Andreas Christensen has revealed how Thomas Tuchel set about tweaking Frank Lampard’s approach at Chelsea to make the Blues watertight at the back.
In the German’s first six games at Stamford Bridge, his side have been breached just once.
That record stands in stark contrast to the one that contributed to his predecessor being ushered through the exits, with the Premier League heavyweights now favouring a three-man defensive unit.
What has been said?
“If you don’t need to play the ball, you don’t have to,” Christensen told Chelsea’s official website on the message from Tuchel. “Wait for someone to come and take the ball, don’t take last-second decisions, know what you’re going to do and make it happen.
“He just said to us to be comfortable and believe in ourselves. I have played in the middle of the three before and I’m quite comfortable there. At the moment, when we are playing good football and getting wins, it is helping us so we don’t have to do too much to change it.”
Who scored the only goal against Tuchel’s Chelsea?
Tuchel opened his reign in west London with a goalless draw at home to Wolves. That stalemate was followed by Premier League victories over Burnley and Tottenham, allowing the Blues to start climbing the table.
Chelsea also saw off Newcastle last time out, while making their way into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with a narrow win over Barnsley and have seen confidence restored.
The only time they have conceded with Tuchel at the helm came during a trip to Sheffield United, and even then they registered the effort as Antonio Rudiger put through his own net in a 2-1 win.
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Chelsea have found a formula that works, with Tuchel reverting back to a system that delivered notable success for Antonio Conte during his time in England.
Stability and solidity have been restored in an important area of the field, with a number of those that had been outcast under Lampard now welcomed back into the fold.
Marcus Alonso has been starring at left wing-back, Rudiger in a centre-half berth and even Kepa Arrizabalaga collected a welcome clean sheet against Newcastle after enduring an error-strewn start to the season that led to him being replaced by Edouard Mendy.
Christensen added on the Spanish shot-stopper, who has been told that he remains a back-up option at the Bridge: “I think he made a couple of good saves. That can be important for his self-esteem and also for the group. It was nice to see him out there. We felt comfortable, even though we needed him two times in the second half.”