In Thomas Tuchel’s unveiling press conference back in January, the new Chelsea boss made a bold promise to his new supporters. “We will build a team that nobody wants to play against. And that’s the challenge for me to do that as quickly as possible.”
Those were powerful fighting words from the German having picked up a squad lacking confidence, struggling for wins and looking at a pretty big slog of a campaign to finish.
Within months, Chelsea were the Champions of Europe. Ending a once troubled season in historic fashion. At the start of this one, Tuchel’s team look even stronger hoping to plot a strong Premier League title charge and the point away at Liverpool on Saturday evening will only help bolster that goal.
After wins against Crystal Palace and Arsenal, Liverpool was a clear step up in quality and it showed from minute one.
With a two week international break after this match, as soon as that moment of madness happened with Reece James sent off and a Liverpool equaliser from the spot, it became a hold on to what you have type of game.
Chelsea, down to ten men for half of the match held on to a draw. This was one of those Chelsea performances that we have seen when our backs are against the wall. Away to Barcelona in the 2012 Champions League run springs to my mind in terms of hard work all of the team put in, or a classic Jose Mourinho type of result which we saw at Anfield in 2014.
Going away to one of our toughest travels and walking away with a point is a very good one under the circumstances.
The heart and desire to not let this result slip was clear to see in the determined and resolute second-half display. The shift Marcos Alonso put in going up and down the pitch was brilliant, given his mobility is sometimes questioned.
Following the break, Thomas Tuchel brought N’Golo Kante off that looks to have picked up an injury which is a big concern given the French midfielder missed the opening game of the season due to an ankle injury. Tuchel confirmed following the match that it was the same area that kept him out before, only further highlighting the need for a new midfielder before the transfer deadline.
Goalscorer Kai Havertz was also brought off at the interval as Tuchel looked to get more security for the attacking pressure Liverpool were set to put on us.
Thiago Silva came on at the break and looked very solid and assured. With a swift backline reshuffle following James’s dismissal, Thiago Silva went into the centre-centre back role, Andreas Christensen moved over one to right centre and Cesar Azpilicueta took the role of right wing-back even if he didn’t do much attacking.
Mateo Kovacic came on for Kante but it was a very tough task to control the game as was possible in the first half with a man down, but the Croatian became a very good outlet in relieving pressure from Chelsea’s deep defence.
Thomas Tuchel used his last change of the game to bring on Trevoh Chalobah to add more energy in midfield for Jorginho who this week won UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award, but showed signs of being tiredness.
Chalobah got straight into the action and won a good tackle and header minutes after coming on. The interesting fact he trusted Chalobah in such a way with minutes remaining and in a midfield role is one to keep an eye on as the season goes on.
This all comes back to Tuchel’s original pledge when taking up the role. Chelsea may not have truly dented Liverpool, but they frustrated and demoralised them from a position of strength. Klopp’s men clearly became increasingly frustrated by the lack of space presented by Tuchel’s menacing defence and looked out of invention by the last ten minutes.
Chelsea look a formidable outfit this year, and with Romelu Lukaku’s goals look poised to be one of the hunters to Pep Guardiola’s crown. Not a lot of teams want to play Chelsea right now and that is a sign of how brilliant a job Tuchel is doing at Stamford Bridge.
Let me know in the comments section what you thought of the performance and the sending off. Follow our new Chelsea Fan Brand Writer Daniel Childs and Scott Clayton on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.
Source by Football London