3. Excellent game plan, execution
This was possibly the best Chelsea performance under Tuchel so far. That doesn’t mean Atletico wasn’t bad—it was—but Simeone’s players looked way worse only because they played a great and far superior Chelsea side.
Atletico came in with intensity in the first half, but Chelsea got hold of possession and dominated throughout the game. This is the kind of stuff that separates good performances and great performances. Whenever the Blues had the ball, it seemed like they were having their fun with it. They were bouncing the ball around, playing through the press with quick first touch passes, made Atletico move the way not many teams are able to do. They defended the ball really well. All of Cesar Azpilicueta, Kurt Zouma and Antonio Rudiger had great games.
Azpilicueta had that scare in the first half, but apart from that, he was inch-perfect inside the box and with the ball. Zouma was his usual aggressive self and also had a great game. He hasn’t really started many games since Tuchel’s arrival, but this performance must’ve made the German coach think about something.
The guy who had the best game in defense was Rudiger though. He was everywhere, and he did everything. The German was the reason for Stefan Savic’s red card, he was also one of the reasons why Joao Felix wasn’t really able to get into the game, as well. Rudiger didn’t put a foot wrong in this entire game and it showed why he’s one of the most underrated centrebacks in the Premier League.
Kante also had a great game defensively. Honestly, this midfield partnership of Kante and Kovacic isn’t really bad at all. I would personally love to see more of this. All in all, it was a great performance from Chelsea. This is the most fun I’ve had watching the Blues under Tuchel, and hopefully, it gets even better after this.
What lessons did you learn in this contest? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!