'Wasn’t very effective': Desailly criticises Chelsea star's crossing and dribbling vs Atletico

Marcel Desailly was slightly disappointed by Hakim Ziyech’s display for Chelsea against Atletico Madrid yesterday, speaking live on BeINSports.

Ziyech bagged his first Stamford Bridge goal for the Blues last night in what was an extremely routine 2-0 Champions League win over Madrid.

Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Thomas Tuchel’s team made their Spanish guests look like amateurs and not a side who are top of La Liga.  

Despite scoring for just the third time this season, Desailly was not overly impressed with Ziyech’s general display.

The former Chelsea centre-back admitted: “When you look at the performance of Ziyech, I really don’t think his performance was magnificent.


“He missed a lot of crosses. He wasn’t very effective in dribbling.  

“But the collective and the spirit brought Chelsea collectively to a different level, in possession of the ball and how they played.”

This type of exhibition Desailly describes has been an all too familiar story for Ziyech since he signed from Ajax last year.

WhoScored.com stated that Ziyech had three unsuccessful touches against Atletico, failed to complete an accurate cross and achieved a 79.6% passing accuracy.

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

They did also report he made three key passes and the same number of dribbles.

Although definitely not yet the finished package in a Chelsea shirt, the 27-year-old is beginning to tether his talents together.

Tuchel has started to entrust the £100,00-a-week forward (Spotrac) with more responsibility, having left him out of four consecutive Premier League fixtures at the beginning of his reign.

His next task is to add more goals and assists to his game.

With the chances that Chelsea are creating, he shouldn’t be too far from increasing his tally.

The Chelsea Chronicle View

I actually thought Ziyech had a pretty efficient evening against Atletico.

Granted, he did misplace a few passes and his touch wasn’t quite there, but I’ve almost come to accept those parts of his game now.

The most important thing was his goal and getting a smile back on his face.

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.