Thomas Tuchel warns Hakim Ziyech 'there is space to improve'

Thomas Tuchel warns Hakim Ziyech ‘there is space to improve’ and urges him to ‘be more consistent and clinical’ despite firing Chelsea to victory in Malmo with his first goal in three months

  • Chelsea squeezed past Malmo to win 1-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday
  • Hakim Ziyech scored the only goal of the game as he returned to firing form
  • He has failed to have an impact this term after dislocating his shoulder in August
  • Manager Thomas Tuchel urged the Moroccan to improve and be more clinical 

Hakim Ziyech returned to goal-scoring form as he netted for the first time in almost three months to secure victory for Chelsea. 

Chelsea squeezed past a stubborn Malmo side on Tuesday in their Champions League group-stage clash with the Moroccan international scoring the only goal of the game. 

But manager Thomas Tuchel has warned he still expects more from the winger, despite netting the winner.

Hakim Ziyech (centre) finished off the move of the match to secure the winner against Malmo

The Moroccan international bounced back to firing form with his first goal in three months 

‘Could this help Ziyech kick on? Yes, but still I think there is space to improve in his decision making, connections on the pitch, where to be more consistent,’ Tuchel said after the final whistle on Tuesday, via Goal.

‘We always rely on his work-rate, counter pressing, awareness. It is a huge part of his performances. He can still be more clinical and maybe grow more into the rhythm but I think his shoulder injury hurt him a lot.

‘Even if he pushed hard to come back early, he is not still 100 per cent free as he should be, especially the offensive players love their freedom of turning but I am happy that if things get stuck, a goal like this will help the most. I am happy for him.’

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has urged the winger to ‘be more consistent’ in his displays

The winger has struggled to make an impact this season after returning from injury. 

Ziyech was forced off in the Super Cup final against Villareal in August with a dislocated shoulder just minutes after putting Chelsea ahead. 

But after his start to the season was delayed, Ziyech is looking to put his injury woes behind him and ‘find his rhythm again’.

‘I am trying to be important for the team with goals and assists. I have had some hard times behind me, the injuries and I haven’t really recovered fully [from a shoulder injury],’ Ziyech said.

The Moroccan had to be substituted against Villarreal with a dislocated shoulder in August

The Chelsea winger required treatment before he was eventually taken off in the Super Cup

‘I work every day on it, even when it is not going as it is supposed to but I have always believed in myself, what I can do on the pitch, I am still believing.

‘I know what I can do, where my highest level is and like I said, I have had hard times with injuries and finding my rhythm again. I have struggled to find that again but it is something you have to work hard for. That is what I am doing every day.’

Callum Hudson-Odoi provided a sublime cross for Ziyech to find goal following the decision to switch the attacking duo from opposite flanks. 

Ziyech celebrates with Callum Hudson-Odoi, who gave him the finish on a plate from the right

The swap worked to great effect and proved to be the key to Chelsea’s victory, which leaves them on the verge of securing a spot in the last-16 with two games left to play. 

‘All the credit has to go to my assistant, he came up with the idea,’ Tuchel revealed.

‘We liked having two right footed players on the right side and two left-footed on the left side. We had the feeling that maybe we could enter into the spaces behind Malmo’s low block, that we would maybe lose important seconds if they have to switch the ball back onto their strong foot, then their No 8s were closing spaces.

‘We thought maybe we could save important tenths of a second, the situation was like this [for the goal]. We had a breakthrough on the half position and he delivered precisely enough. The credit goes to my assistant.’

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