Hakim Ziyech: When Chelsea winger 'pretended to slip' so he didn't have to track back

Hakim Ziyech

Hakim Ziyech produced a Man of the Match performance as Chelsea beat Tottenham 2-0 on Sunday.

After four Premier League matches without a win, Thomas Tuchel’s side found themselves out of a title race and nervously looking over their shoulder as they cling onto a place in the top four.

One of those sides in the chasing pack is Tottenham.

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Antonio Conte took his Spurs side to Stamford Bridge having not lost in the Premier League since he was appointed at the start of November.

However, it a was match in which Chelsea dominated.

It took until the 47th-minute for them to make the breakthrough. But it was worth the wait.

Ziyech cut inside from the right wing and curled a delightful effort that dropped into the top corner leaving Hugo Lloris helpless.

What. A. Goal.

Thiago Silva made it 2-0 eight minutes later to seal a comfortable three points for the Blues.

But it was a day that belonged to Ziyech.

When the Moroccan was substituted in injury-time, he was given a standing ovation by the home crowd as well as the Man of the Match award.

Sky Sports pundits spent time analysing his brilliant performance after the match.

Ziyech

It was just 12 months ago that Sky Sports pundits were analysing Ziyech – but for all the wrong reasons.

It came back in January 2021 during a match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.

Man City ran out 3-0 winners – going 3-0 ahead inside 35 minutes.

And it was that third goal, scored by Kevin de Bruyne, that highlighted Ziyech’s shortcomings.

As City broke, the Chelsea man was accused of ‘pretending to slip’ so that he didn’t have to run back.

VIDEO: Hakim Ziyech ‘pretends to slip’ so he doesn’t have to track back

After the match, Sky Sports’ Graeme Souness tore into Ziyech.

“Big players don’t act like this…They don’t stand and watch the game like this. ‘Not my problem, someone else’s problem,'” the Scotsman said

“What Ziyech was guilty of for the third goal was just downright ‘I’m not bothered’. ‘I’m not showing any real desire to deal with the basics, which is track back.’

Ziyech

“You see him play the free-kick, you see the ball come out. Now watch him, goes forward, now he pretends he’s slipped up. What does that say about a player?

“I’m not saying by him sprinting back it prevents the goal, but just never, never know a goal might take a ricochet and you can be there to deal with it. That’s happened in training, he must have done that in training. As a manager, you’ve got to sort it out.”

From being called out for ‘pretending to slip’ and failing to track back to scoring a beautiful goal and picking up Man of the Match award. Ziyech has come a long way in 12 months…

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