Thomas Tuchel explains why Chelsea duo Havertz and Ziyech were omitted from starting XI for Man City clash
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel sprung quite a surprise as he chose not to start Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech against Manchester City. Speaking to BT Sport (h/t Football.london), the German gaffer cited their form as the reason behind it. However, Havertz came on later in the game but Ziyech remained on the bench.
Chelsea came second best to Manchester City in the end as the Premier League heavyweights battled it out. The latter were the better team on the day as Tuchel’s men failed to trouble the City backline on most occasions. In fact, it was Edouard Mendy who was making saves left and right to keep Chelsea in the game.
Gabriel Jesus’ lone goal was the only difference between both sides as Chelsea huffed and puffed but looked far from causing any problems for Guardiola. Tuchel made some interesting calls with his starting XI as he decided to keep the duo of Ziyech and Havertz on the bench, starting with a 3-5-2 formation.
Tuchel eventually called on Havertz in the latter stages but his only highlight was perhaps a nasty collision with Ederson while chasing a through ball. Ziyech did not come off the bench though. The manager explained his decision to hold back the duo.
“Timo [Werner] is a good fit because he brings a lot of intensity on and off the ball. This is what we need, maybe Kai [Havertz] and Hakim [Ziyech] lack a bit of form, confidence and that’s why we went for the mix of Timo with the speed and intensity of the ball.”
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Werner’s selection was justified as he was looking like the only player to be making any progress in attack, often carrying the ball into the City half. It was simply not to be Chelsea’s day as City took home all three points. The Blues will now have to turn their attention to the Champions League where they face Juventus.
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