Thomas Tuchel explains decision to bench Hakim Ziyech vs Real Madrid

Thomas Tuchel explains decision to bench Hakim Ziyech vs Real Madrid


Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has opened up on his decision to leave Hakim Ziyech out of his starting XI to face Real Madrid this evening.

CL returns

The Blues are of course currently locked in action, in one of two Champions League semi-final ties.

Tuchel and co. have made the trip to the Spanish capital, for a highly anticipated showdown with competition experts Real.

Chelsea headed into proceedings as slight underdogs in the eyes of most, but no doubt confident in their chances of upsetting the odds, on the back of a superb start to life under the watch of their new boss.

Thomas Tuchel explains decision to bench Hakim Ziyech vs Real Madrid

Chelsea’s German head coach Thomas Tuchel gestures during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on March 4, 2021. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths / POOL / AFP)

And, as things stand early in the action at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano, the visitors have indeed enjoyed the better of things, with Timo Werner having only been denied an opener inside ten minutes courtesy of a brilliant Thibaut Courtois stop.

‘Little things’

Werner’s latest inclusion this evening, meanwhile, comes with the German having of course netted the only goal of the game at the weekend, as Chelsea got the better of West Ham.

Elsewhere across his frontline, though, Thomas Tuchel had major decisions to make in the Spanish capital.

In the end, the Blues boss opted for Christian Pulisic and an advanced Mason Mount, as follows:

Missing out once again, in turn, was Hakim Ziyech.

It therefore came as little surprise when Tuchel was drawn on his decision to leave the Moroccan, who has impressed when handed the opportunity, out for the 2nd-straight game this evening.

And the German tactician went on to admit that Ziyech ‘deserved to play’, citing ‘the little things’ as having handed the likes of Pulisic the edge:

*Update* – Chelsea have since taken the lead through the aforementioned Pulisic.


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This article was edited by
Josh Barker.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City FC 33 45 77
2 Manchester United FC 33 29 67
3 Leicester City FC 33 22 62
4 Chelsea FC 33 20 58
5 West Ham United FC 33 10 55
6 Liverpool FC 33 16 54
7 Tottenham Hotspur FC 33 18 53
8 Everton FC 32 4 52
9 Leeds United 33 0 47
10 Arsenal FC 33 7 46
11 Aston Villa FC 32 9 45
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 33 -13 41
13 Crystal Palace FC 32 -20 38
14 Burnley FC 33 -15 36
15 Southampton FC 32 -18 36
16 Newcastle United FC 33 -18 36
17 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 33 -6 34
18 Fulham FC 33 -18 27
19 West Bromwich Albion 33 -34 25
20 Sheffield United FC 33 -38 17
Player Team Goals
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 21
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 20
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 16
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 15
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 14
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 14
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 13
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 13
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 12
Gundogan, Ilkay Manchester City FC 12
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 10
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 10
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 10
Wood, Chris Burnley FC 10
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 10
Iheanacho, Kelechi Leicester City FC 10
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 9
Pereira, Matheus West Bromwich Albion 9
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City FC 9
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 9

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