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Chelsea fans were anticipating Thomas Tuchel’s first match at the club and it is fair to say that there were promising signs. Frank Lampard’s time as the coach at the club did not benefit the club well enough and, understandably, a change had to be made.
Thomas Tuchel’s first match at Chelsea ended in a goalless draw against Wolves and there were a few positives from the game. Tuchel deployed a 3-4-2-1 formation with Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva, and Antonio Rudiger as defenders. Surprisingly, Callum Hudson-Odoi was deployed on the right side of midfield which was more like a right-wing back while Ben Chilwell was the left-wing back. Jorginho and Kovacic took the midfield spots as Ziyech and Havertz were behind Giroud in the attack.
In build-ups, Chelsea applied the 3-2 method as Azpilicueta, Silva, and Rudiger tried to build from the back with Jorginho and Kovacic as the first options to receive the ball and progress. However, Azpilicueta would sometimes push forward from the backline and join the midfield to link up with the likes of Ziyech and Hudson-Odoi at right-wing. This meant Chelsea were sometimes in a 2-3 formation at the back.
In attack, Ziyech and Pulisic were positioned between the Wolves backline and their midfield and this meant the ball progression and circulation was faster. Ziyech would mostly drop deep with would free the wing for Hudson-Odoi to operate. It was noticed that the right-wing was loaded with Ziyech, Hudson-Odoi, Jorginho, and even Azpilicueta who sometimes left the back three and strayed forward to join the midfield.
This overload was done to drag the Wolves players to the right-wing. A lot of Chelsea’s possession was on the right-wing where Ziyech, Hudson-Odoi, and Jorginho operated. This freed up a lot of space on the left-wing as a cross from Ziyech or Hudson-Odoi could easily find Giroud, Havertz, or even Chilwell, whose runs at the back post was very dangerous. However, Wolves were able to defend their box well and avert a lot of danger from Chelsea.
Out of possession, Chelsea looked to recover the ball back quickly in midfield as the Wolves players hardly had time on the ball. Azpilicueta, who moved away from the right side of the back-three to sort of form a three-man midfield meant that Chelsea could easily win the ball back as Ziyech and Pulisic were also operating in the interior channels. Chelsea did not deploy a very high press and this may be because Tuchel has hardly had enough time to teach his tactics.
While many Chelsea fans would have been expecting a win to mark Tuchel’s first start at Chelsea, it is clear that Tuchel could bring in a lot to the Chelsea side but he needs a lot of time to transfer his ideas to the players. Chelsea fans would have to be patient with Tuchel.