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What Cesar Azpilicueta and Jorginho did to boost Timo Werner’s confidence ahead of Real Madrid

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The Blues forward has struggled for goals in recent months and has only netted twice since the appointment of Thomas Tuchel, but has been important for Chelsea with his all-round play

The last six months haven’t been easy for Timo Werner. The Chelsea forward, who was signed last summer from RB Leipzig, has even accepted as much.

“Last year I scored 28 goals [in the Bundesliga] and maybe by this time in the season I had 25, nearly five times more than now,” Werner explained in an interview with Chelsea’s club website after the win at West Ham United in which he scored the only goal of the game..

“It is always difficult to have a situation like that but I have learned a lot out of this in this season, so when you have a down in your career you get even stronger out of it. I hope I can continue scoring now.”

Werner has netted 11 times during his debut season at Chelsea. Yet only three of those have been struck since the victory over Sheffield United on November 7.

He’s not been devoid of goalscoring chances in that time. The Blues have fashioned several for the German international but his finishing has been poor.

In the Premier League this term, only two players – Jamie Vardy and Patrick Bamford – have missed more ‘big chances’ than Werner (17). There have also been other high-profile opportunities wasted, the most recent of which was in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid.

Werner is still having an impact within the Chelsea side, however. It’s why he continues to get picked. His pace is a huge weapon against opponents who play with a high defensive line, while he is also a willing worker without the ball, always ready to press and harass opposition defenders.

“He is a professional guy a top guy, he works hard,” Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel said after last week’s 1-1 draw with Real Madrid.

“He is in [goalscoring] positions and from there on we go. We will never stop pushing, we will never stop believing.

“I have the feeling that everybody accepts the situation like it is and as a striker it is easy, you score the next game and nobody speaks about it.”

Werner started in the victory against Fulham on Saturday. There wasn’t a goal for the German but he did again have chances, especially in the opening period.

The best of which came via a Hakim Ziyech pass. The Moroccan star slipped the ball in behind Fulham defender and Chelsea academy graduate Ola Aina and Werner was able to take a touch and send a shot across goal.

Unfortunately for the 25-year-old, Cottagers’ goalkeeper Alphonse Areola was equal to the effort and got down low to save.

Werner, having fallen to the ground as he struck the ball, pounded the pitch in frustration.

But Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta and vice-captain Jorginho, both of whom were on the Stamford Bridge sideline warming up, were quick to offer encouragement to the forward.

Azpilicueta shouted “good, Timo!” while both he and the Italian midfielder, as they had also done minutes earlier, applauded the efforts of Werner.

And in the second period, Chelsea’s No.11 did play a decisive part in the second goal of the game, as he played a perfectly weighted through pass for Kai Havertz to finish and put the contest beyond Fulham.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Latest Chelsea News

Just In: UEFA Changed Champions League Final Venue, See New Venue & Date

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The Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City will be moved to Porto’s Estadio do Dragao from Istanbul, UEFA is set to announce.

UEFA had wanted to move the final to Wembley and was in talks with the UK government, but there was a considerable sticking point over waiving quarantine rules for the 2,000 staff, sponsors, VIPs and foreign media.

The fixture was due to take place at the Ataturk Stadium on May 29, but pressure mounted for the venue to be changed after the UK government placed Turkey on its ‘red’ list of at-risk countries and urged fans not to travel for the fixture. UK citizens returning from red-list countries are required to quarantine at a government-approved hotel for 10 days.

The capacity at the Estadio do Dragao is 50,000 and UEFA is in talks with the Portuguese government to allow 20,000 to attend the final. That would mean up to 6,000 tickets for fans of each club.

Fans have not been allowed to attend games in Portugal this season but the Portuguese league announced on Wednesday that they would be able to watch the final round of league games next Wednesday with stadium capacities capped at 10 per cent.

Portugal is on the government green list so UK visitors will be able to travel there from Sunday. They will not need to quarantine but they will have to take Covid-19 tests before and after they travel.

It would have been cheaper and easier for UEFA to host the game at Wembley – which already has the infrastructure set up to be a UEFA European Championship venue next month – but the governing body felt it could not do so without the guarantee of government waivers.

As far as UEFA is concerned, fans would not be able to attend at all if the final had remained in Istanbul so it believes it has tried to do the best in difficult circumstances.

As far as Chelsea and City supporters are concerned, the final should be at Wembley.

This will be the third final in Portugal in eight years but the first in Porto.

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Latest Chelsea News

It is on me’ – Thomas Tuchel admits he made too many mistakes to his Chelsea side against Arsenal

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Thomas Tuchel has admitted making too many changes to his Chelsea side cost them the game against Arsenal.

 

The Blues fell to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Arsenal on Wednesday night with Emile Smith Rowe scoring the game’s only goal.

 

Tuchel made seven changes to the side that beat Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium at the weekend with one eye firmly on Saturday’s FA Cup final against Leicester City.

 

Speaking after the defeat, Tuchel conceded he had made a mistake in making so many changes – also suggesting he had fears over certain players coming into the match after recent training sessions.

 

Tuchel told Sky Sports: ‘We could not put up the same intensity and energy as usual.

 

‘It is on me, I think it was too many changes from the last match and I take full responsibility for that and maybe it is the last wake up call for all of us.’

 

He added: ‘I felt it coming a little bit yesterday in training and I’m a bit unlucky that it has proven today on the pitch.

I regret that, but it’s like this. It’s ‘we could have, we could have, we could have’, but we didn’t and that’s what it’s all about.’

 

Defeat drags Chelsea firmly back into a battle for a top four finish.

 

Following their FA Cup meeting with Leicester, they head to the King Power Stadium for their penultimate league match of the season next Tuesday.

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Latest Arsenal News

Video Highlights, Full Match Analysis: Chelsea 0 – 1 Arsenal

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Emile Smith Rowe denied Chelsea the chance to cement their top-four status as he took advantage of Jorginho’s howler to give Arsenal a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues would have all but secured their Champions League qualification with a victory which would have taken them 10 points clear of Liverpool, who have four games left to play, but after making seven changes ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final, struggled to create clear-cut chances.

Kai Havertz should have put them ahead 10 minutes in when he intercepted Gabriel’s loose pass for Pablo Mari and raced clean through, but then fired over Bernd Leno’s bar with only his compatriot to beat. Moments later Jorginho’s equally poor back-pass was kept out by Kepa Arrizabalaga at full stretch, but Smith Rowe was on hand to bundle home after being teed up by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Chelsea were dominant for the large majority of the remaining 75 minutes without forcing Leno into any uncomfortable saves until the final minute. They did beat him through Pulisic’s close-range header from a corner, which was swiftly denied by a VAR review, before the German produced a stunning stop to tip Kurt Zouma’s header onto the crossbar, which was then rattled by Olivier Giroud’s shot on the rebound.

Player Ratings

Chelsea: Kepa (6), James (6), Azpilicueta (6), Silva (6), Zouma (6), Chilwell (5), Jorginho (4), Gilmour (5), Pulisic (5), Mount (6), Havertz (5).

Subs: Hudson-Odoi (6), Giroud (6), Ziyech (5).

Arsenal: Leno (7), Gabriel (6), Mari (7), Holding (6), Tierney (7), Partey (6), Elneny (8), Saka (5), Odegaard (6), Smith Rowe (7), Aubameyang (5).

Subs: Bellerin (6), Lacazette (5), Chambers (6).

Man of the match: Mohamed Elneny

What the managers said…

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel told Sky Sports: “We had three days, we are on a good run, we had a good mood. The choices were not so good today from my side for the line-up so that’s on me. We were unlucky, of course. But we did everything today to lose.

“I’m not happy with my line-up. It’s easy to say afterwards. But it was too many changes, I should not have done it like this. It’s something in particular – but I will not tell you!”

 

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta told Sky Sports: “I don’t know how they’re going to try from the outside but from the inside, nothing is broken.

“They’re going to put things on me that I never said, you can see the spirit of the team from the first minute. You can never doubt their efforts and how much they try.”

Match stats

  1. Arsenal completed their first Premier League double over Chelsea since the 2003-04 season, while this was their first league win at Stamford Bridge since October 2011, ending an eight-game winless run there (D2 L6).
  2. Chelsea suffered only their third defeat in 26 matches in all competitions under Thomas Tuchel (W17 D6), with all three defeats coming at Stamford Bridge.
  3. Arsenal have won three consecutive away Premier League matches without conceding for the first time since May 2013 under Arsène Wenger.
  4. Arsenal have had a different player aged younger than 21 score in each of their last three Premier League matches against Chelsea – Gabriel Martinelli in January 2020, Bukayo Saka in December 2020 and Emile Smith Rowe tonight.

What’s next?

Chelsea are off to Wembley in the FA Cup final on Saturday, where they will face Leicester City; Kick-off at 5.15pm.

Arsenal’s penultimate game of the season is also in London, with a trip to Crystal Palace next Wednesday night; Kick-off at 7pm.

📽️ Watch The Video Highlights:

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