Chelsea: The first six fixtures of the 2021/22 Premier League
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Timo Werner and Kai Havertz gave Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel something to think about with their performances in Germany’s Euro 2020 defeat to England. Both players were denied by Three Lions keeper Jordan Pickford as Gareth Southgate’s side won 2-0 to set up a quarter-final clash against Ukraine.
Germany boss Joachim Low bemoaned his side’s poor finishing after they failed to take their chances against England in Tuesday’s last-16 clash at Wembley.
Werner had the chance to give Germany the lead after being played in by his club-mate Havertz, but saw his shot saved by Pickford.
Thomas Muller also missed a chance, while in the second half it was Havertz’s turn to be denied as his drive from distance from smartly tipped over the bar by the England keeper.
The Chelsea pair had contrasting fortunes during Germany’s Euro campaign, with Havertz a key player as he started every game, while Werner was in the XI for the first time on Tuesday.
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Low explained before the game that Werner had been selcected to stretch England’s defence with his speed – which he did at times, although he will rue missing his chance to score what would have been his first goal of the tournament finals.
Havertz was arguably Germany’s best player on the night, carving out Werner’s chance before Pickford denied him the chance to add to the two goals he scored against Portugal and Hungary in the group stages.
And for Tuchel, their performances were a reminder of a couple of the challenges facing the Chelsea boss ahead of the new Premier League season.
Both Werner and Havertz struggled to adapt to the demands of England’s top flight after being signed from RB leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen respectively last summer.
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Tuchel largely kept faith with Werner up front despite his lack of goals, with the 25-year-old scoring just six in league combat all season.
The striker caused teams plenty of problems with his pace and movement, but failed to replicate the scoring form that saw him fire 28 goals in the Bundesliga the previous season.
While he can be an effective part of the attack, Chelsea needs a more clinical finisher to lead the line – which is the way they have been linked with a big-money move for either Erling Haaland, Harry Kane or Romelu Lukaku.
In contrast to Werner, Havertz found himself in an out of the team under Tuchel, making just 18 league starts over the whole season.
But he came up with the goods in the Champions League final, scoring the winner after running onto a defence-splitting pass from Mason Mount, while also setting up chances for Werner and Christian Pulisic.
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That performance alone went some way towards justifying the £72million Chelsea splashed out to take the 22-year-old to Stamford Bridge.
And his performances for Germany at Euro 2020 have suggested that Tuchel needs to find a more regular role for him as Chelsea target the Premier League title next term.
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