LONDON — A little over a week since Thomas Tuchel was named as Chelsea’s new manager, the German delivered a statement result against the club’s bitter rivals on Thursday with a display that augurs well for the rest of the season.
A 0-0 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers and a 2-0 win over Burnley represented a solid enough start to one of the most demanding jobs in European football, but beating a Tottenham Hotspur side managed by Jose Mourinho 1-0 away will have won over any sceptical Chelsea fans.
After a dreadful run of two wins in eight games which cost club great Frank Lampard his job, Chelsea are suddenly oozing confidence across the pitch.
They completely outplayed Tottenham for 75 minutes and the only worry for Tuchel was that they did not manage to add to the penalty dispatched by Jorginho midway through the first half.
Young English duo Reece James and Callum Hudson-Odoi caused havoc down the right, German striker Timo Werner looked dangerous again and Mason Mount, given a new role as a false nine, showed the kind of tactical flexibility Tuchel loves.
Chelsea have risen to sixth in the league and a top-four finish is once again looking within their grasp.
On top of that Tuchel became the first Chelsea manager to keep clean sheets in his first three Premier League games in charge since Mourinho did the same when arriving in 2004.
Tuchel, however, modestly played down his impact, preferring to heap praise on his players.
“We are super happy about the result,” Tuchel, who cut an animated figure on the touchline in the driving rain, said.
“It’s not about my methods. I’m happy with the attitude, the squad, the potential. They are fine guys, it’s a nice group and they are open. It’s a pleasure to be around them.
“We have a lot of support in the whole club. It was a quick start but an easy one because I feel very welcome.”
Tuchel’s main concern was a lack of “killer instinct” from his side who almost let Tottenham back into the game in the closing stages. But it would have been an injustice had Chelsea not taken only three points.
“We need to create more clear chances, this is the objective and this is the job for me,” Tuchel, who took Paris St Germain to two French league titles, said.
“I blame nobody because I never scored in my career, it is one of the hardest things in football. We have trust in our players so we will work on creating more clear chances and to be more effective.”— Reuters