Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has claimed that Timo Werner is best used in a two-up-top system after his side found the net twice to defeat Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on Monday evening. Substitute Olivier Giroud, introduced early on after Tammy Abraham’s injury, scored a first-half opener before Werner ended a three-month goal drought eight minutes later to double Chelsea’s advantage and seal all three points.
The result saw the west London club move back into the Premier League‘s top four, overtaking West Ham United on goal difference to put their ambitions of Champions League football next season back on track.
Werner was handed a starting spot alongside Tammy Abraham for the visit of Newcastle after missing the FA Cup win over Barnsley in midweek, thoroughly impressing up top with a clear determination to influence things with the ball at feet.
He did well to set up Giroud’s opener, firing a tricky low ball across goal that was palmed into the Frenchman’s path by Karl Darlow, before being rewarded with his first Premier League goal in exactly 1,000 minutes shortly before the interval, firing home from close range to seal all three points for the Blues.
Tuchel told Sky Sports after the final whistle that he was mostly pleased with Werner’s performance and congratulated him on ending the drought.
The German boss also revealed his plan to utilise his talents going forward, claiming that he will be deployed as part of an attacking duo or even out wide for the time being.
“He did very good in the first half, second half was too many decisions backwards,” said Tuchel.
“I’m convinced Timo was very decisive for us today with an assist and a goal. I’m very happy for that, he really deserved it, he’s been working hard and we could feel this would come.
“I think he can also play as a double striker, sometimes as a No.9 if he’s clever enough to use his speed and runs. His favourite position and his biggest strengths is if he can drift out to the left side.”
The Blues stretched their winning run in all competitions to four matches with the result, a welcome boost ahead of their Champions League round of 16 clash against Atletico Madrid a week on Tuesday.
Tuchel’s side were the dominant party at Stamford Bridge, enjoying the lion’s share of chances and restricting the visitors to just 34 per cent possession over the course of the 90 minutes.
However, despite the victory and a clean sheet for stand-in goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, the former Paris Saint-Germain boss made it clear that there remains plenty of room for improvement under his leadership.
Running the rule over Chelsea’s performance, he suggested that the game should have been decided by a wider margin, claiming his side could have shown increased diligence with the ball at feet and been more clinical in front of goal.
“I liked the first half where we played with courage,” Tuchel continued. “[We] had a lot of touches in the box and a lot of shots. We managed to keep them away from our box. We did not allow half-chances, did not allow chances.
“During the whole match we lacked precision in the last decision. Decision making in the box can be more deadly. More precise.
“Second half we started, first three, four minutes were a picture for the second half. We gave away two, three shots. We lost duals. We had corners against us.
“The decision making, I feel like we had something to lose. Maybe it was like this. The guys have two days off so maybe they want to keep these two days off.
“I talked at half-time about that. To be serious we played too many balls back when we could have escaped the pressure, we did not open up, did not keep the advantage to keep the ball in the opponent’s half.
“The counter attacks in the second half were also not precise enough, not clinical enough.”
Chelsea will be looking to continue their winning form against high-flying Southampton on Saturday before they return to Champions League action three days later.
Published at Mon, 15 Feb 2021 22:20:00 +0000