When Thomas Tuchel walked out for his first sport accountable for Chelsea, his new facet have been down in tenth within the desk, 4 factors behind Tottenham. Eight days on and with a 1-0 victory over their London rivals to have fun, Chelsea are three factors away from Spurs, already into the highest six and searching able to climbing somewhat additional than that.
The style of the consequence will probably be as welcome because the factors, so dominant have been Tuchel’s crew, notably within the first half when Tottenham struggled to make acquaintance with the ball. It was extra of a take a look at throughout the latter phases as Spurs chased an equaliser however four-and-a-half hours into his reign and Chelsea are but to concede a objective below their new coach.
There will probably be caveats, after all, with Jose Mourinho the quickest to level them out. It was solely Jorginho’s penalty that separated the edges on the score-sheet. Carlos Vinicius, a participant who wouldn’t have been on the pitch had the Tottenham boss been in a position to name upon Harry Kane, missed alternative together with his head that may have levelled issues up.
The bald statistics did certainly present that Edouard Mendy made extra saves than Hugo Lloris. Cling to that when you should however the paucity of ambition from the house facet was putting. This was no Mourinho masterclass and his makes an attempt to obfuscate afterwards couldn’t masks that. With out the consequence to justify the method Spurs supporters have been left feeling empty.
The trajectory of those two groups seems very completely different.
It has taken a matter of days for Tuchel to have Chelsea taking part in with confidence and elegance in a system that already appears to be working effectively. Marcos Alonso has returned in his pure wing-back position, whereas Cesar Azpilicueta is flourishing as soon as extra on the proper of a again three. The double pivot in midfield affords loads of safety for the again line.
Although the identification of the scorers thus far – the aforementioned Spanish duo and the as soon as divisive Jorginho – doesn’t precisely counsel it is a courageous new world at Chelsea, any fears that it is a lurch backwards in direction of expertise will be dismissed due to the influence of the younger Englishmen.
Callum Hudson-Odoi has began three Premier League video games in a row for the primary time in over a 12 months, impressing in quite a lot of roles. Mason Mount, omitted for Tuchel’s opening sport in opposition to Wolves, has been instrumental in Chelsea’s back-to-back wins since then.
“What makes me very joyful is he’s a pleasant man, a completely open man and has a really optimistic aura and vitality within the dressing room and out on the pitch,” stated Tuchel of Mount beforehand. He went at Tottenham with typical gusto in a man-of-the-match show.
Given the liberty to roam, he drifted over to the proper early on and with Azpilicueta raiding ahead from defence, it created an overload on that flank. Ben Davies couldn’t cope.
Mount himself described his position as that of a “false 9 dropping in as a ten” and he thrived in it, ending the sport having created essentially the most probabilities, put in essentially the most crosses and accomplished essentially the most passes within the opposition half of any participant on both crew.
Solely Alonso coated extra floor. Mount may need been a Frank Lampard favorite however it has not taken lengthy for him to endear himself to Tuchel both. He’s having fun with himself.
It’s simple to see why each Chelsea participant is having fun with taking part in on this crew. That they had 68 per cent of the ball within the first half having dominated their first two matches below Tuchel too.
Chelsea had 5 instances as many touches within the opposition field as Wolves, 4 instances as many as Burnley, and needed to accept 3 times as many touches as Tottenham – 39 to 13. They’re a crew that love the ball however they’re surrendering only a few probabilities with out it both.
Spurs did at the least drive Mendy right into a save – a simple one from Heung-Min Son that stopped the clock at 185 minutes below Tuchel earlier than his crew had conceded an effort heading in the right direction. It was one other 74 minutes till the following one, a better save from Erik Lamela. Each makes an attempt have been from exterior the field. Chelsea look rock-solid on this formation.
It’s why Mourinho’s evaluation of the match felt so reductive. He had spoken earlier than kick-off of the necessity to construct foundations earlier than his Tottenham crew may hope to be so expansive, however right here was Tuchel, one week into the job, setting a facet up that would construct play from the again, progressing the ball by means of the thirds, whereas nonetheless sustaining defensive form.
Chelsea have the personnel, maybe, however Tottenham’s transformation within the second half added weight to the concept this was an issue of mindset somewhat than high quality.
Tuchel is already altering Chelsea’s and whereas it is just early days for him at Stamford Bridge, that appears like an argument in his favour somewhat than a trigger for warning.
They’re taking part in with fluidity and organisation, threatening in assault whereas remaining defensively sturdy. Now solely 4 factors exterior the highest 4, they’re upwardly cell once more and the overriding feeling is that there’s extra to come back from Tuchel’s Chelsea.
Mourinho’s Tottenham are transferring in one other path completely.