Harder than we wanted it to be..
Chelsea travelled to bottom of the table Sheffield United for MW 23 of the Premier League season and came back to London with 3 points. Tuchel once again made some changes as we switched to a 3-5-2. Mendy started in goal with Azpilicueta, Chritstensen, and Rudiger making up the back 3. Reece James and Chilwell started as they wing backs with Jorginho and Kovacic remaining in the middle. Mount started behind Giroud and Werner. It’s safe to say that lineup predictions can be thrown out of the window at this point because we could see something different every week.
Chelsea began the game on the front foot but it wasn’t smooth sailing because Sheffield United actually pressed the likes of Jorginho, and Rudiger to force mistakes. There wasn’t as much time on the ball so it took some time to get adjusted to the tempo. There were several corners in the opening half but none that led to anything and Sheffield United barely had a sniff of the ball apart from the odd chance. The first goal came in the 43rd minute as Chilwell played a brilliant ball into Werner who cut back his pass to find Mount in the box and he finished it past Ramsdale with his left foot. A very well worked goal and one that made Tuchel and fans happy.
The 2nd half started in similar fashion with both teams exchanging possession and being sloppy in it. Chelsea had more of the ball though as expected but Rudiger made a massive error as his back pass turned into an own goal which gave Sheffield United an equaliser in the 55th minute. Chelsea responded back immediately though as Werner was brought down by Ramsdale in the box and after a lengthy VAR check for no apparent reason the penalty was finally given. Jorginho stepped up and converted the foul to restore Chelsea’s lead. Hudson-Odoi, Kante, and Alonso came on during the tail end of the 2nd half to see the game through. The final few minutes had some decent chances for Sheffield United but Chelsea were able to deal with it.
Chelsea Team Review
No clean sheet for Mendy today due to the communication error with Rudiger, but other than that he did make saves when called upon and made one crucial one right at the end of the game to get 3 points for the team.
Azpilicueta and Christensen were solid for 90 minutes and Christensen particularly impressed having come in for Silva. The Dane handled the physicality well and was able to advance the ball on a couple of occasions. Rudiger was decent, but the blunder with the own goal just reminded people of what he could do. The German did redeem himself with some key blocks during the final 15 minutes. Reece James and Chilwell were solid although they didn’t get too much joy down the flanks in this game. Alonso came on for Chilwell in the 2nd half and did well in managing the 3 points.
Jorginho and Kovacic started again both played well for the duration of the game. Jorginho got the winning goal with his trademark penalty while Kovacic did what he does best by taking care of the midfield. Mason Mount was really good once again playing behind the two strikers and he got a goal to boot. Until the end of the game Mason was running down loose passes and gaining the advantage for Chelsea. A really rich vein of form for him. Kante came on as well and was decent as he continues to gain fitness.
Werner was crucial to both goals which got him man of the match. The only thing missing was a goal for himself but the German continues to play better more centrally. Giroud didn’t have the best of games and was quite, struggling to play the pressing game. Hudson-Odoi came on for Giroud late on and he was lively as usual. Callum managed the game well in the final few minutes.
That ends an introduction to defensive football a la Premier League for Tuchel with 3 wins and a draw from his first 4 games. It’s all about taking it a game a time and then eventually we will see where we are. The German continues to impress though.
The win takes Chelsea to 5th in the table a point behind Liverpool and 4 points behind Leicester. The area right outside the top four is getting packed and under Tuchel we are right back in the thick of things. Lot’s to improve on but steps in the right direction. COME ON CHELSEA!!!