Tuchel happy despite narrow win against Malmo

Chelsea Head Coach Thomas Tuchel expressed his happiness after the Blues earned a narrow 1-0 away win against Malmo in Champions League. The European champions need just one point from their remaining two games to progress to the knockout stages of the competition.

A solitary goal from Hakim Ziyech in the second half proved to be enough as Chelsea found it difficult to score more despite dominating possession throughout the game. Speaking to Chelsea’s official website Tuchel admitted he was happy with the win. The German said “We got the job done.”

We wanted a result, we needed the result, we expected the result, and we delivered. We had a lot of shots, and a lot of touches in the opponents’ half in the first half but we couldn’t score. We wanted to increase the intensity level a bit in the second half to force a goal, and at the moment of highest pressure in the second half we were able to use it with precision and we were clinical enough to score.”

Control was on our side. We did not suffer difficult situations in our box, we didn’t allow awkward situations. We never lost concentration. It was a deserved win, a close one. There are a lot of reasons why you can stumble today, the pitch wasn’t in good condition, two away games and a lot of travelling, some injured players, but we don’t need to look for reasons because we got the job done.”

Having struggled to break down Malmo’s defence in the first half, Tuchel’s change to switch Ziyech and Hudson-Odoi on the opposite flanks helped them score the opening goal. However, the German credited his assistant for providing the idea. He added “All the credit to my assistant Arno [Michels]. He had the idea at half-time. We liked it.”

We had the feeling when we enter into the space behind the back five we maybe lose some important seconds when Hakim has to switch the ball back on his left foot, and Callum has to switch back on his right foot, and the number eight was closing space.”

We thought maybe we could save a second or a tenth of a second, and we had a breakthrough on the half-position. Callum could deliver precisely, it was a good ball in, and I’m happy.”

Speaking on Ziyech’s performance, Tuchel said “We always rely on his work-rate and his intensity in counter-pressing, his awareness. There is space for him to improve in decision making and connections on the pitch to be more consistent.”

With the ball he can still be more clinical and grow more into our rhythm. The injury in his shoulder cost him a lot, even if he pushed hard to come back early. He is still not 100 per cent free, and especially the offensive players love freedom in turning.”

A goal like this helps the most, so I’m happy for him and for Callum with the assist. It was decisive.”

Source: Chelsea FC

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