Chelsea go 11 games unbeaten under Thomas Tuchel as Kai Havertz impresses in win over Everton
Was this the coming of age for Kai Havertz at Chelsea? The 21-year-old forced an own goal and won a penalty as they moved back into the Champions League places. But even more than that the forward finally looked the part; he looked like what he was when he signed last summer – one of the most coveted players in European football.
Once again there was a touch of alchemy from Thomas Tuchel – albeit a £62million signing and an expensively-assembled squad can hardly be described as base metal – as he tinkered with his line-up, deployed Havertz as a ‘false nine’ and defeated Everton, one of the main challengers for a top four spot. Chelsea have momentum and are only four points off second place.
For Tuchel it is 11 matches without defeat, eight wins and a fifth home game without conceding – a new Premier League record for a new manager – and by any measure he has made a hugely impressive, transformative start to life at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have let in just two goals in those matches with Andreas Christensen another young player who has been revitalised.
Havertz was far more positive, far more confident and far more clever as he knitted play, dropped deep and moved up top and provided an elusive, fluid threat throughout as – crucially – he linked well with Timo Werner. Havertz’s involvement in both goals was key and he had another effort ruled out for handball in what was his first start since Tuchel’s first game in charge. Where previously he has looked light-weight and lost, here he was the main man and thrived on the responsibility. In fact Chelsea actually look like they are having fun and thriving on Tuchel’s rotation and tactical changes as they hunt down those ahead of them.