Watch: Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech destroys Zaha with magical skill

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Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech

Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech has established a reputation as one of the biggest ballers in the Premier League and one moment of magical footwork against Crystal Palace was enough to underline how he acquired it.

Thomas Tuchel recently discussed the role of Ziyech at Chelsea after the Moroccan did not start last weekend’s Club World Cup final.

The winger has been in fine form but Kai Havertz and Mason Mount were preferred to him alongside Romelu Lukaku in the showpiece match in Abu Dhabi.

Speaking ahead of today’s game against Palace, Tuchel discussed the reasoning for benching the Moroccan and the role that he plays for the club.

“We switched systems lately,” the Chelsea boss said. “If we play in a back four, a 4-1-4-1, with a right-winger position – this suits Hakim (Ziyech) very best.

“This position was not available from the start in the final so we took the tactical decision to play with the back three so did not leave us with the same position for Hakim so he came from the bench.”

Ziyech returned to the side at Selhurst Park and reminded everybody of his talent with a moment of bewitching skill that stole the soul of Palace talisman Wilfried Zaha.

As Palace only half-cleared a corner, the ball found its way to Ziyech on the left flank. Faced with a rapidly approaching Zaha, the winger dummies the ball before completing a rapid stepover and slipping the ball past his opponent.

Zaha could only grapple in despair as Ziyech zoomed past him and sent a dangerous cross into the Palace penalty area.

Despite their success in recent years, Tuchel has admitted that he’s still looking for stong connections in his front line.

“Sometimes it is like this and on the other side we are looking for connections between players who can link up good without too much effort, a good understanding and similar understanding of movements.

“This is what we are looking for. When you are looking, sometimes players get injured and you start all over! This is daily business and daily life.”

With Ziyech in this kind of form, it’s becoming rapidly clear that he’s one of Chelsea’s most important attackers.


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