Timo Werner was Chelsea’s designated penalty taker at times last season but he did not step up in the shootout with Aston Villa in the third round of the Carabao Cup
Timo Werner claims injury prevented him from stepping up in Chelsea’s penalty shootout with Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup.
Werner opened the scoring in the second half of the third-round tie with a well-timed header from Reece James’ pinpoint cross.
The Blues were pegged back 10 minutes later as Villa drew level through youngster Cameron Archer, taking the game went to penalties at Stamford Bridge.
Romelu Lukaku, Mason Mount and Ross Barkley converted their efforts before Ben Chilwell struck the bar for the hosts, but James ensured they reached the fourth round by scoring the decisive fifth penalty after two Villa misses.
Werner has been Chelsea’s designated penalty taker in the past and he also took spot kicks for previous club RB Leipzig, so it was surprising he did not take one against Villa.
But the 25-year-old explained he was unable to step up due to feeling a twinge in his calf in the second half, by which time Thomas Tuchel had already made all of his permitted substitutions.
“I had some pain in my calf but with only three substitutes, I couldn’t go off,” said Werner after the match.
“But when you have fit players on the pitch, it’s better they shoot than me today.”
The Germany forward has only made one start in the top flight this season, with Romelu Lukaku the first-choice No.9 after his £97.5million arrival from Inter Milan this summer.
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But Tuchel insists Werner still has an important place in his squad and hinted he could use him alongside Lukaku in attack.
“He (Werner) gave us a clear impression of how dangerous he and Romelu can be together,” said the Chelsea manager ahead of the Carabao Cup tie.
“The stuff that you don’t see, in training sessions, he’s more relaxed, more fluid in his movements, with more confidence.
“That’s why he came on early against Tottenham, there are clear signs he is in a good way and he can prove it tomorrow (Wednesday).
“Timo was in better positions and we had him in dangerous positions around Romelu. And he got an assist… he moves smart, he’s free and his decision making is with more confidence.
“Hopefully he can push himself and keep that momentum going.”
Chelsea will host Southampton in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup in late October.