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

  • Palmeiras, Flamengo coast through in Copa Libertadores as River Plate eliminated Palmeiras, Flamengo coast through in Copa Libertadores as River Plate eliminated

    Palmeiras secured their progression to the quarter-finals of the Copa Libertadores on Wednesday, trouncing Cerro Porteno 5-0 in Sao Paulo.

    Coming into the second leg with a 3-0 lead on aggregate, the Verdao eventually extended it to 8-0 over two legs with four goals in the final 20 minutes on Wednesday, following Braian Samudio's own goal in the first half.

    Francisco Arce's side did little to put the two-time reigning Libertadores champions on the back foot, failing to generate a shot in open play in the penalty area over the 90 minutes despite the majority of possession.

    Launches up the pitch from Palmeiras goalkeeper Weverton resulted in late goals, with Rony scoring in the 73rd minutes and then assisting for Breno Lopes with a deft back-heel two minutes later. 

    Palmeiras captain Gustavo Gomez scored what would be a cherished goal against his boyhood club Libertad's rivals to make it 4-0 in the 78th minute, before Breno returned the favour for Rony to round out the scoring in the 83rd.

    Abel Ferreira's side will now meet Atletico Mineiro in the quarter-finals, after they progressed past Emelec on Tuesday.

    Second-half barrage sees Flamengo through 

    Flamengo set up a high-profile quarter-final with Corinthians in the late game on Wednesday, smashing Deportes Tolima 7-1 in Rio de Janeiro in their second-leg clash.

    Dorival Junior's side confirmed an 8-1 win on aggregate over two legs, scoring five goals in the second half at the Maracana.

    Pedro bagged a poker on the night, putting the two-time Libertadores winners up 1-0 in only the fifth minute, before helping put the aggregate result beyond doubt in the second half with another three goals.

    Velez knock out River in huge upset 

    Even after Corinthians eliminated Boca Juniors at La Bombonera on Tuesday, Velez Sarsfield claimed the last-16's biggest scalp, progressing past River Plate with a 0-0 draw on Wednesday in Buenos Aires.

    Julio Vaccari's side absorbed pressure and looked relatively comfortable at the Monumental, against a River side that grew increasingly short of ideas.

    Despite 71.1 per cent of possession in the second half, in what will likely be Julian Alvarez's last game for the club before completing his move to Manchester City, River Plate did not generate a shot in the penalty area from open play in the final 30 minutes.

  • Wilshere considering options going forward after departing Danish club AGF Wilshere considering options going forward after departing Danish club AGF

    Jack Wilshere is "considering all of my options" after the midfielder and Danish Superliga club AGF decided to mutually part ways after five months.

    The former Arsenal player arrived with the club in February on a short-term deal until the end of the season, making 14 appearances for the club that finished one point clear of relegation.

    Wilshere, 30, had been without a club since being released by Bournemouth following the 2020-21 Premier League season, and had been training with both Arsenal and Serie B club Como in an effort to stay sharp.

    In an Instagram post on Wednesday, he thanked the Danish club for taking a chance on him and providing an opportunity to play once again.

    "My time at [AGF] has come to an end," he wrote. "Myself and the club have mutually agreed it’s best for me to move on. 

    "I would like to thank everybody at AGF for the support and confidence they gave me from day one. The club showed trust in me that not many others were willing to give. 

    "Although results were hard to come by, the fans' support of me and the team was unbelievable. Thank you guys for welcoming me into your club and city. 

    "I wish you all the best in the future. Personally I am considering all of my options."

    AGF released a statement saying they "benefited from Jack Wilshere's great footballing and human qualities" and that "there has subsequently been a dialogue on continuing the cooperation, but after careful consideration, the parties have jointly come to the conclusion that the agreement will not be extended."

    AGF's sporting director Stig Inge Bjornebye added: "We all want to thank Jack for the time he has been in AGF. It has been a great pleasure to work with him and experience him and share his experiences from a very nice and special career."

  • Atletico Madrid snap up free agent Witsel Atletico Madrid snap up free agent Witsel

    Atletico Madrid have announced the signing of Axel Witsel on a free transfer following his departure from Borussia Dortmund.

    Witsel's BVB contract expired at the end of June after a four-year spell in Dortmund, and he has signed on for a single season at Atletico.

    Atletico had reportedly been keen on Boubacar Kamara but are said to have shifted focus to Witsel after the 22-year-old joined Aston Villa.

    Hector Herrera's departure to Houston Dynamo meant midfield reinforcements were a necessity for Diego Simeone.

    And in 33-year-old Witsel he has added experience and ability, with the Belgium international playing an important role at Dortmund right until his exit.

    Witsel made 29 Bundesliga appearances last season as Dortmund finished second to Bayern Munich, though it was long expected he would depart this year.

    Simeone will hope Witsel adds much-needed grit to a midfield that was often unconvincing last term, as Atletico's title defence never really got going.

    Spain will be the sixth country Witsel has played in during his distinguished career, having previously had spells in his native Belgium, Portugal, Russia, China and Germany.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.