With Timo Werner, Romelu Lukaku and Mason Mount all unavailable for the Malmo match, Tuchel had no choice but to remain unchanged from the weekend.
Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech joined Kai Havertz in the attack, which led the Blues to victory.
In a match where there were limited takeaways, it was difficult to remain confident in Chelsea’s attack.
The trio failed to score over the weekend and it was almost the same old story.
One thing I could notice was a potential partnership between the Wizard and the young protege.
The chemistry was radiating between Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech.
Very interesting to watch but possibly too premature to think about.
- The talking point quickly surrounded the beauty of Hudson-Odoi on that left wing.
It was a picturesque view watching the 20-year-old thrive on the left-hand side.
Taking the byline by storm, wriggling out of tight spaces.
It became reminiscent of a young Eden Hazard – the way he was able to dribble in and out of the 4-5 players that surrounded him.
We saw Hudson-Odoi and Ziyech switch flanks after halftime with Tuchel and his assistant tasking them with a route towards goal.
Malmo was a very well drilled side and kept the menacing pairing off the score sheet in the first half, but the switch unleashed the duo and saw them play with more confidence.
The goal finally came eleven minutes after the tactical switch. It was Kai Havertz’s composure and quick feet that saw the run of Hudson-Odoi on the right. The 20-year-old then neatly crossed into the box and Ziyech was gifted with a tap in.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen our attack link up in this manner.
We’ve almost been starved of chemistry between the attackers as the selection continuously changes.
I can’t help but wonder whether Ziyech and Hudson-Odoi may be building an understanding on the pitch.
Earlier this year, Hudson-Odoi mentioned on the official Chelsea website,
“Hakim and I have that little partnership where we know one another’s capabilities and what one can do.”
Hakim Ziyech is the unappreciated hero following Chelsea’s Champions League win against Malmo.
What happened to giving our boys a chance? What happened to allowing players time to adapt to new systems?
The status quo does not seem to apply to Ziyech for some reason and it’s high time that we appreciate the Morrocan and give him time to be more decisive.
His work rate is admirable and contrary to popular belief he never puts his head now. He keeps going and keeps trying and today he was rewarded.
Tuchel took to the press post-match to speak on the Moroccan’s struggles,
“There is still an improvement for Hakim in his decision making. We rely on his awareness and work rate.
With the ball, there is room to improve, be more clinical and grow into our rhythm.
But I think the injury in his shoulder cost him a lot. He is not 100 per cent free yet.
The offensive players love freedom in their movement. I’m happy. A goal like this helps. It was decisive.”
There have been several players of which Chelsea have been patient, including Balon d’Or favourite Jorginho and of course, Timo Werner.
Not to mention Christian Pulisic who has unfortunately suffered heavily with injuries during his time with the Blues.
We have to support our boys equally and following a pretty decent match and a potential partnership with CHO, Ziyech should be given the same opportunity.
It’s strange to think that Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech’s potential partnership may come to a halt.
Werner and Lukaku look to be back next week which may impact their game time.
It was nice whilst it lasted. Let’s go for one more ride against Burnley on the weekend.
The partnership they’ve linked up with could help both progress as the January window edges closer and both got strongly linked away in the summer with Dortmund links to Hudson-Odoi and Ziyech links to Milan.
One thing is for sure, we never want to see Callum play as a right-wing-back again.
Not after his last few displays playing on the wing.