Thomas Tuchel’s Mourinho-esque start to his Chelsea career continued with a scoreless draw against Manchester United, which maintained our most excellent defensive record (just 2 conceded in the 9 games so far), but also kept up our far less excellent attacking habits (just 10 scored in that same span).
Granted, Manchester United are tough to beat on the road (20 unbeaten away from Old Trafford now) and our recent record against them is rather poor (seven without a win in the league), but ultimately what decided that game was that unlike against Atlético Madrid in midweek, that one moment of absolute quality did not arrive. And when you play in a way that creates few such moments, each one takes on utmost importance.
“I had the feeling we deserved to win, but on this level, the details decide. Maybe there are not a lot of chances, and we needed luck which we also didn’t have.
“It was a strong second half performance, good energy, lot of courage, very aggressive and good performance in the second half.”
In isolation, a draw isn’t the worst result, matching the result from the reverse fixture earlier this season, and certainly improving on our home and away defeats from last season.
But in the context of the current standings and our fight for the top-four, it’s another two points dropped, and four points dropped over the last two weekends, making the margins going forward even more miniscule. As things stand, we are still one point out of fourth but also now (probably) just one point ahead of sixth place Liverpool, whom we play next, on Thursday at Anfield. (Liverpool are in action against bottom of the table Sheffield United right now.)
“Clearly would have been a big step but cannot wish for results. United winning would have made the difference even bigger.
“We tried everything to win. We prepared everything to win, we did not talk about other matches, and we are in the middle of the battle for top four.
“We closed the gap very, very quickly and now this is the moment to hang in, show performances every three, four days, and this demands a lot. We are still in the battle and that’s the good news. This could have been a big step for us, but it is not the last step or the decisive step.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
Every point counts of course, but we have 13 games left this season, and it’s going to be an absolute grind. Steel yourselves.