Thomas Tuchel revealed the three traits he demanded from the Chelsea fringe players he “trusts”, while Timo Werner explained why he didn’t take a spot-kick in the penalty shoot-out.
Chelsea edged past Aston Villa via a penalty shoot-out to advance to the fourth round of the EFL Cup. Timo Werner put the Blues in front after latching on to a sublime Reece James cross.
Villa pulled level through young forward Cameron Archer, but neither side could net again as the dreaded penalties loomed.
Ben Chilwell struck the bar with the Blues’ fourth penalty to see a chance at progressing go begging. That passed the buck to James, who kept his composure when slotting the ball into the top corner to put Chelsea through 4-3 on penalties.
Their reward is a fourth round contest with Southampton at Stamford Bridge.
“So two days and we worked on the same principles. It was the same structure so we don’t make it too complicated or unfair [on the players]. We trust them anyway.
“A lot of them can play against City or Juventus and it was necessary they get competitive minutes in their legs.
“What we demanded was intensity, energy, attitude, to try their very best.
“Maybe we didn’t expect the most fluid and precise attacking game from the start but it got better and better because the guys did well on this and it’s a perfect evening.”
Werner explains shoot-out absence
Werner was not selected to take one of Chelsea’s first five spot-kicks in the shootout. That came as somewhat of a surprise with defenders Ben Chilwell and Reece James chosen instead.
But speaking after the contest, Werner explained an injury issue was behind his absence from the quintet.
“I had some pain in my calf but with only three substitutes, I couldn’t go off,” said the German.
“But when you have fit players on the pitch, it’s better they shoot than me today.”
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