Tuchel praises 'relentless' Chelsea after Club World Cup success

By Sports Desk February 12, 2022

Thomas Tuchel felt Chelsea were deserving Club World Cup winners and has challenged his "relentless" side to keep adding to their growing collection of titles in the remainder of the season.

Kai Havertz converted an extra-time penalty to secure a 2-1 win against Copa Libertadores holders Palmeiras, as Chelsea added success in FIFA's showpiece club tournament to the Champions League and Super Cup titles they lifted last year.

Tuchel, who missed his team's semi-final win over Al Hilal after testing positive for COVID-19 but was able to travel to the United Arab Emirates for the final, was full of praise for his charges after the contest.

While admitting Chelsea needed a little luck to avoid a shoot-out, the beaming former Paris Saint-German boss considered this a deserved victory.

"You need luck to score late on, but we were relentless, and we did not stop trying", Tuchel told Channel 4, having seen Romelu Lukaku's opener cancelled out by Raphael Veiga's spot-kick.

"We did not give in. We had the lead, then lost it, but never stopped. It was deserved, but it's also lucky when you score so late.

"The penalty [from Havertz] did not look nervous but for sure he was. 

"You cannot not be nervous in this situation. We trusted the statistics, and I'm happy for him."

Related items

  • Lauren Hemp’s brace helps England to another thumping friendly win Lauren Hemp’s brace helps England to another thumping friendly win

    Lauren Hemp scored a first-half brace as England beat Italy 5-1 in the second of their double-header of friendlies in southern Spain.

    Four days on from defeating Austria 7-2 at the Estadio Nuevo Mirador in Algeciras, the Lionesses started the ball rolling for another thumping win with Lotte Wubben-Moy heading home her first international goal in the opening few seconds.

    Hemp then added two efforts, the second an excellent header, to put England three goals up just past the half-hour mark.

    Michela Cambiaghi pulled a goal back for the visitors in first-half stoppage time before substitutes Ella Toone and Rachel Daly completed the rout after the break.

    After this positive start to the calendar year, next up for England are the opening Euro 2025 qualifiers in April as Sarina Wiegman’s side begin the journey of defending the title they won on home soil in 2022.

    Having made five changes to her starting line-up from the Austria game, Wiegman saw England begin in similar fashion, again taking the lead in the opening moments.

    This time it came even quicker than Alessia Russo’s third-minute finish against the Austrians, with Wubben-Moy heading in from Alex Greenwood’s corner in the first minute to break her England scoring duck.

    Wubben-Moy saw a further header turned around a post by Laura Giuliani soon after before the Lionesses’ lead was extended in somewhat fortuitous circumstances following another Greenwood corner.

    The Manchester City defender’s 21st-minute delivery was met by a Giuliani punch and Aurora Galli attempted to clear the ball, only to see it hit Hemp and go in.

    After Grace Clinton’s strike was caught by Giuliani and Niamh Charles breathed a sigh of relief when her attempted pass to Mary Earps was intercepted by Cambiaghi but the ball was run out of play, Hemp made it 3-0 in the 34th minute with a fine header as she connected with Georgia Stanway’s cross.

    Wiegman’s side pushed for more with Greenwood curling a free-kick wide and Giuliani denying Chloe Kelly and Russo before first-half stoppage time saw Earps called into action to block a Sofia Cantore shot, and then beaten as England lost possession near their own box and Cambiaghi slotted in.

    Lauren James was one of two players brought on at the interval and her curling effort from just outside the box was well saved by Giuliani in the 64th minute.

    Five minutes later James latched on to a long ball forward from Greenwood, produced a cross from the left to Toone – just off the bench herself – and the Manchester United player finished with a rising side-footed effort.

    There was a let-off for Earps when her kick went straight to Cantore and she passed to Cambiaghi, who could only shoot wide from a good position.

    England then punished an Italian error in the 79th minute as the recently-introduced Daly pounced on an underhit backpass, took the ball past Giuliani and stroked it in for 5-1.

    James almost added a sixth goal in the closing stages, with Giuliani doing well to save her shot.

  • Inter midfielder Davide Frattesi praises Simone Inzaghi’s man-management skills Inter midfielder Davide Frattesi praises Simone Inzaghi’s man-management skills

    Inter midfielder Davide Frattesi has hailed the man-management skills of Simone Inzaghi as the Nerazurri boss prepares to shuffle his pack once again against Atalanta.

    The Serie A leaders boast a nine-point lead over Juventus and could stretch it to 12 with the right result against Gian Piero Gasperini’s side on Wednesday night.

    Inter are set to be without key men Marcus Thuram, Francesco Acerbi and Hakan Canhanoglu, but are ready to bolster the starting XI by recalling some of the players who were rested for Sunday’s 4-0 walkover against Lecce.

    Nicolo Barella is expected to reclaim his leading role in the centre of the park, with Benjamin Pavard and Alessandro Bastoni poised to return to the backline after sitting out at the weekend. Striker Marko Arnautovic is also eyeing a promotion from the bench.

    And Frattesi, who scored Inter’s second goal against Lecce, believes Inzaghi’s ability to keep the whole squad ready to compete at the highest level is a huge strength.

    “It’s best to see a team where everyone is involved. Credit to Inzaghi for not leaving anyone behind,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

    “Even when they were always playing the same ones, he came to talk to us and motivate us, making us feel important. I didn’t think I’d be a starter here straight away, it would have been stupid to even think so – but the bench is an opportunity for growth.

    “Inzaghi knows how to manage us and when you have a bad day, he tells you the right words.”

    Atalanta will return to the San Siro just three days after their most recent visit, which ended in a hard-fought 1-1 draw with AC Milan.

    They will run out lying in fifth place, but just two points adrift of Bologna in fourth and with a game in hand.

    On Sunday, La Dea trailed to Rafael Leao’s superb third-minute strike, but got themselves back into it before the break courtesy of Teun Koopmeiners’ penalty, controversially awarded for a high challenge by Olivier Giroud on defender Emil Holm.

    Gasperini saw his side lose the reverse fixture against Inter 2-1 in November despite a performance with which he was largely satisfied, and he knows they will need to play at least as well to return with some reward for their efforts.

    Gasperini told a press conference: “Inter are a complete team in all respects. Inzaghi has done a great job. Inter have quality players in every department. They play as a team, both in domestic and European competitions.

    “We played a good game in the reverse fixture. It was a pretty even match. We aim to repeat that performance.”

  • Chelsea must invest time in 'world's most unique player' Mudryk, says Shakhtar CEO Chelsea must invest time in 'world's most unique player' Mudryk, says Shakhtar CEO

    Mykhailo Mudryk is "the most talented and unique player in the world", and patient work on the training ground will see Chelsea get the best out of the winger.

    That is the view of Serhiy Palkin, Shakhtar Donetsk's chief executive who struck the £89million deal which took Mudryk from Ukraine to Stamford Bridge last January.

    Like many of the big-money recruits of the Todd Boehly era, Mudryk has struggled for consistency since arriving in west London, after emerging as one of Europe's hottest prospects at Shakhtar.

    Between the start of 2021-22 and his move to the Premier League, Mudryk averaged a goal involvement every 70 minutes in the Ukrainian top flight, scoring nine goals and adding 13 assists in just 23 appearances during that spell.

    However, Mudryk has just three goals and four assists to his name in 34 Premier League appearances, and he attracted more criticism for an ineffective substitute appearance in Sunday's EFL Cup final defeat to Liverpool.

    Palkin, however, remains convinced of the 23-year-old's talent and feels he simply needs close attention from Mauricio Pochettino and his backroom staff. 

    "I can tell you that for me, Mudryk is the most talented and unique player in the world," Palkin told Stats Perform.

    "I believe that in order to get from Mudryk the maximum, as they anticipate, you need to invest in him. These investments are not money. 

    "It's time for the coaching staff to communicate with him and to work closely with him. He is a young boy, he changed from the Ukrainian Championship to the Premier League. 

    "It's a completely different world, with completely different levels, completely different football. 

    "Therefore, I believe that if the coaching staff dedicates him some time, he will return three, four, or five times more."

    One former Shakhtar man who made a far more immediate impact in the Premier League is Roberto De Zerbi, who led Brighton and Hove Albion to Europa League qualification last term while implementing a daring style of play. 

    The Seagulls are in the hunt for European qualification again this season, and they rank second in the Premier League for average passes per sequence (5.01), third for build-up attacks (127) and joint-first for high turnovers resulting in goals (seven).

    After overseeing Brighton's dramatic rise, De Zerbi has been tipped to move on to pastures new, with both Barcelona and Liverpool suggested as possible landing spots for the Italian.

    Palkin has no doubt De Zerbi is destined for the top, saying: "I can tell you that he did a lot for Brighton, he did brilliant work for Brighton. 

    "I believe 100 per cent that he can jump into a top club tomorrow, even today, 100 per cent. The most important thing is he must accept the proposition.

    "I believe he has a lot of propositions, including in Italian football and English football. Therefore, everything, everything, everything depends on him."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.