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Sterling, Koulibaly performances among many positives for Tuchel from Chelsea’s friendly win over Udinese

Much better!

While Chelsea have another (untelevised?) split-squad friendly today (Saturday) against Udinese, last night’s match at the Stadio Friuli was the last official friendly on the preseason slate, and our 3-1 victory should provide a nice positive springboard into the season proper that starts next weekend.

(UPDATE: It’ll be televised, and soon!)

Of course, more so than the result, the real positives in this game were the individual and collective performances, especially with the fluid front-three of Mason Mount, Raheem Sterling, and Kai Havertz showing some good early understanding and promising interplay, and Kalidou Koulibaly slotting in quite comfortably next to Thiago Silva on the left edge of the back-three.

Speaking to in-house media (there was no official post-match conference), a notably less sour Thomas Tuchel gave praise to both of our big summer signings, as well as the team in general, but obviously was not getting carried away by making easy work of a mid-table Serie A side in a preseason friendly.

“We trained a lot this week, especially two days ago so we did not have the freshest legs. But we have a lot of positive things to take away from this game.

“It’s a good performance, it’s a good result, we could’ve scored much more, should’ve scored much more. But overall, it’s a lot of positive stuff to take away from this. [Still] we need to improve, we are not ready yet. We don’t have to be ready yet, we have another week and then it’s the time to be on the best level and there’s still some way to go.

“[Sterling] had chances, very heavily involved in other chances, it was a good performance.

“[Koulibaly] deserves (the praise). A very, very good signing. A strong personality, a strong player and happy that he could play 70 minutes now. He’s getting fitter and fitter which is very important for us for the start of the season.”

-Thomas Tuchel; source: Chelsea TV via Absolute Chelsea

From here we go.

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