The smile across the face of Timo Werner after Chelsea’s victory over Sheffield United was not one you’d expect from a striker with just one goal in their previous 18 matches. Yet the German had ample reason to be pleased.
He may not have found the back of the net at Bramall Lane but he made two match-altering contributions to ensure the Blues collected all three points on a bitterly cold evening.
It was Werner who fashioned Chelsea’s first goal. The German laid the ball off to Ben Chilwell and then burst behind the United defence, waiting for his pass to be returned.
Chilwell did just that and Werner was able to then produce a cutback to Mason Mount who slid the ball home just before half time.
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Then, moments after the Blades had drawn level through a calamitous own goal from Antonio Rudiger, Werner earned his side a penalty after being brought down by Aaron Ramsdale. Jorginho converted the spot-kick and Chelsea went on to secure victory.
Werner ended the game off the field – he suffered a dead leg when colliding with Ramsdale – but earned the man-of-the-match award for his efforts. It was much deserved.
“I am happy when we win and when I make two assists,” the 24-year-old told Sky Sports after the game. “But as a striker, you want to score.
“It’s a long time now for me, I’ve never had such a long period [without scoring] in my career. You can’t do anything but keep going, to try to do your best on the field. With that, the goals will come.”
There is no doubt Werner is lacking confidence. Importantly, however, he has managed to shake off the pressure that appeared to be weighing him down at the start of the year.
Perhaps the arrival of Thomas Tuchel has helped achieve that – the German coach has tweaked the position of the former RB Leipzig forward.