Thomas Tuchel could not resist poking fun at Lewis Hall following his excellent debut against Chesterfield in the FA Cup while the Chelsea boss also praised three players for helping him through the match.
The Champions League holders raced into a commanding early lead at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening with Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Romelu Lukaku all netting in the first 20 minutes.
Hall, who is still just 17, hit the byline and whipped in an excellent cross for Lukaku’s strike, while he also fired a powerful effort towards goal just before the half-time break which was parried to Andreas Christensen, who netted Chelsea’s fourth with a looping header.
Hakim Ziyech added a fifth goal from the spot in the 55th minute though Chesterfield bagged a much-celebrated consolation goal through substitute Akwasi Asante as the third-round tie finished 5-1 to the hosts.
Hall was given the chance to impress at left-back, with Tuchel currently light on options there following Ben Chilwell’s season-ending injury, and the German coach was very happy to see the youngster announce himself in such confident fashion – particularly because he is usually so quiet in training.
Speaking to BBC Sport after Hall had given his own interview, Tuchel said: ‘Did he say much in his interview? I haven’t heard him speak so much in training!
‘But he deserved to play, he is a nice guy and very calm. A huge opportunity at Stamford Bridge. He took his chance and was hugely involved in some of the goals. I’m happy for him.’
Speaking to Chelsea TV in a separate interview, Tuchel also praised three of his more senior players for creating the foundations and environment that allows players like Hall to shine.
Tuchel continued: ‘He did what he did in training. And it’s also credit to the guys around him like Saul, like Mateo [Kovacic], like Malang [Sarr]. It makes things easy for him.
‘The dressing room is very supportive for these players, the environment is a good environment that they can show their level. And then in the end they need to show it with all the tension and being a bit nervous, playing in front of a big crowd.
‘But he did well, he was involved in goals. He has a lot of things to learn but that’s why he’s with us and now is the moment to continue.’
Speaking about his debut, Hall himself said: ‘Ever since I was a kid being at Chelsea this is what I worked towards. To finally get the opportunity and in front of my family and the amazing fans it is an incredible feeling.
‘I came through the development system at six to eight and got my first contract at nine and have been progressing to this moment. We had a meeting during the day when he [Tuchel] announced the team and I was really nervous straight away. I saw my name on the team sheet and I was shaking. It took a few hours to process it.’
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