Thomas Tuchel has praised Kai Havertz for turning every Real Madrid disappointment into a two-goal breakthrough against Fulham.
German forward Havertz produced his best Chelsea show to date by firing a fine brace in Saturday’s 2-0 Premier League win over the Whites.
Blues boss Tuchel left Havertz from the starting XI for the 1-1 Champions League semi-final, first leg draw with Real Madrid.
Kai Havertz scored both goals when Chelsea beat Fulham 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday
But the 21-year-old German star offered the perfect riposte against Fulham, shimmering in the role of false nine.
Havertz’s two goals helped Chelsea take fourth place, leaving Tuchel happy with both the result and the pivotal performance of the talented young German star.
“There is still room for improvement, but I am very happy,” said Tuchel
He was decisive, he was involved with Timo Werner as a double striker and with Mason Mount and Hakim Ziyech as the four attacking boys, he was always involved in dangerous attacks and situations.
‘For me it was an important individual example.
Thomas Tuchel praised Havertz’s performance and attitude in the victory over the Cottagers
The players who might have had a tough decision for them today, like Kai against Fulham, didn’t play with the attitude that ‘oh, now they need me’ and ‘I wanted more time in Madrid, why are they playing against me? now only against Fulham ‘.
‘This was absolutely not the case. He took his chance, he showed up, this is what we need all the time and especially in situations like this you need guys who are fully committed. That means if you have a chance to show up, you should show up too.
“ Whether you have five minutes, fifteen minutes or an entire game, whatever it is, show that you are ready and give me a headache for the next game.
“He did that and it’s an example of what the whole team did and they get all the credit from me.”
Havertz (right) gives Tuchel a selection headache before the Real Madrid match
Chelsea’s 18th out under Tuchel kept the Blues in fourth place last weekend, but the Stamford Bridge boss insisted the West Londoners cannot afford to relax in the competition.
When asked if Chelsea now have a top four finish to lose, Tuchel replied, ‘No, but I feel like we have nothing to lose. We are in the middle of the race.
‘I think it will continue but it was such a big game to keep the lead, we have worked so hard over the past week and like I said it is very important that we have a clear mind and have nothing to regret for Wednesday’s game. against Madrid.
The victory over Fulham kept Chelsea six points ahead of fifth-placed West Ham in the top four
‘Then comes the Wednesday game and then look at our fixtures, you can see how heavy it is. We don’t take anything for granted, we work hard and keep our heads down, feet on the ground, trying to do our very best. ‘
Fulham defender Joachim Andersen insisted the Whites still believe they can avoid the drop, despite being nine points behind Newcastle with four games to play.
“Of course it can be done, it’s football,” Andersen told Fulham’s club website.
Fulham’s Danish defender Joachim Andersen (right) still believes his side can beat the drop
‘We have four more games, we have to win those games and we have to believe in them until it’s over.
‘I believe in it, and I also have the feeling that the whole team believes in it. Of course we are very disappointed, we need the points, everyone can see that.
‘The goals we gave away were too easy, too many small mistakes. If we do that, we can’t win, especially against a really good team like Chelsea.
“I don’t know what to say, it’s disappointing.”