Werner's drought goes on, but Chelsea star's struggles may finally be behind him

Timo Werner Thomas Tuchel Chelsea GFX
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Though the forward remains without a goal in his last 14 Premier League matches, he was the creative spark the Blues needed against Sheffield United

Match statistics: Sheffield United 1-2 Chelsea

While Timo Werner's failure to find the net against Sheffield United saw his Premier League goal drought stretch to 14 matches, his performance at Bramall Lane suggested that the Germany international might be back on the right track.

The £47.5 million ($59m) summer signing from RB Leipzig has attracted attention for the wrong reasons over the past two months, with his poor all-round performances having led to the longest barren run of his career.

Indeed, the 24-year-old's disappointing displays played their part in increasing the pressure on Frank Lampard before he was ultimately sacked and replaced by Thomas Tuchel in January.

Many believed Tuchel's appointment would suddenly improve the moods of his German compatriots Werner and Kai Havertz, but in the new coach's first three matches there were only small signs of the duo being in better spirits.

But in South Yorkshire on Sunday, Werner began to showcase just why it was seen as such a coup for Chelsea to sign the forward in pre-season.

Though there were no goals for the ex-Stuttgart man in the 2-1 win, he played a key role in both of the Blues' successful strikes either side of Antonio Rudiger's humiliating own goal early in the second half.

Firstly, after a number of dangerous runs in behind the home defence in the early stages, Werner was found by Ben Chilwell before cutting the ball back into the path of Mason Mount to open the scoring.

Timo Werner Mason Mount Chelsea 2020-21

Werner now has six assists in all competitions this term - the most of any Chelsea player - and Mount was quick to celebrate with his new team-mate in a sure sign of the unity that is emerging inside the Chelsea dressing room.

Though Rudiger's error after the break was a shock to the system, Werner ensured the Blues could dwell on the error for long as he latched onto a loose back-pass just two minutes later before using his pace to round goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

The England Under-21 international could not help but bring down the forward, allowing Werner to win his seventh penalty of the season already.

With Jorginho back on spot-kick duty, Werner did not get the chance to end his long goalless run before being replaced on the 75th minute, but his performance as one of two strikers in a 3-5-2 system contained everything else that Tuchel would have asked of him.

"It was a brilliant run for the first goal and it was great decision making for the second goal to go around the goalkeeper," Tuchel told reporters after the match.

Thomas Tuchel Chelsea 2020-21

"So he got us the decisive penalty again like in Tottenham, it is clear that the situation in Tottenham gave him a confidence boost and he was a bit unlucky with his shot and chances against them.

"It was good defending from their defenders but he worked incredibly hard and disciplined against the ball. It gave him a boost, I feel him stronger and stronger every day. Today he was more free and I could really feel him on the pitch.

"He was absolutely in the game mentally and physically and he was decisive. This is the most important thing because if he can continue like this. The goals will come, for sure."

As Werner was withdrawn for N'Golo Kante after suffering from a dead leg, he earned pats on the back from both Tuchel and his assistant Zsolt Low, whom he has a long-standing friendship with and has been highlighted as a key figure in getting the best out of the forward.

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The early signs are good, and though Tuchel's team are not yet firing on all cylinders, they have picked up 10 points from his first four games in charge and are within a solitary of point of fourth-placed Liverpool in the fight for Champions League qualification.

The next step for Werner is obviously getting himself back on the scoresheet, but he does have plenty more to offer too.

Chelsea fans will hope this is a sign of things to come.

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