Tonight was a “revenge game”. A match for Chelsea to prove their worth against Juventus, who were victors over a month ago in Turin, and showcase who really is the top dog in Group H. With a 4-0 final score, it would be more than reasonable to say that Chelsea emphatically put their stamp through their ticket to the round of 16 in the Champions League.
For manager Thomas Tuchel, tonight was a night to revel in his team’s outstanding performance. Chelsea sent out a message that the defending Champions of Europe are a force to be reckoned with in this year’s tournament.
“It was a very strong performance and outstanding result. We knew we had to be patient but, at the same time, we were responsible for the rhythm and intensity and we had to take care of the details: when to accelerate the game, when we can be sharper than in the first match.
“The team did this and it was a great performance from everybody. Credit to the players. What an effort and attitude. To score so many goals against a team that defend so well is an amazing achievement.
“Fantastic evening for us with a great result and it’s important now to enjoy it, but not get carried away. Tomorrow is a day off for the players and they fully deserve it. From Thursday afternoon, we prepare for the next match.”
Perhaps the proverbial cherry on top will be the stat and narrative most proponents of Chelsea will be reading on social media for the next few days: Chelsea’s victory over Juventus was driven by three academy graduates.
Trevoh Chalobah expertly scored Chelsea’s first with a fantastically taken goal on the half-volley. Reece James continued his fine form with an absolutely banger into the far corner, adding to his collection of goals this season and more credence as to why he should be England’s first choice. Callum Hudson-Odoi put the finishing touches on a lovely sequence of play that showed why Chelsea’s youthful exuberance outclassed Juventus’ aging defensive play.
“Yes, the crowd loves it and I am convinced everybody loves it. This is what makes teams special. Not only the superstars and the best players from abroad which we also have.
“It is the mix and to have talented and humble guys from the academy full of quality and it is their biggest dream to perform at Stamford Bridge to perform in blue, to be part of a strong Chelsea team. This is so nice to be part of it. It is another excellent day for the academy.
“Full credit to them. It is a pleasure to have these boys and I strongly believe that this is a huge part of the success that we have this mix between home-grown talented top players.”
Tuchel shrugged off a question “teed up” for a sound byte on criticism that Chelsea is a defensive team. We live in an unfortunate time when the noise from the peanut gallery in the age of social media creeps its way out of the bowels from whence it came.
Casuals will point to a clean sheet and call the tactics too defensive — and yet, Chelsea currently have earned themselves a spot near the top of both the Premier League and Champions League tables in rank of goals scored.
Tuchel was keen enough to shift focus onto his team and the collective mentality which continues to surge through his team and their form.
“I don’t listen too much to what people say about us. I feel into my team and staff what we feel comfortable [with] and I think us from day one were very brave in our approach to defending. We had instantly a lot of ball possession and from there we tried to create chances and to be dangerous.
“Then comes a new season and we try to recreate it. The group is a bit new and things are like this, in some moments things come easier and you catch momentum. This is clearly the case now and full credit to the guys.
“We are not worried what people say about us. We want to be strong in all parts of this game. It is a complex game: some moments you have to defend strong and some you find the spaces to attack a bit easier than others.
“It is so complex and we do this together. It stays a team effort and it is the outstanding characteristic of this team. It is a strong group, a determined group, a hungry group, and it’s a pleasure to coach them.
“So full credit to them and from here we go. There is no need to get carried away and we want to continue.”
-Thomas Tuchel; Source: Football.London