Chelsea’s fringe players make a case for more playing time as Blues breeze past Malmo

Chelsea extended their winning run after beating Malmo
Chelsea extended their winning run after beating Malmo

Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea just don’t seem to know what defeat means. The Blues keep impressing each week no matter which players take the field.

The London outfit took a great step towards qualifying for the knockout round of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday after beating Malmo 1-0 away from home.

A lone second-half strike from Hakim Ziyech was enough to seal victory for Chelsea. The Blues, though, were frustrated for larger parts as their opponents sat back and played on the counter-attack.

However, their resilience ultimately paid off. Many sides would have drawn such a difficult game but this is Tuchel’s Chelsea and they’ve proven time and again that they’ve mastered the art of winning.

Chelsea's fringe players impress

The most impressive part of Chelsea’s win over Malmo is the fact that Tuchel paraded several fringe players and they still managed to get the job done.

Ziyech, who has struggled for much of the season, had another chance to impress and he made it count by scoring the goal that won Chelsea the game.

Hudson-Odoi was also trusted with a place among the front three. Having been forced to play as a wing-back in previous matches, he also contributed with the match-winning assist.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek was also superb in the middle of the park and earned the praise of his manager after putting in an assured performance within 90 minutes.

In all, it was a good test for the Blues. Tuchel would’ve been impressed with what he saw, particularly from the players who have had very little game time this season. They definitely made a case for more starting berths.

Another job well executed by Tuchel and his side

Towards the end of September, there was talk of a crisis after Chelsea suffered back-to-back defeats to Manchester City and Juventus.

However, Tuchel and his side have proven such notions wrong, winning each of their last seven matches in all competitions.

Tuesday’s victory over Malmo was yet another impressive outing for the Blues, who have now kept five clean sheets in their last six matches.

“We got the job done," Tuchel said after the game, as quoted by "We wanted a result, we needed the result, we expected the result, and we delivered. We had a lot of shots, and a lot of touches in the opponents’ half in the first half but we couldn’t score.
“We wanted to increase the intensity level a bit in the second half to force a goal, and at the moment of highest pressure in the second half we were able to use it with precision and we were clinical enough to score," he added.

Chelsea are currently three points behind Juventus in Group H of the Champions League, which keeps the Blues in the running to win the group.

For Tuchel, though, his side has all but secured qualification to the last 16 and the momentum can only get better from here.

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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