Christian Pulisic Provides The Assistance In Chelsea’s First Win Under Tuchel
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Chelsea notched up their first win under Thomas Tuchel on Sunday with a 2-0 victory over Burnley thanks to goals by Spanish defenders César Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso who have both been given a chance to shine under the German coach.
Azpilicueta was entrusted with a place in Chelsea's starting lineup by Tuchel in his two games since replacing Frank Lampard and he scored with an angled shot in the 40th minute after sprinting 80 yards to seize on a lay-off by Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Alonso, playing for the first time since September, secured the win in the 84th minute when he controlled a pass from Christian Pulisic with his chest and knee before swiveling to blast a shot past Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope.
Hudson-Odoi, also making the most of much more playing time under Tuchel, and fellow Chelsea academy product Mason Mount were at the heart of the Blues' best moves. Their form contrasts with the struggles of the club's two expensive German signings in 2020, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, who pose Tuchel's most immediate challenge. Werner wasted a good first-half chance for Chelsea while Havertz was dropped to the bench and only came on for the last 10 minutes.
Tuchel praised his team for controlling the game — Burnley did not have a single shot on target — but said he needed more from his strikers.
"It should be a signal to our guys up front that we needed two defensive players to score. We lack in the moment precision in the last pass... in the finishing," he told BT Sport. "We will work with this, absolutely."
The German coach said Werner was suffering from a lack of confidence.
"We cannot expect any changes from one minute to the other, from one day to the other," he said. "He's not the only striker in the world who is very sensitive when he does not score."
Werner was the Bundesliga's second-highest scorer last season with RB Leipzig and he seemed to have put a barren start at Chelsea behind him when he hit four goals in four league games in October and November. However, he has had a drought in the league since then.
Sunday's win pushed Chelsea — who drew 0-0 last week against Wolves in Tuchel's first game — up to seventh in the Premier League standings, 11 points behind leaders Manchester City. Burnley slipped to 16th place.