Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea may have produced a limp performance away to Barnsley in the FA Cup, but to victory they did indeed limp.
Chelsea’s academy products Billy Gilmour, Reece James and Tammy Abraham all combined to score the winner against The Tykes in a goal which was well and truly made in Cobham.
Aside from that nicely worked goal and Abraham being taken out in the penalty area for the first half, Chelsea created and threatened very little and, if it were not for Kepa Arrizabalaga in goal, Barnsley could have been celebrating a monumental upset.
Despite the team’s progression to the quarter-finals, where they will host Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge, it was a very concerning performance for Tuchel who could be set to make many changes for their match against Newcastle on Monday night.
While he is yet to find the back of the net under the new manager, Timo Werner has enjoyed a low key rejuvenation in recent weeks.
The German won the crucial winning penalties against Spurs and Sheffield United and he also provided Mason Mount with a wonderful assist for the Blues’ first goal against the Blades.
Werner, signed from RB Leipzig last year, however had to wear a large strap with some ice around his thigh after a collision with Aaron Ramsdale and was not risked against Barnsley in the FA Cup.
However, Tuchel confirmed in his press conference ahead of his side’s match against Newcastle, that the striker will be fit to face Steve Bruce’s side on Monday.
Werner’s pace, direct running, movement and link up play with Tammy Abraham got the Magpies all in a flap when Chelsea beat them 2-0 at St James’ Park in November, and the Blues’ number 11 will no doubt be licking his lips ahead of Newcastle’s visit to Stamford Bridge.