EPL

Ziyech giving Tuchel food for thought with Chelsea resurgence

By Sports Desk January 23, 2022

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. 

"The work-rate was always outstanding. You can always rely on him on work-rate and counter-pressing. So yes, well done and he needs to keep on going like everyone else." 

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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