'Very reliable': Thomas Tuchel gives verdict on Chelsea FC star Hakim Ziyech
Chelsea FC manager Thomas Tuchel lavishes praise on Hakim Ziyech after their Champions League victory
Thomas Tuchel has praised Hakim Ziyech for his “reliable work-rate” after the Moroccan forward helped to fire Chelsea FC into the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday night.
The Chelsea FC manager opted to start Ziyech for the visit of Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their round of 16 clash after the Blues were 1-0 winners in the Spanish capital last month.
Ziyech was handed a rare start under Tuchel in the absence of Mason Mount, who was suspended for the knockout clash against Diego Simeone’s side at Stamford Bridge.
The Morocco international broke the deadlock in the first half when Kai Havertz teed up his fellow summer signing to score his second Champions League goal of the campaign.
Ziyech produced a sparkling performance to help Chelsea FC join Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and FC Porto in the quarter-final draw.
Speaking at his post-match media conference about Ziyech’s influence, Tuchel explained why he entrusted the former Ajax man with a place in his starting XI.
“He played today because he did it with Ajax and he came to a semi-final,” Tuchel said. “He has good experience in the Round of 16, he knows how it feels to arrive in the knockout round and go through to the last eight.
“The second reason he played is because he deserved it and the third is we missed Mason Mount and we wanted to replace his work-rare and intensity with Hakim because we knew we faced a midfield of three with a lot of quality.
“Maybe he suffers a bit to adapt to our style because he loves to play creative and he needs to adapt to the structure but he gives a very reliable work-rate for the team.”
Ziyech has scored three goals and has made three assists in 25 games in all competitions this season since his £33m move to Chelsea FC from Ajax last summer.
Chelsea FC will look to reach the FA Cup semi-finals on Sunday when they take on Sheffield United in the last eight.