Soccer-Chelsea's wingers shine as Tuchel reshapes the Blues

Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - January 23, 2022 Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel REUTERS/David Klein

LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel turned injury and COVID-19 problems into an opportunity on Sunday when he reshaped his side and was rewarded by two outstanding performances by Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Tuchel said he had opted to push the two wingers into wider, more attacked-minded positions than usual in response to absences in his backline, with Andreas Christensen out with COVID and Trevoh Chalobah only able to make it to the bench after an injury.

Wingbacks Ben Chilwell and Reece James are also out with long-term injuries.

Tuchel, asked about Ziyech's fine performance which was capped by an outstanding goal in the 47th minute, said the unusual shape he deployed against Spurs gave the Moroccan the opportunity to take risks.

"It was one of his best matches today because he was very reliable," Tuchel told reporters. "It's perhaps also his best position, wide on the wing."

Hudson-Odoi also revelled in the space up front against Spurs, free of the usual defensive requirements of him under Tuchel's more familiar team structure. It was his surging dribble that created the chance for Ziyech's curling strike.

But Tuchel still has to find a way to get the best out of Chelsea's record signing Romelu Lukaku who missed two good opportunities to put Chelsea ahead in the first half and was denied by Spurs goalkeeper Huge Lloris after the break.

The Belgium centre-forward has scored only five goals in the league so far this season, and only two since September, although he had two spells on the sidelines with an injury and COVID.

(Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Football

SEA Games: Indonesia take bronze in football after 4-3 penalty shootout win over Malaysia
Soccer - Chelsea need to 'over-perform' to close gap on top two, says Tuchel
Soccer-Rangnick says he had to make 'compromises' to playing style at Man Utd
Soccer - Title win will put Man City on a par with Ferguson's United, says Guardiola
Soccer-Allegri already looking to next season, more 'experience' needed
Soccer-Pedro goal gives Flamengo second league win
Soccer-Leipzig edge Freiburg on penalties in German Cup final
Soccer-Marseille secure Champions League spot as Mbappe extends PSG stay
Soccer-Juve end mediocre season with loss at Fiorentina
Soccer-Hegerberg returns to lead Lyon to Champions League glory

Others Also Read