Thomas Tuchel says he cannot understand why Timo Werner would be unhappy at Chelsea and urged the forward to "show quality" in order to become a regular starter.

Werner has endured a frustrating two years with the Blues following his big-money move from RB Leipzig two years ago.

The Germany international has failed to establish himself in the starting line-up, having scored only 10 Premier League goals in two seasons for the London club.

Werner was on target in a 2-1 friendly win over Club America last weekend and suggested after that friendly that he could leave Stamford Bridge, as he needs regular first-team football ahead of the World Cup in Qatar.

The 26-year-old missed out due to a hamstring injury as Chelsea were beaten 5-3 on penalties by Charlotte FC on Wednesday after the two sides had been level at 1-1.

Blues boss Tuchel raised eyebrows over his compatriot Werner's comments following the midweek defeat.

He said: "I'm surprised, I would be very happy as a young guy having a contract at Chelsea Football Club. I would be one of the happiest people on the planet."

Asked how Werner can go about forcing his way into the team, Tuchel replied: "Show quality, take your place and defend your place.

"I would be one of the happiest people on the planet having a contract with Chelsea. If he said this, I do not understand."

Tuchel has no intention of allowing Werner to move on.

When asked if he will be a Chelsea player in the upcoming season, Tuchel said: "Sure, he is our player, sure."

Tuchel revealed that Cesar Azpilicueta, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Ross Barkley were unavailable to face Charlotte due to injury.

Romelu Lukaku's second spell with Chelsea lasted just one season.

Inter have confirmed the return of Lukaku in a season-long loan deal just 321 days after selling him to Chelsea for just under £100million.

It reunites Lukaku with the club with whom he won the Scudetto in 2021 and writes another chapter in the history of the Blues signing a high-profile striker, only for them to fail to produce.

As the London club perhaps wonder what might have been with Lukaku, Stats Perform looks back at the string of forwards who saw their goals dry up after moving to Stamford Bridge.

Mateja Kezman

Kezman did not arrive for big money by today's standards, joining from PSV for a £5.3m fee in 2004, but he came with significant expectations after a goal-laden spell in the Eredivisie in which he plundered 105 in 122 league appearances and won the title twice.

However, he came nowhere close to living up to the billing in his sole season in the Premier League, finding the net seven times in 41 games in all competitions. His most important goal was the ultimately decisive third in Chelsea's League Cup final win over Liverpool as the Blues did the double, going on to claim a first Premier League crown under Jose Mourinho.

He was subsequently sold to Atletico Madrid and had spells with Fenerbahce and Paris Saint-Germain that delivered more trophies, though he never managed to recapture his PSV form.

Andriy Shevchenko

Few strikers in world football were as feared as Shevchenko during his golden years at Milan, for whom he remains the second-highest goalscorer in the club's history with 175.

Chelsea's £30.8m move to lure him from San Siro in 2006, then a record fee paid by an English club, reflected his reputation. Yet Shevchenko's transition to the Premier League did not go to plan.

In his final season in Serie A, Shevchenko averaged a goal every 116 minutes. Across two seasons with Chelsea, that dipped to one every 284 minutes in the Premier League. He netted 22 in 77 games in all competitions, with the appointment of Avram Grant as Mourinho's successor in 2007 limiting his game time. Shevchenko won the FA Cup and League Cup with the Blues but was an unused substitute as they lost the 2008 Champions League final to Manchester United.

He was sent back to Milan for an unsuccessful loan spell before finishing his career back at boyhood club Dynamo Kyiv.

Fernando Torres

Torres' 2011 move from Liverpool to Chelsea was one of the most famous January transfers in Premier League history. As with a lot of January moves, it did not have the desired impact.

In his final two full seasons with Liverpool in 2008-09 and 2009-10, 'El Nino' scored 32 Premier League goals from 166 shots that had an expected goals (xG) value of 13.3. In 2010-11, he scored nine for Liverpool from an xG value of 8.5. Across three and a half seasons with Chelsea, Torres scored 20 league goals from 217 shots with an xG value of 26.5.

In terms of silverware, Torres was still successful with Chelsea, winning three trophies. His crowning moment came as he scored the decisive goal at Camp Nou against Barcelona to send the Blues into the Champions League final, where they beat Bayern Munich on penalties.

But his overall output was never close to good enough, and he too had a brief spell at Milan before heading back to where it all began with Atletico Madrid.

Alvaro Morata

Of all the players on this list, Morata's relative lack of goalscoring success was the least surprising given he made the move to Stamford Bridge having never scored more than 15 league goals in a single season in his career.

Moving from Real Madrid on the back of that career-best campaign in 2016-17, Morata was unable to live up to his reported £60m fee, scoring 11 goals in 31 games in his first season and five in 16 in the first half of his second before being loaned to Atletico, who he then joined on a permanent basis having won the FA Cup and Europa League with Chelsea.

Timo Werner

Werner still has the chance to turn his Chelsea career around, but the former RB Leipzig striker's time at Stamford Bridge has followed a very similar trajectory to Chelsea's high-profile misfires.

Having scored 95 goals in 159 games for Leipzig, Werner has netted only 23 in two seasons for Chelsea since his £47.5m move, with his 191 shots carrying an xG value of 33.7, illustrating just how poorly the Germany international has performed in front of goal.

He has brought value in other areas, serving as a high-energy focal point of the Chelsea attack, but Thomas Tuchel will surely want to see more in terms of end product for Werner to free himself from the 'flop' tag.

Romelu Lukaku

Unable to cement a place in the Chelsea first team during his first spell with the club, Lukaku's second act at Stamford Bridge was expected to be much more profitable.

Chelsea forked out a club-record £97.5m on that proving to be the case but have now moved to cut their losses and allow Lukaku to return to Inter, if only on loan.

Lukaku scored a goal every 120 minutes in helping Inter to Serie A glory in 2020-21 but managed just eight in the Premier League at one every 198 minutes.

Between Werner and Lukaku, Chelsea could not afford to carry two struggling strikers, with the latter becoming the latest in a long line of misguided attacking investments to make a swift exit.

Gabriel Jesus could be set for a move to Arsenal after the club came to a £45million agreement with Manchester City to pry away the 25-year-old striker, according to reports.

It had previously been claimed the Gunners were offering £30m – well short of City's £50m asking price – but were given some added motivation when Tottenham apparently entered the race.

The Brazil international ended the season in fine form at City, scoring four times in the 5-1 win against Watford in April, but could he be on his way to the Emirates Stadium?

TOP STORY – ARSENAL RAISE OFFER AND AGREE TO JESUS FEE

According to The Athletic, Gabriel Jesus is on the verge of a big money move to Arsenal.

The striker's relationship with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta dates back to the Spaniard's days as assistant coach to Pep Guardiola at City, giving him a unique insight into Jesus' progression since arriving in the Premier League.

The Athletic's report includes that the arrivals of both Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez to City in this transfer period would have significantly hindered Jesus' playing time if he were to stay.

ROUND-UP

– Sky Sports report that Chelsea have offered Timo Werner to Juventus as part of negotiations for Dutch centre-back Matthijs de Ligt, with the Blues unwilling to meet his release clause, said to be set at €120m.

Christian Eriksen is deciding between staying at Brentford or accepting a larger contract offer to move to Manchester United, with Sky Sports reporting he may be unwilling to move from the Bees for family reasons.

Everton, Wolves and West Ham are keeping a close eye on former Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum as the 31-year-old has been told he can leave Paris Saint-Germain this transfer period, according to 90min.

– Spanish publication Sport say Leeds United winger Raphinha has shunned other Premier League clubs in an effort to push his way to Barcelona.

A defiant Gianluigi Donnarumma claimed he will have his "head held high" following Italy's 5-2 defeat away to Germany in the Nations League on Tuesday.

Germany led 5-0 at one stage in Monchengladbach and wearing the captain's armband, the Azzurri goalkeeper had a disappointing night personally, with Timo Werner pinching the ball off him before making it 4-0.

Goals from Wilfried Gnonto and Alessandro Bastoni provided small consolation late for Italy but for an inexperienced squad, Tuesday's loss was a harsh reminder of international football's margin for error.

Asked whether distribution with his feet was an aspect he needed to improve upon post-game, after similarly getting his pocket picked in Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League exit, the 23-year-old responded angrily.

"When did it happen before? When I was fouled against Real Madrid? If we want to cause controversy over these things, then fine," Donnarumma told RAI Sport. "I am here to talk for the team. If you want to blame me, fine, I’ll take the blame, I am the captain and I keep going with head held high.

“I think you’re all trying to create something about these errors, fine.

"We are angry. There are no excuses, we have to get back out there and prove this is not us. There are simply no excuses."

The Azzurri sit third in Group A3 after two draws and a win in their opening three games but following their loss in the UEFA/CONMEBOL Finalissima, Tuesday's defeat represents a return to square one.

Donnarumma suggested end-of-season fatigue had been a contributing factor, but it had not been primary in Italy's performance in Germany.

"We were lacking everything tonight," he said. "There was also some fatigue after four games in 15 days at the end of the season, but we don’t want to seek alibis. Now we will look each other in the eye and analyse everything.

"We’re really disappointed for the fans, for what they saw tonight. We had a few chances, but it’s not good enough. We’ll analyse everything and start again.

"All of us made mistakes. I could’ve dealt with the situation better at 4-0 and kicked it away, but you learn from mistakes and grow. Now we just have to rest and come back much stronger than this."

Germany coach Hansi Flick warned his side of the qualities England possess as he prepares for a "classic" in the Nations League on Tuesday.

England were far from their best as they fell to a 1-0 defeat on Saturday to Hungary in their League A Group 3 opener, while Germany shared the spoils with Italy.

Die Mannschaft host the Three Lions in Munich for the next Nations League encounter, with England winning the last meeting 2-0 at Euro 2020 last June.

Indeed, Germany have failed to score in their last two matches against England (0-0 in November 2017, 0-2 in June 2021), as many as in their previous 16 games combined.

Flick, speaking at a pre-match news conference on Monday, outlined his expectations for the difficulties Gareth Southgate's visitors will pose as he hailed the threat of captain and talisman Harry Kane.

"It's a classic, the games are always something special. Everything else is in the past. We're looking ahead and trying to get a better result tomorrow," the former Bayern Munich boss said.

"We showed the team what we could have done better against Italy. It's important that we go into the game with a good feeling.

"Against England it's extremely important that we keep up. The football in the Premier League is very physical.

"Harry Kane is a world-class striker and England have a lot of outstanding players in their ranks."

While Flick was quick to credit Tottenham star Kane, who has scored in both of his England appearances against Germany, he also heaped praise on the undervalued Timo Werner.

"I'll keep my thoughts to myself, but both can play in the position," he said when asked who would start between Chelsea pair Kai Havertz and Werner. 

"Timo is underestimated a bit, with also what he does for the team. He creates space in front of the defence. Both are an option for us up top."

As for his return to the Allianz Arena, Flick is looking forward to revisiting his old Bayern stadium and credited the work of his successor Julian Nagelsmann, who guided the Bavarian side to the Bundesliga title.

"It's been a long time since I enjoyed a full house in Munich, so I hope the team will be supported. I hope we play well and have the support of the crowd," he continued.

"For me, the performances with the national team and in training here are decisive. Bayern have played an outstanding season.

"The championship title is the most honest title you can win, so compliments again to Julian Nagelsmann. It's important that the players now perform well here."

Liverpool may have lost ground in the Premier League title race to Manchester City, but they could claim a second trophy of the campaign when they face Chelsea in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

A Wembley Stadium meeting between the Blues and the Reds is, of course, nothing new, with Thomas Tuchel paying the penalty – literally – for his ill-fated introduction of Kepa Arrizabalaga in February's EFL Cup final loss.

Revenge will certainly be on Chelsea's minds after substitute Kepa missed the decisive spot-kick in the shoot-out at the end of that goalless draw, and they will be desperate to avoid becoming the first team to lose both domestic English cup finals in the same season since Middlesbrough in 1996-97.

For Liverpool, meanwhile, their pursuit of the quadruple, and with it, footballing immortality, hinges on their ability to see off the Blues.

Who will be crowned the latest winners of football's oldest national competition? Stats Perform takes a look at the key Opta numbers ahead of these two rivals' fourth meeting of the season.

Wembley regulars hunting cup success

Chelsea and Liverpool have met in the final of the FA Cup on just one previous occasion, with Ramires and Didier Drogba firing the London club – then managed by Roberto Di Matteo – to victory just over a decade ago on May 5, 2012.

Both sides have significant pedigree in the competition, with Chelsea making their 16th final appearance and Liverpool featuring in their 15th – only Arsenal (21) and Manchester United (20) have made more such appearances than the duo.

However, neither side have had it all their own way when making it this far, with Chelsea losing each of the last two finals.

The Blues are the first team to qualify for three consecutive finals since Arsenal between 2000-01 and 2002-03, but another defeat would make them the first team since Newcastle United in 1998-99 to lose on their last three final appearances (1973-74, 1997-98, and 1998-99).

Liverpool, however, have lifted the trophy on just 50 per cent of their previous final appearances (7/14). Only two teams have a worse success rate having reached 10 or more finals (Everton, 5/13, and Newcastle, 6/13).

 

Fourth time lucky as deadlocked rivals meet again?

Having both made their names coaching Bundesliga sides Mainz and Borussia Dortmund, Tuchel and Klopp are no strangers to one another, and have become accustomed to head-to-head meetings this season.

Chelsea and Liverpool have already met three times this campaign, twice in the Premier League and once in the EFL Cup final, with each of those games ending level.

Having clung on with 10-men to earn a 1-1 draw at Anfield in August, Chelsea fought back from two goals down in a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge in January before enduring penalty heartache at Wembley the following month.

 

The last fixture between two English top-fight teams to see more draws in the same campaign was Arsenal v Chelsea in 2017-18 (four).

Fans of a penalty shoot-out, then, could be in for more entertainment on Saturday. 

The Mane for the big occasion

The electrifying form of January arrival Luis Diaz means Klopp's Reds have never had such attacking depth available, but could one of his longest-serving attackers make the difference here?

Since arriving at Anfield in 2016, Sadio Mane has scored six times against Chelsea, with no other player scoring more often against the Blues in that time.

Mane made an important contribution to Liverpool's 3-2 semi-final win over Manchester City, becoming the first player to score a Wembley brace for the club since Steve McManaman in the 1995 League Cup final against Bolton Wanderers.

Should Mane again find the net against one of his favourite opponents, he would become the first Liverpool player to score in consecutive Wembley appearances (when used as a neutral venue) since Phillipe Coutinho in April 2015 and February 2016.

 

Can Werner haunt his former suitors? 

Chelsea forward Timo Werner made headlines on Friday after claiming to have chosen Stamford Bridge over Anfield when he left RB Leipzig in 2020.

And the Germany international will hope to continue his excellent FA Cup campaign if he is chosen to lead the line at Wembley.

No player has made more goal contributions in the competition than Werner this season, with the 26-year-old recording two goals and three assists in the Blues' cup run.

While that tally is more than any Liverpool player has managed in the competition this term, it's also the most any Chelsea player has registered in a single FA Cup campaign since Pedro (six) and Willian (seven) both impressed in 2016-17.

However, Chelsea ended that season by falling to a 2-1 final defeat to Arsene Wenger's Arsenal, so Werner will be hoping any contribution he can make will prove more decisive.

 

Timo Werner insists he has no regrets after choosing Chelsea over Liverpool as the two Premier League clubs prepare for the FA Cup final on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp was said to have been a big admirer of Werner when the forward was as Stuttgart and the German was in charge of Borussia Dortmund in 2015.

Klopp subsequently left for Liverpool and was again a frontrunner trying to secure the services of Werner, who came into high demand from Premier League sides after impressing for RB Leipzig in 2020.

However, Chelsea acted the fastest to sign Werner in a £45million deal, beating the likes of Tottenham and Manchester United to the signing, while Liverpool opted for Wolves star Diogo Jota.

The Germany international struggled in his debut Premier League season, scoring six goals in 35 league appearances and converting just over 7.5 per cent of chances.

Werner has yet to hit the heights in the league again this campaign, managing just four goals in 21 games, but his performances in recent months have offered Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel encouragement.

No player has had a direct hand in more FA Cup goals this season than Werner (two goals, three assists) and he does not look back with regrets as Chelsea prepare to face Liverpool at Wembley Stadium.

"The only thing I can say is they have a German manager," the 26-year-old said to Standard Sport when asked about the links to Liverpool. "I have known him for many years before, because when I was in Stuttgart, he talked about going to Dortmund. Then I played not so well, so it was done.

"When I was in Leipzig, I had the possibility to come to the Premier League. Liverpool were also in my thoughts and were a big possibility for me, but at the end I decided for Chelsea and I won the Champions League title last year. It was not the worst decision."

 

Werner also heaped praise on Klopp, who will become just the second Liverpool manager to take charge of the club in the final of four major domestic/European competitions, after Bob Paisley.

"He is one of the best coaches we had in Germany," the striker said of Klopp.

"Not to attack our manager, but over the past years he won the most titles. He has a very nice personality – a personality that the German people love, because he seems like fun.

"The Germans love the types like Thomas Muller, Jurgen Klopp — they have empathy. They say what they think, and that is really important in this business, to not fake something.

"He's real. He is a funny guy and also, with his power on the sideline, he tries to bring the people with him. That's what we Germans like."

 

Meanwhile, Thomas Tuchel is set to take charge of his fourth major domestic/European final at Chelsea after being at the helm for just one year and 108 days (on the day of the final).

No manager has appeared in more finals in Chelsea's history (Jose Mourinho also four), and Werner was quick to credit Tuchel, while discussing his own problems in front of goal.

"He is on a level now where, when you say who are the best managers, you have only now Klopp, him and [Pep] Guardiola maybe," he added.

"I think maybe he is [demanding], because a lot of strikers this season have struggled a bit. I had so many disappointing moments when I normally can score.

"I know what I can do, because I did it in the past, maybe 100 times. I think it was a lot also on me, a lot on my head to get the things clear in front of goal.

"But you have to keep going and that's the thing that I learned over two seasons. It can't always go up.

"The five years before Chelsea, the last year was always going up. I never had so many problems in terms of scoring as I've had in the last year. But in the end, it helps you, it brings you to another level."

Eddie Nketiah scored his first Premier League double as Arsenal got their top-four hopes back on track with an entertaining 4-2 victory over Chelsea. 

Mikel Arteta's faith in Nketiah was rewarded as the 22-year-old ended a wait for a league goal that stretched back to April 2021 with the opener at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. 

Timo Werner scored in consecutive Premier League games for just the second time in his Chelsea career to restore parity, before Emile Smith Rowe put Arsenal back in front. 

Cesar Azpilicueta got another equaliser for Chelsea, but he was at fault for Nketiah's second and a stoppage-time penalty from Bukayo Saka as Arsenal ended run of three straight defeats and went level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham. 

Andreas Christensen's bungled back pass was pounced upon by Nketiah and the attacker slotted a cool finish past Edouard Mendy to give Arsenal the lead in the 13th minute. 

Chelsea hit back four minutes later when Ruben Loftus-Cheek won possession high up the pitch and Werner unleashed a shot that deflected in off Granit Xhaka. 

Arsenal narrowly avoided gifting Chelsea a chance to take the lead and transitioned into a rapid counter-attack that finished with Smith Rowe placing a curling shot into the bottom-right corner. 

The Blues drew level before the break, though, with Mason Mount's excellent delivery steered home by Azpilicueta. 

Christensen made way for Thiago Silva at half-time, but Arsenal were back in front 13 minutes after the restart. Azpilicueta gave the ball away and Nketiah made the most of a couple of fortunate ricochets to double his tally. 

Azpilicueta then hauled Saka to ground in the box and the England winger fired the spot-kick home in the 92nd minute as Chelsea succumbed to a defeat that left them in danger of being dragged into an unexpected top-four battle.
 

What does it mean? Shoddy defending costs Chelsea 

Chelsea have lost three straight home games in all competitions for the first time in almost 30 years, and some sloppy errors brought on their latest defeat. 

They gifted Nketiah a pair of goals and were caught short when their high press was beaten ahead of Smith Rowe's strike. 

The Gunners were by no means in good form at the back, but some crucial blocks from Gabriel helped them secure a huge three points. 

Sublime Saka 

Marcos Alonso struggled to cope with Saka's dribbling ability as he proved extremely dangerous when Arsenal counter-attacked. He capped an all-action display with a deserved goal at the death.

Lacklustre Lukaku 

Thomas Tuchel handed Romelu Lukaku his first start in over a month, but the Belgian failed to impress. His 22 touches were the fewest of any Chelsea starter and he missed the target with his only attempt on goal. 

What's next? 

Arsenal entertain Manchester United in a game that could be key to their top-four hopes on Saturday, while Chelsea have another London derby against West Ham the following day. 

Romelu Lukaku can take comfort from Timo Werner's return to form and the Belgium star just needs "one spark" to find his confidence again, according to Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel.

Werner has come under regular scrutiny following his £45million (€50m) move to Stamford Bridge from RB Leipzig in June 2020.

The Germany international scored six goals in 35 appearances in his debut Premier League campaign and has found the net on just three occasions in the top flight this season.

However, two of those strikes came in the 6-0 rout of Southampton in his last league game, as many goals as he had managed in his previous 27 appearances in the Premier League. Werner also scored at Real Madrid in the Champions League and was influential in the FA Cup semi-final win over Crystal Palace.

Lukaku has endured similar struggles since his big-money return to Chelsea from Inter at the start of the season, last scoring in the league in December against Brighton and Hove Albion.

The former Manchester United man has been hampered by injuries as well, and although he missed glorious opportunities against Madrid and Palace on his return, Tuchel believes he will soon find his form.

"I don't think he needs inspiration as such, but he needs that one moment, that one spark," Tuchel said on Tuesday when asked if Lukaku could learn from Werner.

"He maybe would've been a natural starter against Crystal Palace given the minutes Kai [Havertz] has played and the matches recently, but after a period of injury he lacked the fitness for matches.

"I don't point the finger at him, it's just a fact.

"Compare the difference in Brentford and Southampton, and the two legs against Real Madrid, you see the effort we put into become a winning team and this is what we need.

"Romelu should've had a goal against Real Madrid and Crystal Palace, but if he plays we need all that he has."

Reece James is another who has suffered with injury problems throughout the campaign, but he has shown encouraging form in recent weeks.

Tuchel acknowledged the brilliance of the England international, even if his adaptability causes many a selection headache whether to play him as a right wing-back or third centre-back.

"I think the back three is a little less demanding physically in terms of the wing-back position given he comes from a long injury," the German added on James.

"It is a bit of an advantage to have him in the back three because it is less demanding physically. He can play both positions brilliantly and we can only pick him once, so we have to decide."

Meanwhile, Tuchel expressed his gratitude to the work of Jorginho, who started against Palace on Sunday after being rested for two league games with Southampton and Brentford.

"He sacrificed for the team and I think you see it now," he said of the Italy midfielder. 

"There are so many demands, and after a big success, like winning the Euros, he felt the pressure. This is normal and sometimes after big success it is difficult to keep on going and going.

"He put the responsibility on his shoulders and always does. That is why I love him. We see we overused him and I feel we see the consequences of that. He is not at his freshest moment at the minute."

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel told reporters he is not interested in Liverpool's hunt for a quadruple this season, and also gave credit to Timo Werner for finding form after the Blues' 2-0 FA Cup win against Crystal Palace.

Against Crystal Palace, Chelsea controlled throughout, with 67 per cent possession and double the amount of shots, but did not break the deadlock until the 65th minute through Ruben Loftus-Cheek, before Mason Mount doubled the advantage in the 76th minute.

With the win, they earned a spot in the FA Cup final against Liverpool at Wembley on May 14. It is Chelsea's third consecutive season making the final, losing 2-1 to Arsenal in 2020, and losing 1-0 against Leicester City in 2021.

Liverpool is still alive in the Premier League and Champions League, and beat Chelsea on penalties in the Carabao Cup, but Tuchel was not interested in discussing their potentially history-making season.

"I don’t care about [Liverpool's] other titles," he said.

"Of course, we lost a [Carabao Cup] final [to Liverpool]. We gave everything in that final, as you know, until the very last penalty. 

"We were unlucky and lost. We want to turn things around, but it will not give us the Carabao Cup title back.

"We were in the FA Cup final last season and we’re here again, it means unbelievably a lot to us.

"We will be well-prepared against one of the strongest teams in the world, who are in outstanding form given their results… it will be a tough one, [but] we will try to make life hard for them."

Tuchel also touched on the improving form of his striker after a slow start to the season, and his Chelsea career in general.

"We had a bit of a change in formation up front, so he played against Southampton, and [Werner] played alongside Kai [Havertz], with Mason [Mount] and Mateo Kovacic around him," he said.

"He likes that a lot, and has a good connection with them, so that was maybe the turnaround point for him. 

"He scored and had big chances. He was decisive in Madrid, and could have been the hero with the third goal, but unfortunately not. But he was involved; he scored, was involved, created chances and spaces, and did again today. 

"It was very hard to find spaces today and be decisive, but he assisted the second goal. Timo at the moment is a huge part [and deserves his place] in the team."

Romelu Lukaku should look at Timo Werner for inspiration if he plays any part in Chelsea's FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace on Sunday, according to Blues boss Thomas Tuchel.

Werner has endured a largely difficult time at Stamford Bridge since arriving from RB Leipzig in June 2020, but he has shone in the past week.

He followed up a brace in the 6-0 Premier League win over Southampton last weekend with another goal in the Champions League quarter-final second-leg win at Real Madrid in midweek.

Like Werner, Lukaku has had difficulties since joining the club from Inter ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.

He has scored just five goals and registered zero assists in his 12 Premier League starts, while he has created only 16 opportunities and converted 17.2 per cent of his 29 shots, just 11 of which have been on target.

Lukaku's 12 goals in all competitions only marginally exceeds his expected goals (xG) of 11.8, however, showing he is at least scoring at a rate that reflects the quality of chances that have come his way.

But the fact his xG is not higher suggests a lack of cohesion between Lukaku and his team-mates.

The Belgium international has missed Chelsea's last two games through injury, although he returned to training this week and is expected to play some part in Sunday's last-four clash at Wembley.

 

Asked if the 28-year-old needs to emulate Werner if he is selected against Palace, Tuchel told a media conference: "For sure. He had a huge chance against Real Madrid [at home] and things can go so fast.

"Nobody knows what this goal would have done for us if he had taken his chance with the late header in the first leg.

"It is exactly what he needs to do. Wait, be patient, work hard and put the team first, be ready to help the team, because as a striker you can help within seconds.

"Especially for strikers, things can be turned around in minutes, in moments. Whole careers can be upside down and in any direction but always as a striker you can have a chance to put things into your favour, as a substitute or if you have the chance to perform from the beginning."

Chelsea have won each of their last nine fixtures with Palace, all coming in the Premier League.

In the club's history, they have enjoyed five separate instances of 10 or more successive wins against an opponent, most recently a run of 11 versus Brighton and Hove Albion between 1967 and 2019.

The resurgent Timo Werner revealed he thought the job was done when his goal at Real Madrid put Chelsea ahead in their Champions League quarter-final tie for the first time.

Chelsea had a mountain to climb after a 3-1 first-leg defeat at Stamford Bridge, but an inspired performance in the return match had them on the brink of the last four.

Goals from Mason Mount and Antonio Rudiger brought the Blues back level on aggregate, before Werner struck 15 minutes from time.

It was a wonderful individual effort from the much-maligned forward, who followed up a brace at Southampton on Saturday by both scoring and assisting in this second leg.

Werner has been involved in six goals (four goals, two assists) in five Champions League outings this season, compared to just four (three goals, one assist) in 16 Premier League appearances.

He and Mount became the first pair of team-mates to both score and assist against Madrid in the same Champions League game since Werder Bremen duo Markus Rosenberg and Boubacar Sanogo in 2007.

But it was ultimately not enough. Luka Modric forged a vital goal for Rodrygo to take the game to extra time, where Stamford Bridge hat-trick hero Karim Benzema headed the decisive effort in Madrid's 5-4 aggregate success.

"The home game made a difference because this was nearly a perfect performance from us," Werner said, "so we are very disappointed after what we put into this game and how we played.

"When I celebrated, I thought 'this is it'. We could have scored before that to make it 3-0, but the officials didn't give it to us; it is a point you can talk about, but when I scored I thought we are through with this.

"We nearly gave no chances to Madrid, but in the end we have to say the goals they scored were very good.

"There was one moment in regular time when we were not like we were the whole game, and Madrid have the quality to score against you, and they showed it for the 3-1.

"I think it was a brilliant goal, a brilliant cross from Modric, hard to defend."

Chelsea were bidding to become only the second team in 44 attempts in the Champions League era to overturn a two-goal home-leg deficit in the return match.

Werner said: "[The home defeat] was a problem because it put us in a very difficult situation, but also on the other side it was the thing that brings us for the second game to this level, because we know that we have to step up and we have to give everything.

"We had a brilliant game and we had 10 minutes to go through to make a miracle come true, so it is very disappointing."

Karim Benzema's extra-time goal put Real Madrid into the Champions League semi-finals despite a 3-2 defeat to holders Chelsea on Tuesday.

Goals from Mason Mount, Antonio Rudiger and Timo Werner overturned Real Madrid’s 3-1 advantage from the first leg last week, but Rodrygo’s sublime volley forced the tie into extra time.

Benzema, who scored a hat-trick at Stamford Bridge, had the final say, though, thundering home a header six minutes into extra time to seal a 5-4 aggregate victory. 

Carlo Ancelotti's side will now face either Atletico Madrid or Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola’s side holding a 1-0 lead from the first leg.

Chelsea's strong start was rewarded in the 15th minute when Mount curled past Thibaut Courtois from just inside the penalty area after latching onto Werner's nudged ball forward.

Madrid struggled to break Chelsea's stubborn backline down in the first half, with Ancelotti's men going in at the break without a shot on target to their name. 

Chelsea levelled the tie on aggregate six minutes into the second half, Rudiger planting a powerful header past Courtois from Mount's cross. 

Alonso thought he had edged Chelsea in front 11 minutes later when he thumped into the top corner from eight yards, yet his effort was ruled out for handball following a VAR check. 

Benzema crashed a header against the crossbar soon after, before Werner put Chelsea ahead on aggregate in the 75th minute with a strike that proved too hot for Courtois to handle. 

Madrid clawed their way back into the tie with 10 minutes remaining, though, as Rodrygo, who had only been on the pitch for two minutes, steered a superb volley past Edouard Mendy from Luka Modric's breathtaking cross. 

That set the stage for Benzema's decisive goal in additional time, the France international heading past Mendy from 10 yards out following fine work down the left by Vinicius Junior. 

 

Timo Werner showed why he is still an important player for Chelsea by scoring a pair of goals in Saturday's 6-0 thrashing of Southampton. 

A £47.5million move from RB Leipzig to Stamford Bridge in June 2020 is yet to work out for Werner, whose double at St Mary's took him to nine Premier League goals in 51 appearances. 

All three of the 26-year-old's league goals this season have come against Saints, with his overall tally against them standing at five. He is yet to score against any other opponent more than once in the Premier League.

Werner could have easily scored more against Southampton – he hit the woodwork three times in the first half – but Mason Mount's double and goals from Marcos Alonso and Kai Havertz contributed to a resounding success. 

His poor form coupled with recent comments that he is "more comfortable" playing for Germany have cast doubt on the striker's future at Chelsea. 

However, head coach Tuchel insists Werner's performance against Saints showed exactly what he can bring to the table for the Blues. 

"It was his position, it was the players around him, the connection with Mason, Kai, Kova [Mateo Kovacic] – he loves to play with and has a connection to the players," said Tuchel. 

"It was the half-left position as the double striker, it was an opponent who we could find spaces in behind against because they're a high attacking team. 

"It was set up for him to deliver, it was not in a 4-1-4-1 on the side. Everything was there to deliver and make a statement that he did not give up and he is still an important player for this club and this group. And he did deliver." 

It was an emphatic return to form for Chelsea, who suffered a 4-1 loss to Brentford in the Premier League last weekend and went down 3-1 to Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final. 

Tuchel felt the Blues' change in fortunes showed they cannot afford to not have their priorities right when they step onto the pitch, as they will be punished otherwise. 

"I think it tells us that we are not the team to escape with results if our input isn't 80 to 90 per cent of energy, commitment and investment. We are a special group when we have our priorities right," said Tuchel. 

"If we are committed, defend with courage, have the attitude right and hunger right, and are clear that this is our foundation to show the quality, then we are a strong group and have [every] right to believe in ourselves. 

"We are not the fancy group who comes with just quality and get away with just 80 to 90 per cent investment, commitment to the whole game. 

"It's not always easy for us to have this hunger and commitment because we come from a ruthless schedule, that's why it's not always easy. 

"It's not about blaming the players, I understand why it was hard for us after the international break, but it just proves the point today that if we have this right and we show our quality, which is what makes us dangerous." 

Timo Werner and Mason Mount registered doubles as Chelsea dismantled Southampton and claimed an outstanding 6-0 victory at St Mary's in the Premier League on Saturday. 

Following the disappointment of home losses to Brentford in the Premier League and Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals in their previous two outings, Chelsea were back on song on the south coast. 

Marcos Alonso, Mount, Werner and Kai Havertz all hit the back of the net as Thomas Tuchel's side blew Saints away and surged into a four-goal lead inside just 31 minutes. 

Werner and Mount were on target early in the second half to complete the rout and open up an eight-point gap to fifth-placed Arsenal, who lost at home to Brighton and Hove Albion. 

The pressure from Chelsea was incessant early on and they took the lead when Alonso drilled home a cushioned pass from Mount, who rifled in a brilliant second from 20 yards. 

After hitting the woodwork twice, Werner finally had a goal when he pounced on a loose header from James Ward-Prowse at the halfway line and held off Jan Bednarek before rounding Fraser Forster. 

Havertz tucked home a simple finish in the 31st minute when Werner's shot came back off the upright, and only a trio of strong saves from Forster stopped the gap increasing before half-time. 

The onslaught continued after the break with Werner rolling the ball into an empty net after Forster parried N'Golo Kante's dink straight to him. 

Edouard Mendy kept Che Adams at bay on a rare Saints attack and Chelsea punished his miss when Mount converted on the follow-up after Forster kept Christian Pulisic and Werner out. 

Alonso and Reece James went close but Southampton were able to get to the final whistle without conceding another goal, though Chelsea's confidence will have been sufficiently boosted before their second leg against Madrid. 

What does it mean? Chelsea's rip-roaring start makes the difference 

With Alonso, Mount and Werner finding the net in the opening 21 minutes, Chelsea had their earliest three-goal lead ever in a Premier League away game. 

It was four 10 minutes later, meaning they were the quickest to reach that tally away from home in a top-flight game since October 2011, when Chelsea needed just 27 minutes at Bolton Wanderers. 

The incredible start meant the game was all but done by half-time and Chelsea were able to cruise to the final whistle. 

Mount on top 

In a little over a quarter of an hour, Mount had a goal and an assist for Chelsea. It was the fifth time he has scored and set up another in the same game this season, with Mohamed Salah (also five) the only player to match him. 

Another Hasenhuttl horror show 

Southampton conceded at least four goals in a single half for the 21st time in their Premier League history. Seven of those instances have now come under Ralph Hasenhuttl. 

What's next? 

Chelsea travel to the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Madrid, while Southampton have a week to recover before the visit of Arsenal in the Premier League. 

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