Football

Two-goal Havertz hopes to keep starting spot against Real Madrid

Chelsea midfielder Kai Havertz hopes his two goals in the Blues' 2-0 win over Fulham yesterday morning (Singapore time) will help him retain his starting spot in Thursday morning's Champions League semi-final, second leg with Real Madrid.

The 21-year-old, who was a substitute in last week's 1-1 first-leg draw in Madrid, scored in both halves at Stamford Bridge to give manager Thomas Tuchel a timely reminder of his quality.

Havertz opened his account in the 10th minute after latching on to Mason Mount's pass and doubled his tally in the 49th minute following a slick move with Timo Werner, who picked out his German compatriot with a pinpoint pass.

"This win is crucial for us and now on Wednesday another tough game," Havertz told Sky Sports as the Blues tightened their grip on the English Premier League's fourth spot.

"It felt good to score early, that gave me confidence. For me, it's always good to score and I'm happy to help the team with goals. I hope I can continue on Wednesday like this. I'm always desperate to start games."

Tuchel admitted that Havertz's performance gave him a selection headache ahead of Los Blancos' visit.

"He took his chance, he showed up, and this is what we need all the time," said the German, who rested players such as Cesar Azpilicueta and Jorginho.

Real beat Osasuna 2-0 in La Liga yesterday morning with goals from Eder Militao and Casemiro.

Real coach Zinedine Zidane omitted captain Sergio Ramos, who was fit and available for selection, and left Toni Kroos and Luka Modric on the bench.

There could be a fresh injury concern, though, as centre-back Raphael Varane was taken off at half-time.

Said Zidane: "We know we can win (La Liga and the Champions League). I won't say that we will win them, but we're going... to try." - REUTERS

Football