Chelsea has recorded their third win under Thomas Tuchel, though this one was almost not a win. Chelsea made it difficult for themselves again. They allowed themselves to be put under pressure by Sheffield United, and created next to nothing from set pieces. This was almost the opposite from the reverse game where Chelsea created a considerable number of chances from set pieces and had more complete control of the game. A win is a win, but here’s what we learnt from that hard fought win:
1. Timo Werner is an important part of the team
Werner has split opinions this season after scoring 28 league goals from 34 appearances for RB Leipzig last season, and only recorded four league goals after 23 games this season. Many fans, and even some managers, have suggested many different things for his managers to do to “get the best out of him”. The truth is that while Werner is not really scoring a lot at the moment, he’s doing many other things that the team needs. This is not to say that he does everything right apart from scoring, but he has had some key moments in several games that either changed the game or decided the outcome.
This is something Chelsea needs, especially in their race for top four. A new manager has come in and will start trying to implement a new philosophy, the players will take a while before they start playing fluidly and creating lots of chances, for now they’ll need individuals to create goal-scoring opportunities from virtually nothing. Werner’s ability to bait defenders into making clumsy challenges is extremely valuable for the Blues at the moment, and will be for a while. The team will also benefit with Werner playing alongside it’s other strikers, rather than instead of. Chelsea’s 17-game run came with Werner playing one role or another.