When Thomas Tuchel walked out for his first game in charge of Chelsea, his new side were down in 10th in the table, four points behind Tottenham. Eight days on and with a 1-0 victory over their London rivals to celebrate, Chelsea are three points clear of Spurs, already into the top six and looking capable of climbing rather further than that.
The manner of the result will be as welcome as the points, so dominant were Tuchel’s team, particularly in the first half when Tottenham struggled to make acquaintance with the ball. It was more of a test during the latter stages as Spurs chased an equaliser but four-and-a-half hours into his reign and Chelsea are yet to concede a goal under their new coach.
There will be caveats, of course, with Jose Mourinho the quickest to point them out. It was only Jorginho’s penalty that separated the sides on the score-sheet. Carlos Vinicius, a player who would not have been on the pitch had the Tottenham boss been able to call upon Harry Kane, missed a good opportunity with his head that would have levelled things up.
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea’s win against Tottenham
The bald statistics did indeed show that Edouard Mendy made more saves than Hugo Lloris. Cling to that if you must but the paucity of ambition from the home side was striking. This was no Mourinho masterclass and his attempts to obfuscate afterwards could not mask that. Without the result to justify the approach Spurs supporters were left feeling empty.
The trajectory of these…