3 things Chelsea Fans Should Note From Their UCL Clash Vs Juventus
We witnessed many moments of explosive drama throughout an outstanding night of Champions League football.
Here’s what you might have missed from Chelsea’s Wednesday’s matchday two actions.
1. Chelsea must think and react:
Since Thomas Tuchel took over as manager, Chelsea hasn’t lost two consecutive competitive games. Yes, they lost back-to-back games to Arsenal and Leicester, but the league game was a non-event. Tuchel’s teams have always rebounded from losses with a win, but not tonight.
Of course, it wasn’t through a lack of effort. Chelsea unleashed their full attacking might in a desperate attempt to break down the Italians after Federico Chiesa blasted Juve into a shock lead early in the second half.
Unfortunately for them, they were unable to convert any of their 12 second-half chances, and must now sit and consider what changes they can make, as the team simply does not seem the same without N’Golo Kanté and Mason Mount. It’s all well and good to be defensive, but if you can’t have good looks at goal, you can’t win games, and even the most stalwart defences will crumble.
2. Back in Italy, Lukaku fumbles his lines:
Lukaku went to Italy as a promising young player and returned as one of the top strikers in the world. And upon his initial return to Italy, he resembled the frustrated forward he was at United rather than the tyrant he became at Inter.
They dominated Juve, especially in the second half, but Lukaku fluffed his lines horribly (as he tended to do against Juve). The Belgian squandered a hat-trick of chances that he could have converted almost automatically. The fact that he didn’t even reach the target, especially on his left-footed attempt, was concerning for Chelsea, who rely on his goals to make them a dangerous attacking force.
That’s two important games in a square where Lukaku hasn’t looked like the dangerous finisher we’ve come to expect. It’s not time to get too worked up about it, but it’s something to keep an eye on.
3. Tuchel needs to evaluate:
Tuchel had hoped to make a statement following Saturday’s Premier League loss to Manchester City at Stamford Bridge when he miscalculated his tactics and his players were abnormally agitated. Instead, it was a cynical performance. The movement was absent, as was the rhythm. All too often, the holder of the property chose the safe, square alternative. Chelsea held possession of the ball, but what did they do with it in the end? What happened to the penetration?
Chelsea failed to move the ball swiftly enough, and they failed to connect with Lukaku, who often appeared alone. Tuchel shifted to a 3-1-4-2 shape, bringing on Trevoh Chalobah and Ruben Loftus-Cheek in midfield, as well as Callum Hudson-Odoi at right wing-back, but Juventus almost scored again. Rabiot’s long diagonal was volleyed across for Bernardeschi by Juan Cuadrado, but he fluffed the finish.
In the final stages, Lukaku and Havertz did the same with theirs. Tuchel has much to keep him occupied.
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