Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel explains why assistant Arno Michels deserves credit for Malmo win

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Thomas Tuchel refused to take credit for the tactical switch that secured a vital Champions League victory for Chelsea in Malmo.

The German told Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech to swap sides for the second half against the Swedish champions – and the wingers combined for the only goal of the game.

Hudson-Odoi’s cross was turned in by Ziyech after 56 minutes to settle a game that keeps Chelsea on course for qualification from Group H.

Watch: Thomas Tuchel challenges Ruben Loftus-Cheek after he helps Chelsea win at Malmo

But Tuchel modestly insisted afterwards that the change was the brainchild of his long-time assistant Arno Michels.

“All the credit has to go to my assistant, he came up with the idea,” he said. “We liked it to have 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 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.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Tuchel was also full of praise for Kai Havertz, despite the German failing to take golden chances in either half.

The Chelsea manager defended the forward, saying: “He has had some good matches with the ball and off it as well, bringing huge effort when we have the ball.

“I like what he is playing at the moment, I can see and feel how hard he fights for the teams and what effort he puts in.

“He is a bit unlucky at the moment. He won a penalty at Newcastle, today had two chances to score. But the last games I am very happy with his performances and the effort.”

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