2. A clean sheet is more likely than not with the back three
A change to the back three happened again Monday night with Kurt Zouma replacing Antonio Rudiger. Regardless of this, once again, a clean sheet was the result.
The fact that the Blues have five serviceable centerbacks to choose from at any point is incredible. Further, the formational change—back to the 3-4-3—has given everyone a chance and gives the defenders more confidence to play out of the back. When there are two players on either side of a centerback, it gives them more options to pass to, which naturally opens the play up and benefits the players in midfield. When the confidence and cohesion are apparent, it only leads to positive results. The leadership of Cesar Azpilicueta cannot be understated either. Andreas Christensen looks like a different player and Zouma and Rudiger have excelled next to the Spaniard, as well.
This sort of stability frustrated Everton all night and rendered Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison useless. The Toffees had only one shot on target and gave Edouard Mendy nothing to worry about in the match. More importantly, the night was capped off with history being achieved for Tuchel. His squad has kept five clean sheets in his first five home games in the Premier League. This type of accolade has never been achieved, not even from Jose Mourinho during his two spells at the club, which is very telling due to the defensive record that The Special One had to boast during his first stint. All the praise has to go to the German, whose impact on this team cannot be missed.
Here’s to hoping that this defensive record continues and an identity is established as one of the best defensive sides in Europe.