Thomas Tuchel’s first game in charge of Chelsea ended in a 0-0 draw at home to Wolves. The German coach was hired on Tuesday as the replacement for the sacked Frank Lampard, giving him just one training session to prepare for this Premier League match.
Tuchel changed formation to a 3-4-2-1 and his desire for a more possession-based approach was clear from the first whistle (Chelsea finished the game with 79% possession, a record for a Premier League manager on debut), but Wolves played defensively and with discipline, and left Stamford Bridge with the point that was clearly their goal.
820 – Chelsea completed 820 passes and recorded 78.9% possession against Wolves – since the start of 2003-04, these are both the highest totals by a team in their manager’s first Premier League game in charge. Stamp. #CHEWOL pic.twitter.com/oTLXi1071o
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 27, 2021
Tuchel’s tactics included playing winger Callum Hudson-Odoi as a wing-back (Hudson-Odoi impressed in this role) and using two No. 10s, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech, behind lone striker Olivier Giroud. Mason Mount, Chelsea’s best player this season, dropped to the bench. Struggling striker Timo Werner was an unused sub.
“I was very happy with the intensity, the attitude, energy and quality of my team,” Tuchel said. “We were well organised, had a lot of ball recoveries in the last third, never lacked intensity.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t score,” he added. “If we take care of our performance like this, the results will come.
“I didn’t expect it to be on this level from one training and two meetings. It gives me a good feeling for the future.”
Man of the match: Conor Coady (Wolves)
Pre-match interview with Tuchel (he’s very engaging):