Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Atlético Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday night, the final-16 first leg in Bucharest, confirms the Londoners were right Sack Frank Lampard as manager and replace him with Thomas Tuchel.
The Blues have been transformed into a solid, well-drilled unit within a month, and have passed the toughest test yet by out-thinking and outplaying the Spanish league leaders of Diego Simeon.
As told by Tuchel BT Sport Later, “We never let them breathe. We did not give them any chance to retaliate. “
There is still a second leg to come, of course, but Olivier Giroud’s surprise overhead kick puts Chelsea in an excellent position to reach the quarter-finals.
The start of the French forward was a surprise, as the 34-year-old was dropped from four of Tuchel’s eight previous line-ups, but Giroud once again proved that he was a man for the big chance.
Indeed, Giroud was Lampard’s man in the Champions League this season, also winning a key winner in Rennes on day three of the match before scoring four in Seville’s stunning innings to top Group D.
The former Arsenal forward’s goal in Romania also means he now has 18 for Chelsea in Europe, which puts him only behind Blues giants Didier Drogba and Lampard on the club’s list of all-time leading scorers.
However, while Giroud will be in the limelight for his acrobat winner, Tuchel gets the credit for this victory the most – and not just for choosing the France international.
Since taking over, the German coach has done a good job by sorting out the blues’ outline, as underlined by the fact that Atleti failed to register a single shot on target in Bucharest.
Tussell’s decision to switch to a 3-4-1-2 formation has proved crucial and even Rozeblancos boss Simeon has already had his Chelsea counterpart at Stamford Bridge for such a short period of impact Was full of praise.
“They invested a lot in young players and when they saw that the investment was not paid, they brought it to Tuchel,” he told reporters at Arena National, Argentina. “Their numbers have changed a lot since he came.”
Tuchel also deserves credit for the brave decision to leave N’Golo Kante and put his faith in Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic in midfield. However, Tucson’s initial reliance on Mason Mount suggests that he is not dismissing the previous manager’s players to prove a point.
Even when Tuchel seems wiped out, it eventually works out. Callum Hudson-Odoi was being replaced just 31 minutes after coming into last weekend’s draw at Southampton but the youngster performed brilliantly in the wing-back against Atletico.
Tuchel, it seems, can do it right now. The players are certainly happy with the fact that they are getting chances to impress everyone, while the board should be extremely satisfied with the fact that the new manager has put Chelsea back in contention for one of the top four And now they have got a positive result. Away from the last eight of the Champions League.
And what is notable is that there are still potential superstars such as Timo Werner, Kai Havert, Christian Pulisic and Hakeem Zeech trying to restore their faith.
Of course firing them is mandatory, as the next few weeks are in a big way for Chelsea, who come into the league to face Manchester United and Liverpool before taking on Sheffield United in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Chelsea hold high hopes even after investing £ 220 million ($ 275m) in the summer and they want a turbulent season to end.
They may well get their wish, however, as Won a complete victory over Atleti on Tuesday. Giroud’s tenure was brilliant, but Chelsea’s Tuchel-inspired tenacity was even more impressive – and far more important.