz Arena.

It had started so well for Fernando Santos' men, Ronaldo putting the holders ahead early on with a strike that took him level with Miroslav Klose as the European player to have scored the most combined goals (19) across the World Cup and European Championship. 

However, Portugal became the first European nation ever to concede two own goals – through Ruben Dias and Raphael Guerreiro – in a single match at a major tournament to give Germany a half-time lead. 

Kai Havertz added a third to become Germany's youngest goalscorer in a European Championship game, aged 22 years and eight days, before Robin Gosens got in on the act. 

That meant Portugal, who pulled one back through Diogo Jota, became the first reigning champions in European Championship history to concede four goals in a single match in the competition.

Hungary 1-1 France: Fiola finds a way through stubborn defence

Few gave Hungary a chance of getting anything from their clash with the world champions, but Marco Rossi's side claimed a memorable point.

Attila Fiola opened the scoring shortly before half-time, ending a run of 527 minutes of play for France without shipping a goal.

Fiola has now scored two goals in his last four appearances for Hungary after failing to find the back of the net in his first 33 games for his country. 

Aged 31 years and 122 days, right-back Fiola is the oldest player to score against France in a European Championship match since Rui Jordao scored a brace against them for Portugal in 1984 (31y 319d).

However, France stretched their unbeaten run at major tournaments to nine matches when Antoine Griezmann levelled midway through the second half. 

The Barcelona forward has now scored 11 goals at major international tournaments, with only Michel Platini (14), Just Fontaine (13) and Thierry Henry (12) having scored more. 

France could have sealed victory had Kylian Mbappe shown more accuracy in front of goal. The Paris Saint-Germain forward attempted six shots – the most he has ever had in a single match for his country. 

Spain 1-1 Poland: La Roja's sluggish start continues

This draw meant Spain have failed to win either of their first two games in a European Championship tournament for the first time since 1996. 

It had started so well for them, however, with Alvaro Morata firing home from close range in the 25th minute. The on-loan Juventus striker has scored four of Spain's last five goals at European Championship finals – only Fernando Torres (five) has ever scored more goals in the competition for the nation.

Poland pulled level shortly after half-time, though, Robert Lewandowski becoming only the third player to score in three major tournaments for Poland, after Grzegorz Lato and Andrzej Szarmach.

Spain did have the opportunity to claim all three points, but Gerard Moreno struck the post from the penalty spot, meaning they have failed to score five of their last eight penalties (excluding shootouts) at the tournament.

There was also a landmark moment for Poland's Kacper Kozlowski (17 years and 246 days), who became the youngest ever player to make an appearance at the European Championship, overtaking Jude Bellingham's record (17y 349d) set for England six days ago.

Germany benefited from two own goals as they came from behind to seal a thumping 4-2 win over Portugal in Euro 2020 Group F on Saturday. 

Cristiano Ronaldo had put holders Portugal ahead early on with a strike that took him level with Miroslav Klose as the European player to have scored the most combined goals (19) across the World Cup and European Championship. 

Joachim Low's side stormed back before half-time, however, courtesy of two own goals in the space of four minutes from Ruben Dias and Raphael Guerreiro. 

The 2014 world champions wrapped up an emphatic first victory of the tournament in the second half thanks to strikes from Kai Havertz and the impressive Robin Gosens, with Diogo Jota pulling one back for Fernando Santos' men.  

Left-back Gosens thought he had handed Germany a fifth-minute lead but his acrobatic effort at the back post was ruled out for offside against Serge Gnabry.

Despite Germany's dominant start it was Portugal who struck first, Ronaldo tapping home from close range in the 15th minute following a flowing counter-attacking move involving Bernardo Silva and Jota. 

Germany pulled level 10 minutes before half-time, though, when Dias diverted Gosens' mis-hit volley past Rui Patricio from just outside the six-yard box. 

Things got even better for Joachim Low's side four minutes later when Guerreiro turned into his own net from close range after Joshua Kimmich had pulled the ball back across the face of goal.

They extended their lead further six minutes after the interval, Havertz turning in Gosens' cross from close range. 

Gosens then added his name to the scoresheet on the hour mark, leaping highest at the back post to head home Kimmich's cross from the right. 

Liverpool striker Jota gave Portugal hope of pulling off a memorable comeback when he fired home from Ronaldo's pull-back in the 67th minute, but Germany held on to inflict just a third defeat in their last 31 matches for Portugal. who hit the post late on through Renato Sanches.

Kai Havertz scored the only goal of the game as Chelsea won the Champions League for a second time by beating Manchester City 1-0 in an all-English final in Porto.

Chelsea forward Havertz saved his first Champions League goal for the biggest stage at Estadio do Dragao on Saturday, opening the scoring late in the first half.

Thomas Tuchel's hugely impressive, well-drilled side held on to break City hearts, denying the Premier League champions a treble in their first Champions League final.

Tuchel had suffered the agony of defeat in the biggest game in European club football last year as Paris Saint-Germain boss, but his fellow German Havertz ensured he got the better of Pep Guardiola for a third time in just over a month.

City, surprisingly starting without both Fernandinho and Rodri for only the second time this season, had the first chance when Ederson sent Raheem Sterling clear with a brilliant pass, but the forward's poor touch allowed a combination of Reece James and Edouard Mendy to advert the danger.

Timo Werner's intelligent runs and pace was unsettling the City defence, but he missed his kick when Germany team-mate Havertz picked him out before finishing tamely after Mason Mount presented him with a glorious chance.

A magnificent tackle from Antonio Rudiger denied Phil Foden when he looked set to open the scoring and it was Chelsea who took the lead after Thiago Silva had limped off.

Mount was the architect, spotting a huge hole at the heart of the City defence and threading a pinpoint throughball for Havertz, who rounded Ederson and slotted home three minutes before the break.

City suffered another big blow early in the second half when a tearful and shaken Kevin De Bruyne was forced off with a black eye following a collision with Rudiger, who was shown a yellow card.

The verdict from referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz and the VAR was no penalty when City thought James had handled before Fernandinho replaced Bernardo Silva.

Substitute Christian Pulisic spurned a golden opportunity to give Chelsea breathing space 18 minutes from time, failing to hit the target after Havertz played him in on a blistering break.

Guardiola sent on Sergio Augero for his final City appearance but there was no dream swansong for City's record goalscorer, Riyad Mahrez slicing a shot just wide deep into seven minutes of stoppage time as Chelsea held on to be crowned champions of Europe.

Kai Havertz became the first player to score his maiden Champions League goal in the final since Ilkay Gundogan in 2013 when he broke the deadlock for Chelsea against Manchester City on Saturday.

Germany international Havertz – a big-money signing from Bayer Leverkusen ahead of the 2020-21 campaign – put Thomas Tuchel's side ahead three minutes before the interval in Porto. 

The 21-year-old had made 20 appearances in the competition with the Blues and Leverkusen without scoring prior to that strike. 

He was teed up by Mason Mount, who became the first English player to provide a Champions League final assist since Manchester United's Wes Brown against the Blues in 2008. 

Havertz is the youngest German player to have netted in the European showpiece match since Lars Ricken for Borussia Dortmund against Juventus in 1997.

Thiago Silva, meanwhile, became Chelsea's oldest player to appear in a major European final, aged 36 years and 249 days. He overtook Claude Makelele, who was 35 years and 93 days when he faced United 13 years ago.

The Brazilian's game ended early, however, the Brazil international substituted with an injury in the 39th minute. 

Chelsea will make late checks on the fitness of N'Golo Kante and Kai Havertz for their pivotal match against Aston Villa.

The Blues are one point clear of Liverpool and Leicester City going into the final day of the Premier League season on Sunday.

Only two of those teams will be able to secure a top-four finish, but Chelsea's fate is in their own hands when they travel to Villa.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel confirmed defender Andreas Christensen will return after missing the last three games with a hamstring injury.

Kante left the field in Tuesday's 2-1 win over Leicester with a hamstring problem of his own and is less certain to play.

A test will also be conducted on Havertz, with the upcoming Champions League final on May 29 also a factor Tuchel must weigh up when it comes to playing Kante or Havertz.

"With NG [Kante] it's going to be very close, but there are some hopes he joins team training on Saturday," said Tuchel. "If not, he'll join on Monday. 

"Kai did a test Friday and will be tested in team training [on Saturday].

"Andreas Christensen will be in the squad. He did full training [Thursday and Friday] without any problems. So he will be back."

Tuchel is aware Chelsea are in an exciting period, having bounced back from losing the FA Cup final by beating Leicester in the league, with two more decisive matches to come.

"It's exciting and it's nice if you play for stuff," said the German. "It keeps you at the edge and brings out the best in you. We felt it at Wembley and on Tuesday. 

"We needed to win to maintain our goals and that set a certain intensity and energy, that's very special. 

"It's not always like this for 60 matches a year. When these matches arrive, they are very special and they bring a certain amount of excitement you can't find anywhere else."

Chelsea have won their last three Premier League away games against Aston Villa, last winning four in a row at Villa Park between 1995 and 1999.

Tuchel revealed he would keep track of Leicester and Liverpool as they take on Tottenham and Crystal Palace respectively at the same time.

He said: "For a long period of the game we will be in our bubble, but in the end, if we have results that change the amount of risk we need to take – because we're not leading or not comfortable with our lead – we need to know. 

"We need to be professional. If we need to adapt our risk management in the game, I think it's normal. We will approach the game like the game against Leicester. It's in our hands and can decide things with a win.

"So we prepare to win the game but as you know, there can be a lot of twists and turns so we need to be ready for everything on our pitch.

"The top four would be the main target for all of us. Having a busy schedule made it harder. 

"We had so many games and a tight schedule. It was a complicated situation to reach the final, go back to top-four race, then a semi-final in the Champions League.

"There are so many competitions and so many levels in these competitions. So it demanded a lot of different levels of concentration for us. 

"It's what we worked for and it's still in our hands. We know how hard it is to play at Aston Villa but we are determined to do it."

Villa have lost 10 of their last 12 Premier League meetings with Chelsea (W1 D1), though they did get a draw in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge this season.

Chelsea, meanwhile, have lost their final league game in just one of the last nine campaigns (W6 D2), going down 3-0 at Newcastle United in 2017-18.

They are unbeaten in each of their eight away league games under Tuchel (W6 D2), conceding just four goals in total and never more than once in a match.

Christian Pulisic admitted to being "very frustrated" at being left out of Chelsea's starting line-up for Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg with Real Madrid.

The United States international scored a crucial away goal for the Blues in last week's first leg but was named among the substitutes for the return fixture at Stamford Bridge.

He again made his impact known, however, by setting up a goal for Mason Mount 18 minutes after being introduced from the bench in the 2-0 win, which saw Chelsea through 3-1 on aggregate.

"I'm very frustrated," Pulisic, who has struggled with injuries this term, told CBS Sports. "There's not much else to say. I wanted to play from the beginning, as I always do.

"I've had to continue to prove myself over and over again. But, as always I reach out to God and he gives me strength. With that behind me, nothing can stop me really."

A look at the Opta stats shows Pulisic has a right to be frustrated, having now scored and assisted a combined four goals in the Champions League in nine appearances this term.

Only Olivier Giroud and Timo Werner have been directly involved in more (both six) - in eight and 11 games respectively.

For comparison, Mount - who has been superb for Chelsea this season - has three direct goal involvements in 10 Champions League games, while Kai Havertz has two from 11 respectively.

Focusing on the Premier League, meanwhile, Pulisic has four goals and one assist in 23 appearances this term, just 14 of those being starts.

Pulisic's average of a 0.26 goals per 90 minutes is slightly better than Havertz's return of 0.25 and behind only Giroud (0.5) and Tammy Abraham (0.52) among Chelsea's attackers. Werner, for context, averages 0.23.

The 22-year-old also performs better when it comes to chances created per 90 minutes in the English top flight when compared to Havertz - 1.37 to the German's 1.07.

But Pulisic still ranks some way below Hakim Ziyech, who has created 2.54 chances per 90 minutes this season and will also perhaps feel that he should be starting more often.

Mount (2.68) and Callum Hudson-Odoi (2.71) lead that particular metric, incidentally, which only highlights just how many options Thomas Tuchel has available in that zone.

One area Pulisic struggles in comparison to his attacking rivals is passing accuracy in the opposition half - 80.95, which is lower than Havertz's 84.3, Mount's 85.45 and Hudson-Odoi's 85.65. ​

The American's win rate when starting games also does not make for good reading.

The Blues have won 13 and lost just two of the 20 league games Pulisic has not featured from the beginning this term, compared to four wins and five losses in the 14 games he has been included in the XI.

Chelsea average 1.8 league goals with Pulisic in their starting line-up, as opposed to 1.3 without, while their average goals against rises from 0.6 to 1.4 when he starts.

Tuchel ultimately knows best when it comes to his team selection - and he is backed up by the possibility of a Champions League and FA Cup double - so Pulisic will simply have to keep proving himself if he is to hold down a regular starting spot.

Away-day specialists Manchester City saw off Crystal Palace 2-0 to close in on another Premier League title and equal a top-flight record in the process.

Chelsea beat Fulham by the same scoreline elsewhere in Saturday's Premier League action, thanks to a couple of goals from Kai Havertz.

A two-goal success was also the outcome when Brighton and Hove Albion welcomed Leeds United to the Amex Stadium, the Seagulls all but securing their top-flight status for another season.

In the late match, Aston Villa edged out Everton 2-1 to boost their chances of a top-half finish and derail their opponents' European prospects.

We use Opta data to take a look at the best facts from Saturday's games.

 

Crystal Palace 0-2 Manchester City: Patient Citizens win again on their travels

Goals from Sergio Aguero and Ferran Torres in the space of 83 seconds proved enough for City to pick up a victory that leaves them on the brink of another piece of silverware.

Those strikes came from the Citizens' first two shots on target and saw them reach the 700-goal mark under Pep Guardiola in all competitions.

City's 57-minute wait for their first on-target attempt of the match was their longest in a Premier League game since November 2019 against Southampton.

Torres added to Aguero's opener moments later with a good finish from 20 yards - the 11th league goal Palace have conceded from outside the box this term, which is the joint-most of any Premier League team alongside Sheffield United.

The victory was City's 11th in a row away from home in the Premier League, equalling the all-time English top-flight record held by Chelsea (April-December 2008) and City themselves (May-December 2017).

Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 Leeds United: Whites lose again on south coast

Brighton moved within touching distance of securing a fifth successive season of Premier League football thanks to a well-earned victory at home to Leeds.

Pascal Gross found the bottom corner from a 14th-minute penalty and Danny Welbeck added to that with his fifth Premier League goal of the season in his 21st outing - the forward's best top-flight return since 2017-18.

It was an all-too-familiar tale for Leeds, who have now lost five successive away league meetings against Brighton without scoring - the first time that has happened in their history against a single opponent.

In fact, Brighton have won eight of their last nine league meetings with Leeds home and away, which is more than they managed in their previous 28 against them.

Leeds managed just two attempts on target as Graham Potter's Brighton claimed a seventh home clean sheet of the season, a tally bettered only by Manchester City and Chelsea (nine each) in the Premier League this season.

 

Chelsea 2-0 Fulham: Havertz inflicts more derby misery on Cottagers

Kai Havertz doubled his Premier League goals tally with a brace in Chelsea's routine victory over Championship-bound Fulham.

All eight of the Germany international's goals for Chelsea in all competitions have now been scored in London, seven of those at Stamford Bridge and one at Selhurst Park.

His second goal in this game involved some nice link-up play with Timo Werner, who with that assist became the first Chelsea player to reach double figures for both goals (11) and assists (10) in his debut season for the club since Eden Hazard in 2012-13.

Werner's combined 21 goals and assists is the most of any Chelsea player this term, and he is one of five Premier League players to reach double figures for both metrics across all competitions alongside Harry Kane, Bruno Fernandes, Son Heung-min and Marcus Rashford.

Fulham have now gone 19 away games without a win at neighbours Chelsea in all competitions - only versus Everton (31), Hull City (23) and Middlesbrough (21) are the Blues currently enjoying a longer unbeaten run against an opponent on home soil.

The Cottagers are also now winless in 24 Premier League London derbies since beating West Ham in January 2014 - only Palace have endured a longer such run in English top-flight history, going 31 London derbies without a win between August 1969 and March 1973.

Fulham missed some good chances as Chelsea kept an 11th Premier League clean sheet under Thomas Tuchel - the most shutouts for any manager in their first 15 games in the competition, one more than ex-Blues bosses Jose Mourinho and Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Everton 1-2 Aston Villa: Toffees' poor Goodison run continues against familiar opponents

Villa dented Everton's European hopes with victory at Goodison Park in what was the 205th top-flight meeting between the clubs - the most played fixture in England's top division.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Villans have won more games (20) and scored more goals (73) in the Premier League era against Everton than they have against any other side in the competition.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored his 20th goal in all competitions this season to open the scoring in Saturday's late kick-off - with that haul including a Premier League leading seven headers - to cancel out Ollie Watkins' opener.

But Anwar El Ghazi snatched all three points for the Villans 10 minutes from time with his eighth goal in 23 Premier League games this season, doubling his tally from 34 appearances in the competition last time out.

Everton have now won just one of their last 10 home league matches and have tasted defeat at Goodison Park eight times this season - only in 1993-94 have they lost on more occasions (nine) in a single Premier League campaign.

Thomas Tuchel praised Kai Havertz for giving him a headache ahead of Chelsea's Champions League semi-final second leg with Real Madrid with his match-winning performance against Fulham.

Havertz scored a goal in each half as Chelsea cruised to a 2-0 victory over Fulham, which moved them six points clear of West Ham in the race for the top four, although David Moyes' side have a game in hand. 

The Germany international had started on the bench in Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Madrid, but may have given Tuchel a selection problem for the return fixture at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday after doubling his Premier League goals tally for the season having scored only two goals in his previous 24 appearances in the competition.

"Still there is room for improvement but for today I am very happy," Tuchel told a media conference of Havertz's performance. 

"Of course, he was decisive, he was involved with Timo [Werner] as a double striker and with Mason [Mount] and Hakim [Ziyech] as the four offensive guys, always involved in dangerous attacks and situations.

"For me it was the individual example for what I just explained, the players today who maybe had a tough decision on them last Tuesday but they didn't say, or like Kai today, didn't play with the attitude that they need me and I wanted more time in Madrid, why do they play me now only against Fulham?

"This was absolutely not the case, he took his chance, he showed up, this is what we need all the time and especially in situations like this, you need guys who are fully committed.

"That means if you have a chance to show up, then show. If you have five minutes, fifteen minutes or a whole game, whatever it is, show that you are ready and give me a headache for the next game."

Asked if the race for a top-four finish is now theirs to lose, Tuchel replied: "No, I feel we have nothing to lose. We are in the middle of the race.

"I think it will continue but it was such a big match to keep the advantage, we have worked so hard in the last week and like I said it is very important that we have a clear mind and nothing to regret for the Wednesday game.

"Then comes the Wednesday game and then look at our fixtures, you see how tough it is. We take nothing for granted, we work hard and keep our head down, feet on the ground and try to the best we can."

Chelsea tightened their grip on fourth place in the Premier League as Kai Havertz's double guided them to a routine 2-0 win over Fulham at Stamford Bridge.

Havertz had only scored twice in his previous 24 Premier League appearances in his first season following a high-profile move from Bayer Leverkusen.

But he showed his class against relegation-threatened Fulham in Saturday's clash, a goal in each half sending Chelsea six points clear of fifth-placed West Ham, who face Burnley on Monday.

Fulham are nine points adrift of safety with four games to play and will be all but relegated if Newcastle United defeat Arsenal on Sunday and Burnley overcome West Ham.

After a bright start by Fulham, they were quickly undone by some brilliance from Mason Mount, who controlled a long ball superbly before sliding in Havertz to break the deadlock as a deflected shot beat a helpless Alphonse Areola.

Havertz had the ball in the net again but from an offside position, and Chelsea had Edouard Mendy to thank for preserving their lead as Ademola Lookman was denied for an undeterred Fulham.

But only Areola stopped Fulham from having a mountain to climb as he produced a tremendous stop after Werner collected another excellent Mount pass and squared for Hakim Ziyech.

More goalkeeping heroics came at the other end on the stroke of half-time, Mendy displaying his reflexes to keep out Ola Aina's deflected half-volley.

The significance of that save was illustrated just over three minutes into the second half as Havertz put Chelsea in complete command.

He played an almost nonchalant one-two with Timo Werner, strolling into the box to roll the ball past Areola and push Fulham further towards a return to the Championship.

 

 

Chelsea duo Timo Werner and Kai Havertz need strong personalities to succeed at Stamford Bridge, according to Kevin Kuranyi.

Germany stars Werner and Havertz both joined Chelsea at the start of the season, from RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen respectively, amid high expectations but it has been a challenging start to life for the pair in the Premier League.

After scoring 28 goals in the Bundesliga and 34 across all competitions last season, Werner has found the back of the net on 11 occasions and supplied nine assists for Chelsea this term, including six Premier League goals.

Havertz – who became Chelsea's most expensive outfield player ahead of the 2020-21 campaign – has shown glimpses of his quality with six goals and six assists, though he has largely struggled.

Former Germany striker Kuranyi backed the pair to rediscover their best form in London.

"Of course they were playing a really high level in Germany," 52-time Germany international Kuranyi, who played for Stuttgart and Schalke in the Bundesliga, told Stats Perform News.

"But if you play in a club like Chelsea… I was talking with some friends who play at Chelsea before and there it is very important to have a strong personality to play there.

"They are young players, like Havertz – he is in the first step of his career. He made a big, big step so he needs time to keep his quality at Chelsea.

"I think the first year is very important to learn a lot, to try to do the best, but in the second and third year will be much better."

Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea – fourth in the Premier League – are preparing to face Real Madrid in the opening leg of their Champions League semi-final showdown on Tuesday.

Thomas Tuchel praised a "good step" taken by Kai Havertz and called on the Chelsea forward to continue to show his quality after his instrumental role in the 4-1 win at Crystal Palace.

Havertz has largely struggled since his close-season move from Bayer Leverkusen but opened the scoring at Selhurst Park, where Chelsea surged back into the top four.

He laid on the second goal for Christian Pulisic as Chelsea went two up inside 10 minutes, with Kurt Zouma's header and a late effort from Pulisic, sandwiched by a Christian Benteke consolation, giving the Blues a comfortable victory.

Havertz's goal was his first in the Premier League since October while this was his first game in the competition in which he has both found the net and provided an assist.

Chelsea have the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie with Porto, which they lead 2-0, on Tuesday before taking on Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final next Saturday.

With so many significant fixtures on the horizon as they also fight for Champions League qualification next season, Tuchel wants more from Havertz.

The coach told a post-match media conference: "He has quality, he needs to show it. Easy as that.

"He will never be our emotional leader, we don't expect him to be. But we expect him to show his quality.

"Honestly, he needed to show he can do better. So many decisive matches coming, he got another chance to show he can do better than he did against Porto. A good step and a good performance."

Mason Mount was similarly impressive for Chelsea, playing four key passes and providing the assist for Zouma's fifth goal of the season.

The midfielder also completed 93.8 per cent of his passes in the opposition half and sent in a game-high 15 crosses.

Asked about Mount, Tuchel added: "Mason was focused, high energy level, strong performance.

"It's in our DNA that we have a high work rate, high intensity and are tired after a match. This is how it should be, we are Chelsea."

Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea retain "faith and trust" in struggling forwards Timo Werner and Kai Havertz.

Both players were substituted with 25 minutes left in the 2-0 Champions League win over Porto in Seville on Wednesday.

Tuchel said after the quarter-final first leg that the two players had not given him what he was looking for.

But ahead of the short trip to play Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday, he insisted both players remain a key part of his plans and that his substitutions were specific only to that match.

Tuchel accepts Werner is lacking in confidence but does not have any concerns over Havertz.

Werner has been directly involved in more Premier League goals this season than any other Chelsea player (11, with five goals and six assists). 

However, the Germany striker has scored with just one of his last 42 shots in the competition, a strike against Newcastle United in February.

"Look at the games Porto played in the Champions League," said Tuchel in defence of Werner and Havertz.

"If you can show me any nice, fluid and pretty games of any opponent we can talk again. I did not find it. 

"They make your life very tough, especially for offensive players. They went through the group with 13 points. You can ask in the group how easy it was to play against them. 

"They did not have the easiest task up front. They had a big impact defensively and they worked hard for us, both Kai and Timo. 

"It was difficult for them to find spaces and create something, so we changed after 65 minutes but we will not lose faith and trust. 

"We accept sometimes it's hard sometimes to have a big impact. Maybe Timo misses a bit of confidence in his finishing but Kai, I feel, is very self-confident. 

"There are no bigger concerns. It was just in this game we tried to change the momentum."

Chelsea are yet to lose on the road under Tuchel in the Premier League (W3 D2).

The Palace clash comes after a dramatic week for the Blues, with the Porto win following up a shock 5-2 home reverse against West Brom.

Tuchel is keen to ensure his players do not get too up or down based on one result.

He added: "It's my job to learn every day and from every game, from every situation we have to face. 

"I don't have a big conclusion after the two games with the down and up we had in terms of results. 

"It's important to share experiences and make my experiences with the team. It's the first time we lost, a big loss, an unexpected loss in a weird game. 

"We have a lot of positives together so we needed to adapt and react to it. 

"I'm very happy we bounced back immediately. We were unlucky in some situations in the game. It's important for us now that we went through this. 

"Hopefully we can start a winning streak again."

Palace have kept five clean sheets in the Premier League at Selhurst Park since the turn of the year, two more than in the entirety of 2020.

But manager Roy Hodgson has lost six consecutive Premier League matches against Chelsea. 

The only opponent he has lost seven consecutive games against as a manager in the competition is Tottenham in a run that lasted between 2011 and 2019.

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