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Why Thiago Silva shouted at Billy Gilmour as Chelsea tighten grip on top four spot

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Here are out talking points from Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Fulham in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge

The Thomas Tuchel train keeps rumbling on

The German manager has lost just twice in 23 games since replacing Frank Lampard in January, which has catapulted Chelsea from ninth in the Premier League to having a six-point cushion in fourth place.

Not to mention the Champions League semi final with Real Madrid which will come to a conclusion next week and also the FA Cup final against Leicester in a fortnight’s time.

The turnaround that Tuchel has managed in such a short space of time has been remarkable. Yes, he has got a very strong squad to work with it but he has managed to get such an impressive tune out of them all so quickly.

It’s not been rocket science, either. Tuchel has changed formation and maybe some components here and there to get the most out of the players but apart from that, it’s not much else.

Sure there are subtle tactical tweaks that Tuchel makes pre-match and during games but for the majority, it’s the five-man defence, two central midfielders in front him, two numbers tens and a striker/false nine.

Whoever has been playing there, for the most part, has been doing their job to the letter. That doesn’t stop Tuchel launching verbal volleys at his players, he does that regularly during games, but it is having the desired impact and the results speak for themselves.

What Thiago Silva shouted at Billy Gilmour

Here are two players who are very much at different stages of their career. One is a veteran of nearly 100 appearances for his country and more than 500 for a variety of clubs, and another who is just starting out and making just his 20th appearance for Chelsea.

With the injury to Mateo Kovacic and Tuchel wanting to rest Jorginho and N’Golo Kante ahead of the Champions League game in midweek, that meant Gilmour made a belated first Premier League start since January when Tuchel arrived.

The young Scotsman was understandably rusty having played precious little football, to the chagrin of some and probably himself, since the club opted not to send him on loan in January to get some regular minutes.

But he got through the 90 minutes which will have thrilled Tuchel, who oddly brought Kante on midway through the second half but kept Jorginho firmly planted to the bench.

His teammate Silva was at his Rolls Royce best against Fulham, more than comfortably shutting out Josh Maja, Ivan Cavaleiro, Ademola Lookman and company as the Blues kept yet another clean sheet.

As is expected of a leader, he was always on hand to offer advice. While the Brazilian defender is not fluent in English having only been in the country for ten months, he has learned enough football slang to get by on the pitch.

When defending a free kick late in the first half, Silva shouted “HERE!” and pointed to exactly where Gilmour should be standing as he was making up part of the defensive line that was biding to keep Fulham out.

When Gilmour moved, Silva then shouted “GOOD!” to his young teammate and would you believe it, Chelsea cleared the free kick.

Kai Havertz didn’t need to announce himself – but he did

Two goals for the German international took his tally to eight goals for the season and while it has been an up and down campaign for the summer signing, he reminded us all of just what he is all about.

Lampard was unable to work out what was the best position for Havertz when he arrived at the club but Tuchel has worked it out – a false nine.

Sometime, even an actual number nine though Havertz isn’t the kind of frontman to play on the shoulder of the last time and make late, darting runs into the box. His game is more about elegance and dropping deep to receive the ball. In fact, his average position throughout the game was far deeper than Timo Werner.

Both of Havertz’s goals were expertly put away and with typical finesse but also, aplomb. The first, after Mason Mount’s simply sublime control and immediate through ball, was a bit too close to Alphonse Areola but he had enough power in the shot that it squirmed under the Fulham stopper.

His second goal was a picture. It was a finely timed and inch-perfect through ball from Werner back to Havertz, who had started the move by taking down Ben Chilwell’s raking diagonal perfectly, and he clipped the finish back across Areola into the far corner to double the advantage.

The young German has had to battle a big price tag, settling into a new country, being struck down by Covid and two managers in his first season in the Premier League so yes, he gets some leeway.

Speaking after the game, the attacker said: “We have to come in the top four, that’s our goal. This win is crucial for us and now on Wednesday another tough game.

“To be honest, it felt good to score early. It gave me confidence. For me it’s always good to score and I’m happy to help the team. I hope to continue like this one Wednesday.

 

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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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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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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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