Three things Tuchel got wrong and one he got right as Chelsea edge Crystal Palace


Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel has Romelu Lukaku theory after lacklustre Crystal Palace display

Chelsea’s trip to take on Crystal Palace on Saturday was their first Premier League game for 27 days since beating Tottenham – and Thomas Tuchel was left with mixed emotions.

The Blues, on the back of their Club World Cup triumph, struggled for long periods as Patrick Vieira’s men held firm while creating chances of their own.

Although the away side did steal all three points thanks to Hakim Ziyech, there wasn’t an awful lot to be positive about for their manager.

Daily Star Sport have taken a look at three things Tuchel got wrong on the day and one he got right, one of which involves a player who touched the ball only twice during the opening 45 minutes.

Wrong – Romelu Lukaku pain

Lukaku, who is yet to score a Premier League goal in 2022, endured a nightmare opening 45 minutes after Tuchel had shown faith in his misfiring forward.

The 28-year-old touched the ball only twice during the opening half, one of which came from kick-off.

Tuchel’s concern will be growing following an extended run of poor form for the former Inter Milan forward following his controversial comments back in December.

Wrong – Four centre backs

Chelsea fans on social media were baffled to see four central defenders in their starting line up, with Malang Sarr, Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva and Andreas Christensen getting the nod.

Despite Tuchel being forced into changes due to his injury concerns, he was seen as being too defensive by riled supporters as the Blues managed only two shots on target in the first half.

With one fan saying on social media: “Tony Pulis managing Chelsea today 4 centre backs in a back four!”

Wrong – Kai Havertz position

Following kick-off it quickly became apparent that Kai Havertz was being deployed on the left by Tuchel, with Christian Pulisic playing behind Lukaku.

With Havertz playing predominantly in the centre during his professional career, and Pulisic on the flank, blame was quickly aimed at Tuchel when things didn’t go to plan.

With the pair both failing to create chances for Lukaku, the experiment was a failed one – until the only goal of the fixture.

Right – Never say die

That brings us to the winning goal from Ziyech, with Tyrick Mitchell being caught out and the winger slotting home from close range past substitute Jack Butland.

The strike came after fans had questioned his position, as well as the team selection on the whole, with Tuchel being just about justified by his calls – and building a team that doesn’t give up.

That late strike made all of Tuchel’s mistakes inconsequential, with eyes now on their Champions League return.