Tuchel: Chelsea can always rely on Ziyech

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The Blues manager heaps praise on the 28-year-old forward after his man-of-the-match display against their London rivals.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has described Hakim Ziyech’s strike against Tottenham Hotspur in the 2-0 Premier League win as “one of the very nice goals so far.”

The Blues came up against their London rivals at Stamford Bridge and it was the 28-year-old Morocco international, who was overlooked for the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, who put them ahead with a stunning goal.

After receiving Callum Hudson-Odoi’s delivery from the left-wing, the Chelsea man cut in on his left foot and curled his shot past a rooted Hugo Lloris in Spurs’ goal for the opener in the 28th minute before Thiago Silva wrapped up the crucial victory in the 55th minute.

It was Ziyech’s first goal at the Bridge and Tuchel was happy not just with the Moroccan’s special strike to open the scoring, but also his overall display in the fixture.

“It was one of his best matches because he was very reliable and to be fair it’s maybe also his best position to have the wide position on the right-wing,” Tuchel told the club’s official website.

“That position does normally not exist when we play our 3-4-3 when we have our wing-backs. He was good because it gave him the opportunity to take risks where it’s possible to take risks and he was very reliable on the ball in moments where it was necessary.

“You can always rely on him in terms of counter-pressing and work-rate for the team so it was well done.”

On the goal, Tuchel said: “I was right behind it. I had the feeling that it was a bit too high but it dropped in the right second and it was a brilliant goal.

“The build-up was good, the movement around Hakim to bring him into this position, the effort from Callum before the goal, the dribbling, and switch of side around the opponents’ box, the overlap by Azpi and the shot was of course brilliant.

“It was one of the very nice goals so far. I’m very happy because he deserves it first of all today and it was a very important goal to get the lead.”

Meanwhile, former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was also full of praise for Ziyech after his goal and the overall display against Spurs.

“Ziyech was very good. He’s a player who plays with a lot of risk – delivering balls, always looking forward, always trying to play the striker in. His combination play today with Mount was really good,” Hasselbaink told SkySports.

“How he scored was just amazing. He works a lot harder off the ball than you would think to win the ball back. He’s got character and you have to be able to manage that. It happens with big players, it happens with good players and he’s one of them.”

Ziyech, who was named man of the match, has so far scored three top-flight goals for Chelsea from 13 appearances. He will hope to keep his spot when Chelsea host Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup fourth round at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

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