Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel had a challenging afternoon on Saturday. The supporter’s demonstration outside Stamford Bridge was the primary story prior to the game, but the attention swiftly shifted to the pitch when the Blues played Brentford.
It was apparent early on in the game that there had been a two-week international break. Chelsea was, to put it mildly, rusty. The first half was somewhat unremarkable, as the game went into halftime with neither team having scored.
Chelsea took the lead in the second half, scoring through Antonio Rudiger, and it seemed like the Blues would have a fairly straightforward afternoon ahead of them, but nothing could have been farther from the truth.
After the game, Tuchel was visibly frustrated, and it was simple to recognize why. With just about everything happening behind the scenes at Stamford Bridge, the only thing that’s keeping most fans happy will have been on-field issues, but Saturday afternoon will have actually added to the misery.
Chelsea and Tuchel, on the other hand, must put that defeat underneath them as swiftly as they can. Real Madrid visits the city for the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday evening, rendering it one of the most crucial games of this season thus far.
Los Blancos are now in first place in La Liga, and Carlo Ancelotti, a former Chelsea manager, has them playing some amazing football. This is, of course, a sequel of last season’s semi-final, in which the Blues triumphed 3-1 over the two legs. This, on the other hand, appears to be a new obstacle for Tuchel.
Real has progressed this season under the management of Ancelotti and is starting to resemble the European heavyweight we’ve all grown up admiring.
The Spaniards arrived in London and dominated possession, holding the ball for 68 percent of the game, but Chelsea took advantage of it. On that May evening, N’Golo Kante was at his very best.
Tuchel in fact advanced the Frenchman high up the pitch in an attempt to capitalize on any poor play by the opponents.
Real Madrid used a midfield three of Casemiro, Luka Modric, and Toni Kroos, the same trio that monopolized the midfield when Los Blancos thrashed Liverpool in the previous round, but they were unable to match that effect at Stamford Bridge, as Kante was at his best.