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Tuchel hint at key Chelsea tactical shift that saw them through vs Tottenham

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Tuchel opens up on Chelsea formation change vs Tottenham

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel speaks about changing his side’s shape against Tottenham Hotspur

Speaking after his side’s 2-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur last night (f/t football.london), Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel spoke about changing his team’s formation against Spurs and playing with four defenders at the back, saying it could be one way forward for the Blues in upcoming matches.

Chelsea went into the game without a win in their previous four Premier League games but came up trumps yet again over Spurs, who they have now faced for the third time in a month. The Blues breezed past a lacklustre Tottenham side, who had a goal disallowed in the first half for a tackle on Thiago Silva by Harry Kane.

Tuchel talked about using a four-man defence against the Lilywhites, which is a departure from his preferred style of having three at the back, and said the system gave his side a chance to get past Spurs’ high press. The German had previously employed this tactic against the same opponents across both legs of the Carabao Cup semi-final, using it to great effect to claim victories in both matches.

“We changed the tactics in the first match against Tottenham and we reacted to it. We felt it gave us solutions to escape the high pressing without having wing-backs. Trevoh had one training session and Andreas wasn’t available.”

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel spoke about changing his team's formation against Spurs and playing with four defenders at the back.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel spoke about changing his team’s formation against Spurs and playing with four defenders at the back.

Chelsea were the better side in the opening period, and they established their dominance in the second half, scoring twice in the space of ten minutes, through Hakim Ziyech and Thiago Silva. This was Ziyech’s second goal in as many games, and the Moroccan once again put the Blues ahead with a strike from a distance that gave Spurs captain Hugo Lloris no chance to save.

Ziyech was the subject of controversy in Chelsea’s last game against Brighton, reacting with a muted celebration on the pitch after giving his side the lead, as well as being embroiled in an animated discussion with his teammate Romelu Lukaku at half-time. The 28-year-old seemed to put it all behind him last night, curling in a sumptuous effort into the Spurs net from outside the box.

Tuchel acknowledged the change in formation in his side, attempting to give his side an advantage in the game and set up the right kind of players in good positions that give his side more options.

“It’s one way forward. We tried a 4-1-4-1 formation today because we tried a 4-4-2 in the first match and that gave us an advantage but then they reacted in the second match. So we thought it could be an approach to give us a solution in the last matches and we had players for the formation, players who should be on the pitch in good positions, it gives us more options.”

Tuchel acknowledged the change in formation in his side, attempting to give his side an advantage in the game and set up the right kind of players in good positions that give his side more options
Tuchel acknowledged the change in formation in his side, attempting to give his side an advantage in the game and set up the right kind of players in good positions that give his side more options.

Last night’s win takes us to within a point of Liverpool in the second spot in the Premier League table. Spurs meanwhile lie in seventh place, although they have two games in hand and are only two points off fourth place to ensure Champions League qualification.

Antonio Conte’s Tottenham side did not put up much of a fight after finding themselves down two goals so early into the second half, drawing just the one save from Kepa Arrizabalaga, although it was a fine late stop to deny Kane to ensure we kept a clean sheet.

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The night concluded what was yet another painful trip to Stamford Bridge for Tottenham as they suffered a third loss in as many games against Chelsea in January. The Lilywhites seem to be out of ideas and solutions to overcome Tuchel’s side, who have now put five goals past Spurs in three games this month, while not conceding a single goal so far.

Tottenham will feel they were unlucky to have Kane’s goal ruled out for a foul on Silva, in what seemed like a 50/50 challenge that could have gone either way. Despite going into halftime goalless at the break and keeping things at parity, Spurs did nothing to redeem themselves in the second half as Chelsea came flying out of the blocks, putting the north London side to the sword in ten action-packed minutes.

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