Thomas Tuchel hailed Kai Havertz for taking “responsibility” in a starring role as a false nine in Chelsea’s 2-0 Premier League win over Everton.
Germany playmaker Havertz has struggled to convince since his £70million summer switch to Stamford Bridge from Bayer Leverkusen.
The 21-year-old was unable to find his niche under Frank Lampard, suffering lasting effects from coronavirus and battling for regular first-team action.
Havertz wrestled control of Chelsea’s commanding victory over Everton at Stamford Bridge on Monday however, with the classy operator unlucky to end the night without a goal.
And that assured performance left Tuchel purring on Havertz just as much as Chelsea extending their unbeaten start to life under the German boss to 11 matches in all competitions.
“I’m very happy with his performance, no doubt about his quality his talent and also not about his character,” said Tuchel.
“He needs to adapt to the Premier League, he needs to be at a club where you play to win every game, where the highest standards are normal.
“That’s a normal process also for him to adapt to this mentality.
“He showed up between the lines and used his potential to accelerate our game and to increase the touches in the box – and to be responsible for assists and through-balls, and also to take the responsibility to finish himself. And from here on we go.”
Havertz was unlucky not to be credited with Chelsea’s first goal, with Ben Godfrey’s deflection eventually confirmed as an own goal.
The lively forward later saw a neat finish ruled out for handball before winning a penalty that Jorginho converted.
Chelsea’s mean-spirited defence under Tuchel continues to set new standards in west London.
Former Paris St Germain boss Tuchel has now become the first manager to secure five clean sheets in his first five home Premier League games.
Chelsea now boast nine clean sheets in Tuchel’s 11 matches in charge, and only Maurizio Sarri with 12 games has enjoyed a longer unbeaten start to life in London.
The Blues secured their position in fourth place in the Premier League table, taking another big step towards Champions League qualification.
Tuchel admitted seeing increasing levels of belief and momentum among his entire Chelsea squad.
“I’m sure that you know this from any team, if you share special moments and good results, this is in the end the thing that lifts you up to the special performances that you need,” said Tuchel.
“I truly believe that this is a team squad. I can feel a strong bond between the players in the dressing room.
“They live it in every day training, I can feel it on the sideline.
“I feel positive energy from everyone around the team in Cobham, towards my staff, towards football and my team, everyone is doing everything in a very positive atmosphere.
“And we need this to have a run like this and without this it’s not possible.”
Carlo Ancelotti had precious few complaints on Everton’s defeat, insisting the Toffees could not argue too much with their loss.
“They played better than us, they played with more quality,” said Ancelotti.
“We were good defensively for 30 minutes, but once they scored it was more difficult for us.
“We are disappointed, but not too much.
“We weren’t at the best at the top tonight to get the result here.”
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