It wasn’t exactly our finest hour (and a half) on Tuesday evening in Malmö, but we got what we came for in the end, namely the win and all three points to set us up in good position for the last two group games — in fact, combined with Juventus’ 4-2 win over Zenit, we’re now one foot in the next round already.
While Chelsea’s levels were below what we’ve seen recently, where we lacked the most was in terms of clinical finishing. Getting just 1 goal from over 20 shots and an xG of around 3 is certainly not great, but we got the one moment of quality — after switching the two wingers at half-time as per his assistant’s advice* — that was enough to make the difference.
“Well, we got the job done. [We] needed the result, we wanted the result and we got the result.
“We had a lot of shots and touches in the first half but we were not clinical enough and couldn’t score. We wanted to increase the intensity level in the second half to force a goal and then in the moment of highest pressure, we were able to use the one moment with precision.
“After that we had some chances to get a second one which we didn’t. Control was on our side, we did not suffer through difficult situations in our box. Not at all. We never lost concentration.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
Job done. Enough said.
*Tuchel did not mention which assistant it was exactly (UPDATE: it was Arno Michels), but it came down to getting balls into the area faster by cutting out the cutbacks: “We liked it to have two right footed on the right side and two left footed on the left side. We had the feeling that maybe we could enter into the spaces behind Malmo’s low block that we maybe lose important seconds if they have to switch the ball back onto their strong foot, then their No.8s were closing spaces.”