Thomas Tuchel gives injury update on Kai Havertz and Cesar Azpilicueta after Chelsea’s 2-0 win vs Tottenham Hotspur
Speaking to the media (h/t football.london), Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel gave an injury update on Cesar Azpilicueta and Kai Havertz after his side’s 2-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final fixture.
The Blues boss had to deal with a few injuries to his players during the game and provided updates on the conditions of Cesar Azpilicueta and Kai Havertz.
Tuchel had good news on captain Azpilicueta’s condition, revealing that the skipper only had a cramp. However, the German said that Havertz broke his finger and had to play through pain, eventually being forced to replace him at halftime.
“We were very worried but Azpi says it was only a cramp, not an injury. Kai was an issue with his finger. I think he broke his finger; it looked horrible.”
The Chelsea head coach was pleased with his side’s performance against a lacklustre Spurs side, who never really recovered after letting in two goals in the first half.
Tuchel praised his players for dealing with a last-minute change to their tactics and formation after receiving news that both Thiago Silva and N’golo Kante were unavailable for the semi-final. He was also full of praise for Hakim Ziyech, Saul Niguez, and Malang Sarr, who he believed were exceptional against Spurs.
Saul has not had an easy time at Chelsea so far, struggling to get game-time and putting in sub-par performances whenever called upon. The Spaniard, however, was solid against Tottenham, and Tuchel believes that Saul has now settled into the pace of the English game.
“He is happier and freer in training, I see it every day. He played better when he came on against Wolverhampton, he already had a good impact so he is stepping up and stepping out. He is not the first player to struggle from the switch, what he does is good because he is open and fully focussed, totally committed to the team.”
With a two-goal cushion heading into the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final, Tuchel will be pleased with how his team handled the occasion, dominating Tottenham throughout the fixture. Although losing Havertz through injury is slightly worrying news, it was encouraging to see Ziyech and Werner return to the squad.
Saul’s performance in the middle of the park was the real highlight of the game, as the Spanish midfielder has had his struggles in England since coming on loan to the club from Atletico Madrid. Getting applauded by the Chelsea fans as he was coming off and also getting a pat on the back from Tuchel will hopefully motivate him to keep up this level and continue to put in shifts like this for us.
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This was a great way to bounce back for us after having drawn against Liverpool and Brighton in recent weeks. However, it is too early to be complacent with a second leg yet to be played, and we can hope that the Blues finish off what they started against Spurs.
As for Havertz’s potential absence, we have players to make up for his absence if it does come to that. But with a congested fixture list awaiting us later this month, its best if we have the ex-Bayer Leverkusen ace back to the squad as early as possible.