First win of the Tuchel era with a sprinkle of Conte.
Chelsea took on a high flying Burnley side on Sunday evening for what was in all aspects a must win game for Chelsea. It might be harsh to say being that it was Tuchel’s 2nd game but in the context of the table Chelsea could no afford to drop points once again. Chelsea delivered though in a game that the Blues dominated. Tuchel switched some players around but he sticked with a 3-4-3 of sorts as Mendy stayed in goal with Azpilicueta, Silva, and Rudiger making up the back 3. Hudson-Odoi remained at right wing back with Alonso coming out from isolation to play his first Chelsea game since September in a familiar left wing back position. Jorginho and Kovacic remained in the middle of the park with Mount and Werner playing behind Tammy Abraham. A lively lineup and one that many players interested in what would happen next.
Right from the word go Chelsea dominated possession and play but Burnley stayed strong. There were several half chances and poor first touches in the box which didn’t lead to goals from a Chelsea perspective but there was no danger at the back. In possession Chelsea were almost playing a 3-2-4-1 of sorts with Hudson-Odoi, and Alonso high up the pitch. Anything good was coming down the right hand side via Hudson-Odoi with a continuous switch of play from left to right. The first goal finally came in the 40th minute after Hudson-Odoi received the ball from Mount and he passed it towards an overlapping Azpilicueta who blasted the ball into the net to give Tuchel is first goal. Azpi ran all the way from the Chelsea box to score the goal and that was great to see.
The 2nd half began with Tuchel making a change at half time as Pulisic came on Tammy Abraham. Werner switched to the forward position with Pulisic playing alongside him and Mount playing behind the two. The switch in formation really took Chelsea to the next level as we had one of the best half’s that I have seen Chelsea have in a long time. It was just constant pressure and we easily should have had 3 or 4 goals in the 2nd half. The press from Chelsea was constant and Burnley had no chance of getting out of their own half. Mount was had so much freedom on the ball and he looked great making the passes into the wide players and playing in between the lines. Hudson-Odoi came off for Reece James, while Havertz came on for Mount late on. The final goal came in the 84th minute as Pulisic did well to create space down the left and Alonso overlapped and found the pass from the American. After chesting the ball Alonso smacked it into the roof of the net to make it 2-0. Alonso just had to score as we got 3 points to seal the deal.
Chelsea Team Review
Another clean sheet for Mendy in a game he literally had nothing to do. No shots on target for Burnley and only one shot in total which was a header that went over in extra time. Mendy could have literally slept in that half and nothing would have happened.
Azpilicueta, Silva, and Rudiger were solid once again as they snuffed out any potential threats and stopped any attacks before they even started. Thiago Silva was the one that stood out though as he was colossal at the back making headers, intercepting passes and stopping dribbles. Azpilicueta got the goal as well while Rudiger was good. It will be interesting to see whether Silva and Azpilicueta can play three games in a row but these are great starts for the defence.
Kovacic and Jorginho were metronomes in the midfield as they kept play ticking and played quick two touch passes around the Burnley midfield. The ball was continuously moving and their was a great tempo to the game with Jorginho looking particularly good. Hudson-Odoi was also good as a wing back and should have had 3 or 4 assists by the end of the game while one of his shots was deflected onto the post. Alonso was solid as he didn’t have to do much defensively and offensively he did what he usually does when he plays which is scoring brilliant goals with his left foot. Reece James was solid when he came on and should feature more in different formations.
Mount was stand out in the 2nd half as he patrolled the area right behind the strikers and really came into his own as behind Pulisic, and Werner. It was a joy to watch and Mount looked like he was enjoying himself as well. Werner was good and worked hard once again but still the goal alludes him. Tammy was ok but his hold up play wasn’t great in the 1st half and he was subbed off at half time. Pulisic did well when he came on and he got an assist for the Alonso goal. Havertz also looked bright but only had 10 minutes to make any impact.
Tuchel gets his first win for Chelsea with another dominant display against a Burnley side that had beaten Liverpool over the last week. The 3 at the back seems to be working at the moment but as he said the lineup and formations can change any time. It very much felt like Tuchel used the last 2 games to see what he has in terms of quality in the squad like two friendlies and he has been impressed by a few while some might need more time. Many more games to come but steps in the right direction for the German.
3 wins takes Chelsea to 7th, and 6 points from 4th. Next up is a big game against Mourinho and Spurs. COME ON CHELSEA!!!