Could have killed game in second half but 2-0 we can be happy with that, admits Hakim Ziyech
Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech believes that the Blues could have scored even more and put their Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg tie to bed against Tottenham but is happy with the scoreline. The Blues walked away as 2-0 winners on the night and Spurs have all the work to do in the second leg.
With Antonio Conte making his return to Stamford Bridge for the first time since he left, a lot of eyes were on Tottenham and Chelsea’s Carabao Cup semi-final. However, the North Londoners struggled in the tie as Thomas Tuchel changed things around and tweaked his formation. It saw the Blues thrive with Hakim Ziyech playing a key role in both first-half goals. Things could have been even worse after the break but both teams had chances to turn the tie in their favour.
But now Chelsea goes into the second leg of the semi-final with a 2-0 lead and that leaves Tottenham all the work to do. However, despite their lead, Ziyech believes that Blues could have put the tie to bed in the first-leg itself as they had the chance to score more than twice. But he added that the team can be happy with the performance but need to finish the game off next week.
“It was a good performance from the team and a good way to start these two games. We put pressure on them and didn’t give them time. We did good in the first half especially. We got a quick 1-0 and that's what we wanted, because we knew they would have to come out and make some more mistakes, and in the end they did,” Ziyech told Chelseafc.com.
“10 minutes before half-time we got the second one and had a good feeling in the dressing room. We could have killed the game in the second half. We had bigger chances than they had, but 2-0, we can be happy with that. It was a derby, a semi-final, so we had to be sharp and focused, and we were. We got the job done but there is still a game next week so hopefully we finish it there.”
The tactical tweak was to help Chelsea face Tottenham’s back three formations and it worked with Tuchel moving to a fluid four-man system. That saw Ziyech admit that while things were different, it was a good difference as it helped create more chances up top. He also added that it was a big win for Chelsea given their situation over the last few weeks.
“It was a bit different than usual. We had four at the back, normally we have five, so that gave us more opportunities up front. They didn’t know whether to follow the midfielders or step out. That was the biggest win for us. We had some difficult games, some injuries, Covid, but how we have dealt with it as a team is pretty good. We have got on the right track, and now let’s keep focused he added.