Spurs 0-3 Chelsea – Nuno reaction
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Thomas Tuchel is undoubtedly one of Chelsea’s best managers of the Premier League era already and has taken the league by storm in similar fashion to predecessor Antonio Conte as he continues to breeze his way through English competitions.
Tuchel won the Champions League within the first four months of his tenure, defeating Manchester City 1-0 in Portugal to win the club’s second ever Champions League title.
And after a solid start to his first full league season picking up 13 points from a possible 15 and conceding just once, Tuchel has wowed fans across Europe.
His attacking play probably isn’t the most exciting of the managers in the league – Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool are all easier on the eye in terms of their attacking prowess – but Chelsea’s defensive stability and resilience is the most admirable in England’s top flight.
Chelsea have only conceded one goal in the league thus far, and even then it was a contentious penalty awarded in the well-earned 1-1 draw against Liverpool.
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Tuchel’s tactics have improved Chelsea’s players and the concentration and consistency of the Blues’ defensive contingent looks as though it could win them the league, just as it did under Conte.
The common denominator in Tuchel and Conte’s success at the club is Marcos Alonso.
The 30-year-old has one goal and one assist having started all five of Chelsea’s five Premier League matches as a left-sided wing-back this season.
Alonso was a key signing from Fiorentina in the summer of Conte’s arrival, scoring six goals in 31 Premier League games as they romped to the title by seven points.
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In fact, the only players from the title-winning side of 2016/17 that remain at Chelsea are Cesar Azpilicueta and N’Golo Kante – a brilliant trio to have which is full of experience.
And arguably alongside Romelu Lukaku, they are the four most important players so far in Tuchel’s reign this season.
Ben Chilwell was signed by Frank Lampard in a bid to stake his place as one of the world’s best young left-backs.
But having been a key part of the Englishman’s system – starting 16 games in a row under his wing – Chilwell fell out of favour with Tuchel.
His longest run of consecutive starts under the German was just three, which came at the end of last season.
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Chilwell is a brilliant player, but Alonso has more attacking quality when it comes to wing-play and has started the current campaign incredibly well.
With Europe’s best defence mopping up behind him in the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, there is less onus on the wing-backs to defend and more onus on them to stretch the pitch and provide an outlet for Chelsea’s midfielders and attackers.
And with Alonso able to press higher up, score freely and having arguably the best set-piece delivery at the club, it is easy to see why Tuchel has replicated Conte’s thinking by utilising the Spaniard’s offensive abilities.
If Chelsea can continue to stay solid at the back while making the most of Alonso, just as Conte did, then perhaps Stamford Bridge will witness another title lift in May.
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