Thomas Tuchel impressed with impact of Raheem Sterling & Kalidou Koulibaly in Udinese win


Thomas Tuchel has praised new signings Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly for their impressive performances as Chelsea saw off Udinese 3-1 on Friday.

In the Blues’ final official friendly – a second XI will face another Udinese XI in a behind-closed-doors game on Saturday – Sterling got himself on the scoresheet and Koulibaly put in another impressive performance at the back, adding to his standout cameo against Arsenal.

It was Chelsea‘s top performance of an otherwise underwhelming pre-season which brought a 4-0 defeat to Mikel Arteta’s side as well as a defeat to Charlotte FC and a scrappy victory over Club America, and Tuchel was happy to finally see some positives.

“We trained a lot this week, especially two days ago so we did not have the freshest legs,” he told ChelseaTV. “But we have a lot of positive things to take away from this game.

“It’s a good performance, it’s a good result, we could’ve scored much more, should’ve scored much more.

“But overall, it’s a lot of positive stuff to take away from this.”

Tuchel then reserved special praise for Sterling and Koulibaly, admitting the two new signings deserve all the plaudits that they have been receiving.

“[Sterling] had chances, very heavily involved in other chances, it was a good performance,” the boss said of the £47.5m man.

On Koulibaly, Tuchel added: “He is a very, very good signing. A strong personality, a strong player. I am happy that he could play 70 minutes now. He’s getting fitter and fitter which is very important for us for the start of the season.”


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