Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has urged Callum Hudson-Odoi and Kai Havertz to step up and ‘prove a point’ after Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku were injured during Wednesday’s victory over Malmo. The Blues registered a comfortable 4-0 win over the Swedish champions at Stamford Bridge to maintain their ongoing Champions League title defence in emphatic fashion.
Andreas Christensen opened the scoring for Chelsea inside nine minutes before Jorginho doubled his side’s lead from the penalty spot.
Kai Havertz went on to put the result beyond any doubt shortly after half-time, with Jorginho scoring yet another penalty before the hour mark to provide some added gloss to the scoreline.
The result saw Chelsea maintain second place in Group H, three points behind leaders Juventus, at the halfway point of this year’s Champions League group stages.
However, Wednesday’s match was overshadowed by injuries to Werner and Lukaku, who are expected to miss the weekend’s game against Norwich City as a result.
The latter twisted his ankle under a challenge from Lasse Nielsen during the first half before Werner pulled up with an apparent hamstring issue before half-time.
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The pair were replaced by Havertz and Hudson-Odoi respectively, with Tuchel going on to urge them to stake their claims for regular starting spots in the absences of Lukaku and Werner over the next few matches.
“Always, always a chance and it is always necessary to prove a point,” the Chelsea boss told reporters after the full-time whistle.
“They can prove a point now so we will have some games without Romelu and Timo so everyone is invited to join the race for minutes on the pitch.
“When they are on the pitch, they need to show their hunger and determination to be decisive and be in the box.
“This is how it is and they did it today, but there’s still room to improve and on Saturday.
“We need to find solutions without Romelu and Timo, that’s clear. Everyone will join the race to be decisive for us.”
Meanwhile, the exact details of the injuries to Lukaku and Werner remain unclear as the pair await scans to learn the full extent of their problems.
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Tuchel did not give an optimistic assessment of the Chelsea duo after Wednesday’s match, insisting that Saturday’s clash with Norwich is likely to come too soon for both players.
“Maybe I don’t know much more than you,” he added. “You saw it. Romelu twisted his ankle in the box.
“Timo has a hamstring injury. It will take a while for both of them. We need more examinations to be more precise, but they will be out for some matches.”
It remains to be seen whether Chelsea can extend their advantage at the top of the Premier League table with a win over Norwich, who have picked up just two points all season.
The Blues currently lead Liverpool by a single point at the summit with over a quarter of the campaign already done and dusted.