Thomas Tuchel was full of praise for his Chelsea charges after Saturday’s midday win against resurgent Burnley, who had come in the back of three consecutive wins to go along with their usual burley bur(n)ley-ness.
But Chelsea controlled proceedings once again, certainly in the second half, and while some pundits were less than impressed, Tuchel certainly had no shortage of praise for the men in Blue.
“The performance itself, for me it was very complete, both defensively and offensively. We had to be very, very strong physically against many powerful players and with may duels in the air. We had to fight for the second ball, and you have to be very aware for all the second balls that fly back again in your back.
“But we did the work, with the three centre-backs and two sixes absolutely outstanding. The two guys on the sides did a lot of effort to support, and the front three supported the defensive work too. We managed to concede only one shot, which was absolutely amazing.
“And importantly we never lost patience, we controlled the game, created a lot of chances, and were very good in the counter-pressing. So overall very happy that we got this well-deserved win.”
Chelsea had nearly 20 shots, controlled 70 per cent of possession, and restricted the visitors to one effort on goal, and that in the dying moments of the match after the points had been long secured thanks to excellent finishes from César Azpilicueta late in the first and Marcos Alonso late in the second half.
Our possession numbers have been rather Sarri-ball-esque, for better or worse, in Tuchel’s first two games, but with a bit better finishing, we could’ve certainly racked up a few more goals today. There is some method behind the inert madness of sideways passing, and the head coach sees it as a good fit for the players he has available — both in terms of quality and, for many, probably familiarity, too.
“[The style] is the quality of the players, the structure that we gave them and from there they did very well. They have the confidence to keep the ball and when we have the ball, the intensity that we put in when we lose it.
“We have intensive runs as well. Ball possession alone means nothing but if we have the ability to control the games then why not use it.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
The plan worked well today, better than in the first game. Next up: Mourinho’s Spurs, in what will definitely be an intriguing edition in the rivalry, in every aspect including tactical.