Chelsea faced Everton Monday night with the goal to further cement its position in the top four. The Blues beat both Merseyside outfits within a week en route to making history for their manager at the full-time whistle. Yes, Thomas Tuchel is the first manager in Premier League history to keep five clean sheets in a row at home to start his managerial career. This sort accomplishment is thanks in full to the team’s transformation since Tuchel arrived at Stamford Bridge.
Back to Everton. Monday’s match was one of both defensive stability and the most attacking threat we’ve seen from this team since the manager was appointed. Here is three lessons we learnt in Chelsea’s crucial victory over Everton:
1. Kai Havertz needs to play as a No. 9 going forward
The lesson learnt should read “Kai Havertz needs to play more going forward,” but since he finally got his chance and showed the quality that Blues fans know he has, we will talk about where he played.
Havertz started as a false nine and was brilliant from start to finish. He came deep to retrieve the ball and drive it forward throughout, appearing in the right areas when the ball came into the box. This type of performance on the face of it would have people thinking he scored or assisted some goals, but like always with Chelsea’s attackers, the fine margins always play a part. We all thought he scored on two occasions. One that opened up the scoring—which was ruled a Ben Godfrey own goal—and the second a beautifully worked goal over the top into path of Havertz, which he brought down with his armpit, later controversially ruled a handball by VAR. Finally, he won a penalty which saw Jorginho double the Blues’ lead. Havertz left Stamford Bridge with a great outing, but nothing personally to show for it.
The fact that he had three chances that led to two goals ultimately should be a signal that he should remain in the starting XI going forward. The 21-year-old offered more than Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic have recently, in a much shorter time. Havertz’s willingness to come deep and try to create something is exactly what this teams needs in attack. His height and movement offer a challenge to defenders that the Blues’ other attackers do not. This team is blessed with attacking talent, but one’s performances on the pitch should relate to the chances one gets and Havertz did incredibly well on Monday. This further proves that he deserve more chances going forward.
Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount and Werner worked very well with Havertz in the minutes they got with him, which should be something Tuchel should look to utilize more of in the coming games. With Mount being suspended in second leg against Atletico Madrid and an exciting game ahead versus Leeds, Havertz’s chance may have finally arrived. He must build upon his performance on Monday and show his undeniable quality.