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Thomas Tuchel reaches 50 games at Chelsea: The highs, lows, and all the numbers

Thomas Tuchel marked his 50th game at Chelsea with a 4-0 victory over Juventus, and it represented yet another high for the head coach at Stamford Bridge.

Head coach Thomas Tuchel has a reputation of a man who divides opinion, and that was no different when he was appointed as the successor to Chelsea legend Frank Lampard. Arguments over parting ways with the Englishman too soon were justified, particularly with the former midfielder having played an instrumental role in the development of the club's academy players.

However, the decision of the Chelsea board in January has paid off in a fashion that perhaps even they could not have envisaged. The Blues have been transformed from a team who were in a battle to secure European football into a side who deserve their crown as the best on the continent.

Tuchel has required just 50 matches to improve Chelsea's fortunes, and there is a strengthening feeling that he is only just getting started. The West Londoners have returned from the latest international break in clinical form, following a 3-0 triumph at Leicester City with the 4-0 dissection of Juventus in the Champions League.

At a time when Tuchel and his squad will be focusing their attention on the Premier League fixture with Manchester United at the weekend, Sports Mole takes a look at Tuchel's current 11-month stint in the capital.


THE HIGHS

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel celebrates with the Champions League trophy on May 29, 2021© Reuters

How long is a piece of string? Upon his arrival, Tuchel was tasked with securing Champions League football for 2021-22. A piece of silverware was regarded as an achievable bonus, but the reality is that not even their Champions League success in May is responsible for defining Tuchel's time at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea were a methodical juggernaut during that run, conceding just two goals during knockout ties against Atletico Madrid, Porto and Real Madrid. It was a similar story in the final as they withstood the attacking swagger of Manchester City, Kai Havertz's first-half goal ultimately proving to be the difference at Estadio do Dragao.

Despite possessing the tag of European champions, Tuchel will argue that he has gained more satisfaction from the development of his squad. Starting his reign with a 14-match unbeaten streak set the tone, and it immediately created a healthy competition for places with several players being brought in from the cold.

As far as individual results go, the 1-0 victory at Liverpool in March and 2-1 comeback win at Man City two months later stand out. When all was said and done, those performances made the difference when it came to securing a top-four spot in the Premier League, freeing up Chelsea to play without any added pressure in the Champions League final.

Tuchel will also be especially proud of pushing the club's academy graduates to new levels. Reece James and Mason Mount are the obvious standouts, but Trevoh Chalobah, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek could have taken a significantly different path had it not been for the guidance of the German tactician.


THE LOWS

Leicester City celebrate Youri Tielemans's goal in the FA Cup final against Chelsea on May 15, 2021© Reuters

There was a time towards the end of last season when Tuchel had so much to gain and so much to lose as he bid to earn a longer contract. Winning the Champions League ultimately proved decisive, but it gets forgotten that Chelsea lost three out of their four games before that famous night in their history.

The Blues went down 1-0 at home to city rivals Arsenal, a defeat which was followed by a losing effort in the FA Cup final three days later. Chelsea had been favourites to see off Leicester City, but a Youri Tielemans wonder-strike left Chelsea to collect runners-up medals for the second year in a row.

On the final day of the domestic season, Aston Villa overcame Chelsea by a 2-1 scoreline in the West Midlands, the visitors having to rely on late goals from Tottenham Hotspur against Leicester to book their place in the Champions League.

West Bromwich Albion's 5-2 win on April 3 was little more than a freak result, a combination of an early kickoff after an international break and Thiago Silva's 29th-minute red card aiding the Baggies' cause.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment of Tuchel's reign was the back-to-back 1-0 defeats to Man City and Juventus earlier this season. Chelsea were ineffective against City and lacking urgency with the ball in Turin four days later.


THE NUMBERS

Chelsea's Timo Werner celebrates scoring against Real Madrid in the Champions League on May 5, 2021© Reuters

Tuchel has recorded a total of 32 wins and 11 draws from his 50 matches in the Chelsea dugout. Neither number particularly stands out, but losing just seven times under constant scrutiny and having come up against high-level opposition on a regular basis is hugely impressive.

Chelsea are averaging just 1.62 goals per game under Tuchel, a ratio improved by their recent goal glut, but a remarkable 31 clean sheets have been kept in all competitions.

Just 24 goals have been conceded, five of which came in the West Brom capitulation. It means that Chelsea have conceded just twice in a game on one occasion under Tuchel. All things considered, is there a more eye-catching statistic in world football right now?

Of Chelsea's seven defeats, three have come at Stamford Bridge, with a further two occurring at neutral venues versus Porto and Leicester. In 20 games on the road, they have posted 14 wins and four draws, the only two away defeats coming at Villa and Juventus.

Chelsea have netted 81 times with Mount the top goalscorer under Tuchel with just nine strikes. As many as 22 different players have found the back of the net, with often-criticised Timo Werner having the most goal contributions with 16 from 35 appearances (six goals, 10 assists).

In terms of appearances, just six players have featured in 80% or more of Tuchel's games, James the leader with 43 appearances. Tuchel has used 30 players in total, the least minutes being given to Tino Anjorin who made one substitute outing versus Barnsley last season.


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Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel after his side's win over Malmo on November 2, 2021.
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City1511223292335
2Liverpool15104144123234
3Chelsea1510323592633
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham158342819927
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs148151617-125
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd157352524124
7Arsenal157261822-423
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves156361213-121
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton154831416-220
10Aston Villa156182124-319
11Leicester CityLeicester155462327-419
12Everton155371925-618
13Brentford154561921-217
14Crystal Palace153751921-216
15Leeds UnitedLeeds153751522-716
16Southampton153751421-716
17Watford1541102029-913
18Burnley141761421-710
19Newcastle UnitedNewcastle151771730-1310
20Norwich CityNorwich15249831-2310

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