ALMOST 80 minutes on the clock in Sevilla of the match between Porto and Chelsea in the Champions League, and Thomas Tuchel does something that surprises the majority of the Chelsea fans.
He brings on veteran defender Thiago Silva, alongside World Cup winning defensive midfielder N’Golo Kante.Chelsea celebrate their win over Porto[/caption]
His side were 1-0 up with ten minutes to go, and Tuchel knew exactly what he was doing.
He wanted to add experience and steel to his team in order to see the game out and get back to the home leg with a lead and an away goal, without conceding themselves.
It was a pragmatic approach from the German boss, who had the 5-2 defeat to West Brom in the back of his mind from the weekend.
He knew just how important a clean sheet would be after such a match, especially if it was in the quarter final of the Champions League.
Tuchel knew that the players might be shaky after such a heavy defeat to relegation battling West Brom.
He set his team up to win the match, but they had to grind out the result.
In fact, they ended up getting two away goals after a late one from Ben Chilwell, but it was a fantastic result that they had to grind out and may not be the type of performance usually associated to Chelsea and a Tuchel team.
These are the kind of performances and the kind of results that win you trophies, you simply cannot boss every game, and Tuchel knew tonight was all about the result and all about keeping a clean sheet regardless.Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel congratulates his players[/caption]
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Porto were a very good team and they looked the team that were up for winning the most, they looked like they wanted it more as they setup with a high and intense press, they had real energy and physicality.
Chelsea could have easily folded again tonight after the weekend’s performance.
But they dug in and they grinded out the essential victory that they will now feel will give them enough to go through to the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Tuchel has proven to be an adaptive manager who will rotate his players and use his whole squad, and he certainly did that this evening to ensure that his side came out on top in terms of the result.
We won’t see too many games where Tuchel and Chelsea will come out second best in terms of performance, but best in terms of result – but tonight was definitely one of those.