Chelsea beat Arsenal on Sunday to continue their perfect start to the season – and in doing so, Thomas Tuchel extended an impressive record on his managerial CV
Thomas Tuchel may well be the best-equipped manager since Antonio Conte to bring the glory years back to Chelsea after continuing his impressive record against the Big Six clubs with a win over Arsenal.
The German came away from the Emirates Stadium feeling that even though Chelsea had been dominant in the 2-0 victory against Arsenal, the scoreline should have been even greater.
It was a perfect opportunity for the 47-year-old to exact revenge on Arsenal after the Gunners pulled off a shock 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge in May.
The German’s search for improvement is relentless and endless, underlined by the £97.5million signing of Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan and pursuit of Sevilla defender Jules Kounde.
It did not take long for Tuchel to win over the Chelsea fans when he led the club to a Champions League success, their first since 2012, in May this year.
The Premier League club also secured fourth place in the league standings on the final day of the season, representing a major turnaround from when they were ninth in December.
But in one area in particular, Tuchel is thriving where his predecessor Frank Lampard badly struggled.
To date, only Arsenal have prevailed. But away from home, there is simply no beating this Chelsea side.
Tuchel’s men have won all four of their fixtures against their top-six rivals, conceding only against Man City when they pulled off a 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium in May.
They are yet to face Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Man Utd at Old Trafford, with their first test in Manchester taking place on November 27.
But given the way Tuchel has fared against his fellow ‘Big Six’ managers, the Norwegian will be dreading that tie.
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Tuchel masterminded tactical successes against arguably the greatest coach in the game in Pep Guardiola, beating the Catalan in all three of their encounters last season.
In addition to their European triumph in Porto back in May and their smash-and-grab at the Etihad, the Blues overcame City 1-0 in the FA Cup semi-final.
That came after Tuchel guided Chelsea to an important victory over Tottenham at their state-of-the-art £1bn arena, getting the better of Jose Mourinho after Jorginho’s penalty.
On their way to their Champions League success, Chelsea secured wins without conceding against Atletico Madrid and Porto, while they picked up a 1-1 draw away to Real Madrid.
Roman Abramovich must be getting tired of having his decisions consistently challenged by Chelsea fans, especially when it comes to changing the club’s manager.
The club’s billionaire owner may have been taken aback by the furious reaction from the supporters when he opted to make the ruthless decision to sack club legend Frank Lampard in January.
Abramovich took the unprecedented step of including a tribute to the 42-year-old’s work in his 18 months in charge in the club’s statement.
That perhaps acknowledged the gravity of the situation Chelsea were in and anticipated there would be discontentment from the Blues’ passionate fanbase.
But considering Lampard’s dismal record against the ‘Big Six’ teams, and how successful Tuchel has been since coming in, the Russian will be feeling vindicated in making that tough decision.
In his 18 months in charge, Lampard only recorded just two wins away from home against sides in the top-six — a 1-0 success at Tottenham and the 2-1 victory at Arsenal. Both results came during the 2019-20 season.
Lampard ultimately failed to produce a formula that could work in those tight clashes, reflected by the fact that Chelsea then lost 3-1 at Arsenal in December 2020 and laboured to a goalless draw at Spurs.
Meanwhile, Tuchel’s tightening up at the back has helped him claim a record that not even Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho could claim, going unbeaten in his first 13 games.
In his eight months at the helm, Tuchel has arguably been one of Chelsea’s most successful coaches, with his win rate standing at 63 per cent from his 33 matches in charge.
Under his guidance, Chelsea look like title contenders again. And now armed with a prolific striker in Romelu Lukaku, the sky seems to be the limit for Tuchel and his exciting squad.