'Maybe yes': Tuchel thinks one player might've had his best game ever for Chelsea yesterday

Thomas Tuchel supported the notion that Hakim Ziyech enjoyed his finest outing for Chelsea against Tottenham Hotspur yesterday.

Speaking to the BBC, Tuchel purred over the performance of the Moroccan, who was magical at times on the night.

Ziyech the star of the show

After threatening Tottenham on a couple of occasions in the opening exchanges, Ziyech’s most enchanting moment arrived just two minutes into the second half.

Having collected the ball a few yards outside of the penalty area, the 28-year-old shifted onto his left foot and let fly with a strike of perfect precision.

Stamford Bridge erupted as the shot sailed into the top corner, leaving Hugo Lloris to simply stand and admire the effort like everyone else in the ground.

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His non-celebration after scoring against Brighton & Hove Albion was replaced by two arms raised to the sky and a huge smile, before being engulfed by a sea of blue bodies.

He had every right to rejoice just his 12th goal in Chelsea colours; the other 11 don’t even come close.

A goal for the ages

Arguably Ziyech’s previous 62 appearances for the European holders haven’t been quite as sparkling either.

“Yeah, maybe yes,” said Tuchel when asked if the victory over Tottenham was the attacker’s best performance as a member of the Blue clan.  

“It was a very good game from him overall from first to last minute, it was a big effort.

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“He took the risk where it was possible to take the risk, he was safe on the ball where it was necessary to be safe.”

Change can be helpful

Perhaps the reason for such an outstanding display was the role given to Ziyech by the manager.

Tuchel decided to field a 4-1-4-1 system against Spurs, a switch that Antonio Conte tried to match with a 4-4-2.

Whilst the risk of one coach flopped, the other prevailed, to the delight of Chelsea’s first goal scorer.

“We also have to say it was his (Ziyech) best position maybe today in a 4-1-4-1, very wide on the wing,” continued Tuchel.

“Normally we don’t have this position in a 3-4-3. It helped him, but he stepped up, took responsibility.”

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Thiago Silva wasn’t a beneficiary of a new set-up, but he was assisted by Tottenham’s inability to stop him from powering in a header to double Chelsea’s advantage just before the hour mark.

It’s not often Spurs try and help out their London rival, however, they did a fine job of it on Sunday.

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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.