2. Player combinations and chemistry
Tuchel started the game with three players who boast some kind of “playmaking” in the artillery: Jorginho, Mount and Ziyech. The logic behind their deployment could’ve been to counter the chance-creation issue plaguing the Blues, as well as Jorginho and Mount’s suspension for the Atletico game on Tuesday. But the move of starting all three defiantly backfired.
Jorginho has been a player reborn under Tuchel, manning the double pivot to great aplomb thus far. He’s pulled his weight in the defensive side of things and been central to plenty of patient buildup plays. But against the relentless runners of Leeds United, Chelsea was given no time to start slow buildups, which automatically limited Jorginho’s role. The Blues needed to be quicker and more direct, which required precise balls to the forward line and exposed the Italian’s weaknesses.
Further up the pitch, Ziyech and Mount tried to play the “advanced playmaker” role in their own styles. While both like to receive the ball in deeper positions, Ziyech immediately looks for a penetrating pass while Mount drives towards the box. Both, however, require an attacker from the opposite flank to make a run inside, to play the final pass.
With both on the field, there was nobody to make those threatening runs that directly or indirectly lead to goals. Havertz operating as the false nine/advanced forward/trequartista enhanced the linkup plays due to his clever movements and created plenty of space for an attacker to run into. But due to both Ziyech and Mount on the field, the presence in the box was lacking.