The hunt is on! Tuchel & Chelsea ship a message to Pep by ending Man Metropolis’s quadruple dream
All of the speak forward of kick-off in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley had been about Manchester Metropolis’s quadruple bid however by the point the full-time whistle had blown, Chelsea proved that they’ll beat Pep Guardiola’s aspect.
And that is all down to at least one man: Thomas Tuchel.
Earlier than this totally deserved 1-0 victory, the German had by no means beforehand bought the higher of Guardiola as a coach.
When the pair had beforehand squared off in Germany, they had been by no means fairly competing on a stage enjoying subject, even after Tuchel had swapped Mainz for Borussia Dortmund. There was simply no stopping Guardiola’s Bayern Munich.
Nonetheless, Tuchel has since moved on to greater and higher issues, taking Paris Saint-Germain to a primary Champions League closing final 12 months earlier than being appointed as Frank Lampard’s successor in January.
As on the Parc des Princes, Tuchel now has the sources to rival these of Guardiola at Metropolis, and he has now proven himself able to making a significant impression on English soccer.
He is already had a large affect at Stamford Bridge, after all, dropping simply two of his first 19 video games accountable for Chelsea. And simply this week, he led his new group to the semi-finals of the Champions League, which means the Blues might but meet Metropolis once more this season, with a European Cup on the road.
On the proof of what we noticed at Wembley, Chelsea would fancy their possibilities. Certainly, they had been good worth for his or her Fifty fifth-minute opener, which got here courtesy of Hakim Ziyech.
For as soon as, Metropolis had been unable to hog the ball, with a assured Chelsea aspect claiming a 49.5 per cent share of possession throughout the first half.
“When you’ve got good ball possession in opposition to Metropolis, possibly it’s the easiest way to defend,” Tuchel instructed reporters after the sport. “However we had been very sturdy in the defensive statistics too, and is all the way down to the braveness of the gamers, each as people and as a group.
“We defended very, very actively and aggressively, with large solidarity. Everybody must assault and defend. That’s the key.”
Tuchel’s strategy definitely pressured a tactical change on the a part of Guardiola, who clearly instructed his aspect to press larger up the pitch after the restart.
No sooner had they moved their defensive position ahead than Chelsea pounced, with Mason Mount releasing the lightning-quick Timo Werner, who crossed for Ziyech to faucet residence.
It was simply the most recent in an extended line of intelligent tactical tweaks Tuchel has made since taking up, and finally determined the sport in his aspect’s favour.
It was a purpose that additionally confirmed that Tuchel has a masterful maintain of this squad, rotating successfully after a midweek combination win over Porto within the Champions League quarter-final.
It was after that match in Seville that Tuchel additionally opted to maintain his gamers within the south of Spain for an additional night time. They stayed of their bubble however took outing for some hard-earned group bonding.
He allowed them a drop of alcohol, an opportunity to let off some steam throughout probably the most pressurised a part of the season.
In fact, not everybody has benefited from Tuchel’s arrival, as underlined by Tammy Abraham’s omission from the matchday squad despite the fact that the FA Cup permits a nine-man bench.
Nonetheless, there isn’t a denying that star summer season signings Kai Havertz and Werner have progressed beneath his management, whereas Christian Pulisic can also be again on kind.
There are many homegrown heroes within the combine too, with Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James all retaining distinguished roles in Tuchel’s group.
The underside line is that, after simply three-and-a-half months, Tuchel has proven that Chelsea are able to compete for main honours once more. With this win, he has already turn into the primary German supervisor to succeed in an FA Cup closing.
That he has achieved that little piece of historical past by beating Guardiola is arguably much more important.
“It was an excellent efficiency in all issues and all topics of the sport,” Tuchel continued. “It’s clear that we want that to beat the benchmark of the Premier League which is Metropolis. I’m very, very comfortable we might try this and it was a deserved win.”
Man Metropolis stay one of the best group within the Premier League, because the desk proves. However Tuchel mentioned on Friday that Chelsea intend to “hunt” Guardiola’s group.
Saturday’s victory proved they’re greater than able to catching them.