'James shoots like a horse!' - Tuchel praises unlikely Chelsea goal hero

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Reece James Chelsea 2021-22Getty Images

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel was delighted to see Reece James convert twice to help his side to victory over Newcastle United on Saturday, while affirming that he was never in any doubt over the player's ability to hit the net. 

James now has four goals in the 2021-22 Premier League, having scored only once in his entire league career prior to the current season. 

His double proved decisive in finally breaking Newcastle's resolve in the second half at St. James' Park, with Jorginho adding a late penalty to seal a 3-0 win for the visitors. 

What was said? 

"It's a complex game and I don't think Reecey can score if Callum [Hudson-Odoi] does not do the dribbling and if Chilly [Ben Chilwell] doesn't open the space," Tuchel told reporters after the game when asked about his new goal threat at right-back. 

"We were dangerous on the first post with Kai [Havertz], the middle of the goal with Ross [Barkley], and then the second post even with Ruben [Loftus-Cheek]. Then it's possible to score on the far post.

"This is why sometimes our strikers are sacrificing to create space and chances for the others. It will always be like this. Shooting you don't need to exercise.

"We don't need exercise shooting with Reece, he shoots like a horse!"

James' reaction

“I think the first one was probably the better goal on my weaker foot - it was a good finish," James himself said to the BBC. 

"We knew coming here would be a tough game. We had to break them down and it took a lot of time.

"A lot has happened with their club since the start of the season so you never knew what their approach would be like when things are new."

A dream weekend

While Chelsea eventually cruised to victory on Tyneside, they were also handed a boost by events elsewhere on Saturday afternoon. 

Liverpool, who started the weekend a point behind the Premier League leaders, were held to a 2-2 draw by Brighton, while fellow title rivals Manchester City suffered a shock 2-0 reverse at the hands of Crystal Palace. 

Those results mean that Tuchel's men enjoy a three-point cushion at the summit, while their attentions now turn to their Champions League defence and Tuesday's visit to Malmo. 

Further reading