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Tuchel provides latest update on defensive star and explains left-back withdrawal

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Thomas Tuchel gave an update on Marcos Alonso and Andreas Christensen after FA Cup win against Barnsley. (imago Images)

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel gives Andreas Christensen injury update after Barnsley win

Speaking after the FA Cup win against Barnsley (h/t Chelsea website), Thomas Tuchel provided an injury update on Andreas Christensen and revealed why he substituted Marcos Alonso.

The German boss made two changes at half time in the 5th-round FA Cup clash against Barnsley. Antonio Rudiger came on for Christensen, while English full-back Reece James replaced Alonso.

Tuchel says that Barnsley attacking Chelsea’s width made him switch to a back four instead of a back three. Despite the switch, the Blues had to do a fair bit of defending in the second half.

Thomas Tuchel gave an injury update on Andreas Christensen after he was brought off at half time against Barnsley.
Thomas Tuchel gave an injury update on Andreas Christensen after he was brought off at half time against Barnsley. (GETTY Images)

“I was not frustrated… Barnsley attacked our back three with their front three very aggressively so we decided to change to a back four.”

New life for Alonso

The former PSG boss clarified that Marcos Alonso was brought off for tactical reasons. However, Christensen was withdrawn due to a minor injury concern.

“We took Marcos [Alonso] out because of this tactical change and Andreas [Christensen] had to go out because he had a headache.”

There is noting as of now to indicate if Christensen’s headache will potentially be serious enough to sideline him for the next game. Christensen played the full 90 minutes in Chelsea’s win against Sheffield United.

Marcos Alonso was substituted 
 at half-time against Barnsley for Chelsea.
Marcos Alonso has found a new lease of life under new Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel.

That was only the second time he has played 90 minutes of league football for Chelsea in the past 3 months. For Alonso though, there seems to be no injury concern.

The Spaniard has had a new beginning under Tuchel. He has featured in all of Chelsea’s last 3 Premier League games after being banished from the starting XI by Frank Lampard for the majority of the season.

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Chelsea’s next task is a home game against Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on Monday night. The Blues are yet to be beaten under their new boss and would be hoping to extend that run to six games next week.

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Rival PL legend praises Chelsea boss Tuchel for brave gameplan against Liverpool

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Jamie Carragher praises Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel for brave gameplan against Liverpool

Speaking to Sky Sports (h/t Metro), Jamie Carragher praised Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel for coming up with a brave gameplan against Liverpool. The former Reds’ defender also lauded the decision to start Timo Werner ahead of an in-form Olivier Giroud.

Chelsea ended up with a crucial win in this blockbuster clash, courtesy of a Mason Mount goal. That takes Chelsea into fourth place and gets Tuchel to a 10-game unbeaten run with 7 wins. For Liverpool, it was their fifth consecutive loss at Anfield.

Liverpool v Chelsea – Premier League – Anfield Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel reacts on the touchline during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Thursday March 4, 2021. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xOlixScarffx 58425525

Jamie Carragher spoke about Chelsea’s brave gameplan and how Thomas Tuchel set up his side.


“They looked a real top outfit, they really did. It was almost like a European team coming to Anfield. I’ve played in games like that myself where you think you’re going to get after a team and everyone is short. That’s what it felt like tonight watching Liverpool.

“I’d look at Chelsea’s quality and very rarely did Liverpool really get someone, nick the ball off them and put them in any kind of trouble. It was very brave of Thomas Tuchel to come here and play like that. That’s his way of playing, he’s not going to change and I’ve said that before the game. He’s had some tough games here himself so he knows what it’s like playing against Jurgen Klopp.”

There was also the surprise inclusion of Timo Werner at centre-forward that caught the eye. He has struggled to get going during his time at the club and was coming into the game with just one goal in the last 17 fixtures. Giroud was on the bench while it was a second consecutive squad omission for Tammy Abraham.

Liverpool v Chelsea – Premier League – Anfield Chelsea s Timo Werner gets round Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson to score his sides first goal of the game only for it to be ruled out by VAR during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Thursday March 4, 2021. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xPhilxNoblex 58425379

Nonetheless, Werner was a huge menace for the home side with his incessant running and was really unlucky to have a well-taken goal ruled offside by VAR. Carragher was very impressed with his display.

“His big decision was playing Timo Werner as a centre-forward for the first time since he took the job and it paid dividends.”

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Chelsea have a real spring in their step now. They have made inroads into the top-four and are just 4 points off second-placed Manchester United. Next up is a visit from Everton in the Premier League on Monday.

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“Will be rewarded”: Tuchel sends a message to Chelsea star after goal gets ruled out against Liverpool

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Timo Werner has the trust of his Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel. (GETTY Images)

Chelsea boss Tuchel sends a message to Timo Werner after ruled out goal against Liverpool

According to Football.london, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has told Timer Werner to not worry much after another goal-less display against Liverpool. Werner has now scored just once in the last 18 games after his goal in the last game was chalked off by VAR.

Chelsea ultimately found the win over Liverpool and have now won 7 of their last 10 games while staying unbeaten. A goal from Mason Mount was enough to seal all three points but Werner will consider himself a bit unlucky. His first half goal was ruled offside by VAR by the absolute thinnest of margins.

Liverpool v Chelsea – Premier League – Anfield Chelsea s Timo Werner gets round Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson to score his sides first goal of the game only for it to be ruled out by VAR during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Thursday March 4, 2021. EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xPhilxNoblex 58425379

Werner appeared to have beat the offside trap before rounding off Alisson to put the ball in the net only for it to be checked by VAR and subsequently being ruled out. It looked like Werner’s hand was only past the last defender’s line. The whole situation again raised a debate over VAR and the rules.

The German forward did get a chance to score prior to that but ended up fluffing his lines. Thomas Tuchel remained unconcerned by Werner’s goal drought and offered some words of assurance.

“I demand 100 percent in every training. I don’t allow self-pity. No need for self-pity, he’s a privileged guy, he is full of talent and he plays football for one of the best clubs in the world and in the best league in the world. So there is no need for self-pity and to worry too much. The only responsibility we have together is to bring out the best in him.

“The only way I know is on the training pitch and in the games: put in effort. Put yourself in a state of mind that you are ready to play for us on the highest level. Is he doing this? Yes, he is. Then he will be rewarded I am very sure. Today I am absolutely happy with his performance. It was another step and we are not counting the minutes. I know that in the end, the strikers count their minutes and their goals, which drives them.

Timo Werner of Chelsea and Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel during the Premier League behind closed doors match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, White Hart Lane, England on 4 February 2021. PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK Copyright: xAndyxRowlandx PMI-3918-0011

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It bodes well for Werner that Tuchel is defending his displays. Obviously, he has shown a marked improvement in his game and just needs the goals to back it up.

Werner particularly exploited Liverpool’s high defensive line and was able to make runs behind them. Overall, it was a rather encouraging performance from the German and he will hope that he can continue in the same vein.

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Trevor Sinclair believes Leicester would jump at the chance to sign this young Chelsea star

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Trevor Sinclair reckons Leicester City would sign Tammy Abraham from Chelsea

According to talkSPORT (h/t Leicestershire Live), former England winger Trevor Sinclair believes that Leicester City would jump at the chance to sign Chelsea ace Tammy Abraham.

He feels that teams like Leicester, Arsenal, Manchester City and West Ham would sign the striker without any hesitation.

With a transfer ban last season, Abraham made full use of the opportunities handed to him and went on to bank 15 goals. However, with two years still to go in his current deal, Abraham finds himself in a spot.

Thomas Tuchel has largely preferred going with Olivier Giroud as the starting striker while opportunities have also been handed to Timo Werner to rediscover his form. Then there remains Chelsea’s pursuit of Erling Haaland.

Tammy Abraham scored the only goal of the game against Barnsley in the FA Cup 5th round fixture. (GETTY Images)
Tammy Abraham scored the only goal of the game against Barnsley in the FA Cup 5th round fixture. (GETTY Images)

The Blues are looking to bring in the Norwegian star in the summer which pushes Tammy further down the pecking order. A move to Leicester would make sense given the fact that they need to eventually phase out Jamie Vardy. Sinclair says that he is a big fan of the striker and Premier League clubs like Leicester could snap him up easily.

“You look at his goals-per-minute and the players that are under him is mind-boggling. If you take out penalties, he’s better than [Harry] Kane, [Heung-Min] Son, [Danny] Ings, [Raheem] Sterling and Dominic Calvert-Lewin. I’m a huge fan.

He’s a threat with his pace in behind, his link-up play is excellent. If you look at some of the top sides in the Premier League, I think so many take him.

I think Man City take him, Arsenal would take him, Leicester City would take him, West Ham would take him. He’s so undervalued. They would have him in a heartbeat.

Tammy Abraham thinks Chelsea signings are underperforming due to lack of time in the training ground together.
Tammy Abraham celebrates after scoring against West Ham United. (GETTY Images)

Despite his age, Vardy remains one of the most potent strikers in the league. He still looks like he has more to offer and can play for a good few seasons more. However, signing a young striker like Abraham would get them a long-term replacement for him.

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While Chelsea could be reluctant to let go of a promising striker, bringing in Haaland does sweeten the blow. A crucial summer awaits the club and player where they have to come to a decision regarding their association with each other.

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“Fantastic addition”: Premier League manager keen to sign Chelsea loanee on a permanent basis

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Fulham keen to sign Chelsea loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek permanently

According to Metro, Fulham boss Scott Parker is keen on signing Chelsea loanee Ruben Loftus-Cheek on a permanent deal, after his loan spell expires at the end of the season. Parker is said to be ‘more than happy’ at the prospect of a permanent transfer next season.

The versatile midfielder is currently at Fulham on a season-long loan. So far he has made 22 appearances, scoring one goal. The youngster looked to be on the track of making it at Stamford Bridge under Maurizio Sarri.

However, an unfortunate injury suffered in a charity match saw him on the sidelines for 13 months. Loftus-Cheek struggled to reach the same levels since his return.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek Chelsea
Loftus-Cheek struggled with injuries last season

Fulham have undertaken a daunting mission of avoiding relegation this season. Their recent form suggests that they have done well to secure results. Currently, they are 18th and 3 points away from safety below Newcastle.

Loftus-Cheek has ambitions to return to Chelsea but Parker thinks he can convince the midfielder to change his mind and stay at Craven Cottage instead.

“Yes, of course. Ruben has been a fantastic addition. I’ve seen someone grow immensely from the start of the season to a person and player now who has transformed. He’s grown massively and been a massive help for us. At the moment it’s just about this year for Ruben, focus on the next 10 games and where he can still get better. But at the end if there’s an opportunity to get it done I’d be more than happy to.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 20: Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United competes with Ruben Loftus-Cheek of Fulham during the Premier League match between Fulham and Manchester United at Craven Cottage on January 20, 2021 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

It does seem like the better option for Loftus Cheek at this point to stay back at Fulham at the end of his loan deal. Chelsea already have a stacked midfield with the likes of Jorginho, Kante and Kovacic. Even young Billy Gilmour has warmed the benches. Now with Tuchel in charge, there is bound to be new signings at the end of the season.

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At Fulham, he will get more game time and can keep developing his skills. Returning to Chelsea could hamper that and he might have to settle for a place on the bench. It remains to be seen what Chelsea decide for him at the end of his loan spell.

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