Wednesday, December 1, 2021

What goes around comes around – Tuchel will not celebrate title rivals slipping up

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Oct 2021

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Thomas Tuchel says he will not celebrate Chelsea’s Premier League title rivals slipping up, despite his side opening up a three-point gap at the top of the table.

The Blues moved three further clear at the summit on a day when Liverpool were held 2-2 by Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester City lost 2-0 at home to Crystal Palace.

Without injured strikers Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner, Chelsea lacked a cutting edge in the final third before wing-back Reece James opened the scoring after 65 minutes.

James added a second and Jorginho rounded off the scoring for the leaders in a 16-minute goal glut at St James’ Park as Chelsea made it six wins in a row in all competitions.

But rather than revel in Chelsea’s three-point lead on Liverpool and five-point advantage over reigning champions City, Tuchel intends to just focus on his own side’s performance.

“It’s not a moment where we celebrate results on the other pitches,” he said. “It’s too early and we want to focus on ourselves.

“What goes around comes around. There is a long way to go and if you think I’m even happier now, this is not true.

“We need to keep our feet on the ground. I am happy with the team effort today, but we don’t celebrate other teams’ results. 

“You can lose in this league any match at any minute. So we focus on us and keep going. Let’s see where it goes, but it’s a long way.”

James did what Chelsea’s star-studded attack could not by finding a way past the Newcastle defence, the defender taking his tally of goals to four for the season.

The England international also has three assists, with his seven direct goal involvements more than any other Chelsea player this campaign.

Tuchel is pleased with the work of his wing-backs, with Ben Chilwell operating down the other flank, but feels his attacking players also deserve credit for their part in the goals.

“Reece is allowed to come inside, that’s not a problem,” Tuchel said when asked about the role of his wing-backs. 

“All the spaces we want to attack from, we have all the players in the spaces we want to be dangerous. 

“So if there is a winger waiting wide, the wing-back is allowed to attack the half space.

“I think every team does this in this system. We need the wing-backs to arrive in our box to increase the chance of scoring and create goal chances. 

“The first goal, it was brilliant dribbling from Callum on the left side. 

“Ruben [Loftus-Cheek] arrived, Kai [Havertz] was in the box, and this is what it takes in the end to have a rebound and a chance for a goal. Reece took it brilliantly.

“It’s a complex game and I don’t think Reece can score if Callum does do the dribbling and Chilly opens the space.

“We have Kai attacking space and then Ruben. This is why sometimes our strikers are sacrificing space. We don’t need exercise shooting with Reece – he shoots like a horse.”

Newcastle are winless after 10 league games for the third time in their history, having previously done so in 1989-90 and 2018-19.

Graeme Jones, who was in interim charge for the second game while the club seeks a permanent successor to Steve Bruce, was disappointed with the way his side collapsed.

“For 65 minutes we were right in the game,” he told BBC Sport. “We had a little spell of momentum just before their first goal and generally I was really pleased. 

“You have to remember that we are up against the Champions League winners and the current Premier League leaders. 

“We were competitive in the game with the way we went about it. It was working up to that point. Once the first goal went in that is when the disappointment came from. 

“The manner of the reaction. Three goals in 16 minutes was disappointing because the game was never that wide open.”

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