Four tactical mistakes Thomas Tuchel made against Juventus that resulted in a woeful loss

It just wasn’t to be for Chelsea last night as the Blues suffered yet another 1-0 defeat, this time in the hands of Juventus.

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Federico Chiesa struck for the Bianconnerri just few seconds into the second half and the Italian side were able to hold on throughout the game for the 3 points.

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In this article, we’d be looking at four tactical mistakes Thomas Tuchel made in the game.

1. Romelu Lukaku:

The Belgian striker was caged throughout the match as he got only one clear cut opening which he fired wide late in the second half.

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It’s no one’s fault though that things panned out that way as any striker is expected to struggle against a Juventus defence consisting of Leonardo Bonnucci and Matthijs De Ligt plus Giogio Chiellini who later came on to shore up things at the back in the second half for the Italians. Besides, Romelu Lukaku has a track record of struggling against the Juventus defence as he’s scored only once from the penalty spot in more than 4 meetings against the Turin side.

In this regard, here is what Tuchel could have done. The German could have explored other ways to play with and around Lukaku. The Belgian is now a refined striker and there’s more to his game than just being a target man, the Italians were already prepared and ready to defend against ‘target man’ Lukaku, it was a very predictable approach from Chelsea. Hence, he could have fared better if Tuchel had set things up for him to run in behind instead.

2. Wrong selection:

Thomas Tuchel got it wrong with his team selection right from the start, especially with the front three. Agreed, the Blues are without Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic through injury but they were better options on the bench to start against a low block team like Juventus.

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The Chelsea gaffer started with both Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz in attack alongside Lukaku but the two wingers failed to create any sort of connection with their striker. There was no invention and creativity was lacking. Ross Barkley coming off the bench to have more key passes than Kai Havertz says a lot about Tuchel’s choice of starting the German.

In the circumstances Chelsea found themselves last night, a player like Callum Hudson-Odoi or even Timo Werner could have fared better from the start.

3. Key Substitution lacking:

Thomas Tuchel actually got almost all his substitutions right last night with Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, and Ross Barkley all adding some attacking impetus to the way Chelsea played after going behind in the second half. But there was no point bringing on Trevoh Chalobah, a centre-back in such a game.

The game cried for Timo Werner especially when Chelsea went behind and it’s quite hard to imagine that Kai Havertz played all 90 minutes with no meaningful impact.

Instead of bringing on Chalobah for Jorginho, the gaffer could have used that substitution for a Kai Havertz – Timo Werner swap as the latter could have better helped stretch the Juventus defence.

4. Formation:

Chelsea’s 3-4-3 and 3-5-2 formation might have just been figured out. Hence the West Londoners were very predictable last night.

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That’s not to say Chelsea’s current formation is ineffective, the main issue the Blues are facing is the lack of personnel who currently suits the kind of system Tuchel is playing and this is because of injuries and the unavailability of players like Kanté, Reece James, Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic who were very instrumental to Chelsea’s success last season.

Tuchel could have been a little bit more flexible given the kind of players currently available to you as a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1 might just suit them better as things stand.

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