Thomas Tuchel pleased with Chelsea’s professionalism in FA Cup victory

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Thomas Tuchel was happy to see the game sewn up by the break (Nick Potts/PA) (PA Wire)
Thomas Tuchel was happy to see the game sewn up by the break (Nick Potts/PA) (PA Wire)

Thomas Tuchel hailed Chelsea’s professionalism in settling their FA Cup third-round clash with Chesterfield before half-time.

The Blues cruised past their National League opponents 5-1 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, racing into a 4-0 half-time lead before a raft of withdrawals to keep players fresh.

Teen debutant Lewis Hall laid on a goal for Romelu Lukaku, with the returning Belgium striker missing a trio of chances before being subbed at the break.

Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Andreas Christensen all netted, before Hakim Ziyech converted a penalty.

Akwasi Asante raised the roof with a consolation for Chesterfield to send the raucous visiting fans into a frenzy.

But Chelsea were never truly troubled by the side 91 places below them in the league structure.

Chelsea will now move to Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at Tottenham, with Tuchel delighted to press on unscathed.

“I’m happy with the attitude, with how we started; we started well and we decided the match very early; this is what we wanted,” said Tuchel.

“Then, after 5-0 we had a lot of changes in some crucial positions and had players who lacked rhythm and confidence in the positions we needed them to play.

“So it’s job done, we decided the match in the first half, which was important.”

Left-sided 17-year-old Hall operated in a back three and impressed on his senior bow, displaying a collected demeanour throughout.

Tuchel hailed the youngster’s poise and attitude, but urged against anyone getting carried away.

Asked how Hall had earned his selection, Tuchel replied: “Well it was his performance in general in training, his attitude in training.

“His quality was very good and he was calm in possession games, little games.

“We’ve rarely been able to train with a full squad, so it’s more been small-sided games, possession games.

“He was good, he deserved to start.

“It’s a very supportive dressing room with a very good attitude from more experienced players.

“So that’s very good for the young boys to have to step up and show what they are capable of.

“We played against a fifth division team and he’s part of a strong squad. Put all the things in balance and we go from there.”

National League outfit Chesterfield were at least able to muster that late consolation, leaving manager James Rowe satisfied that his side left west London with pride fully intact.

“It was a remarkable day for us, we’re trying to put this club back on the map,” said Rowe.

“At half-time, 4-0 down, it doesn’t matter what sport you’re playing, if you’re being heavily defeated then you want to show a response.

“You want to be able to hit back and take some pride home, for yourselves and for your families. And that’s what we did.

“I think we earned the respect of everybody in the stadium with that response and that goal.

“To get that goal is a noise and a view that will remain with me and everybody associated with Chesterfield for the rest of our lives.”

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