Thomas Tuchel has been impressive in his start to life as Chelsea manager and now has 6 wins and 2 draws in 8 games in all competitions including the impressive 1 nil win in the first leg of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League round-of-16 clash against Atletico Madrid in Bucharest.
The Blues’ style of play has changed under the former PSG boss as they focus more on keeping possession and dictating play whilst building from the back.
The issue of building from the back has been a challenge for most clubs who lack the personnel that are skilled in passing the ball and keeping possession, especially the defenders, and the Blues have shown signs of struggles under the German in these early stages.
Chelsea emerged victoriously over the leading table toppers in La Liga in a game that was described as Thomas Tuchel’s major test since he assumed the managerial helm at Stamford Bridge.
However, the Blues didn’t suffer in the game and dominated play as this was shown in the possession stats after the game.
Moreso, the Spaniards who couldn’t welcome the Blues at Wanda Metropolitano but at Bucharest due to coronavirus travel restrictions didn’t get a shot on goal with Mendy being at rest for most of the game.
The Blues were up for it but things could have gone sour in the first 2 minutes of the game when an attempt to build from the back resulted in a miscued pass by goalkeeper Edouard Mendy. However, Tuchel’s men survived the scare as the Atletico Madrid attack failed to capitalize.
Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid is one team you shouldn’t go down to in a high-profile game due to their propensity to ‘park the bus’ effectively. They’ve been adventurous this season though, but Chelsea’s possession-based style under Tuchel stifled them and forced them to sit back.
Meanwhile, a case could be made for the Spaniards with regards to the venue of the game but it’s no one’s fault. They must now travel to Stamford Bridge and attack Chelsea if they want to qualify to the next stage.
With them at a disadvantage ahead of the second leg, they must throw caution to the wind and this could cost them. But then, Atletico Madrid under Simeone rarely throw caution to the wind in games.
Regardless, the Blues have won their biggest game yet under Thomas Tuchel and they were very impressive in the process. They’ll now turn their attention to the Premier League where they travel to face Manchester United at Old Trafford in another big test.
It seems the supposed big tests are now coming quick and fast for Tuchel and we wait to see how they fare against a decent Manchester United side in the race for a top-four finish.