YOU cannot doubt the clear positive impact that Thomas Tuchel has made to this Chelsea side since he arrived at the club.
He’s now gone 14 games unbeaten and had 11 clean sheets, which is the best start for a Chelsea manager ever.
Chelsea were unconvincing despite seeing off Sheffield UnitedCredit: EPA
Not only is he getting the results, he has injected a lot more confidence and swagger into this Chelsea team, and they have got some great wins against some top teams including Liverpool and Atletico Madrid.
However, at the moment they have a real Achilles heel, one that is threatening to put a kink in Tuchel’s smooth start to his Blues career – their lack of ability to score goals.
They are winning matches, largely, but only by the odd goal or two and a little bit of luck.
This cannot be any more accurate than this afternoon’s win against Sheffield United in the FA Cup quarter finals.
Yes, Tuchel’s side see themselves into the semi-final draw, but this doesn’t tell you anywhere near the full story.
They were left holding on for dear lives against a team rooted to the bottom of the Premier League.
It was only a 92nd injury time goal from Hakim Ziyech on the break that allowed them to finally breathe again, but the 2-0 scoreline was massively flattering.
United were the much better team in the second half and deserved to score at least one goal, they had very clear chances to do so.
Chelsea had to rely on an own-goal in the first half to put them in front. They once again lacked the edge in attack to finish off a team setup in a low block, and this has been a regular problem for them not just under Tuchel, but under Frank Lampard as well.
They can control a match and control possession, but when it comes to the final third of the pitch, they lack the creativity and the finesse to really be the force they are looking to be.
If they want to reach the same levels that Manchester City are currently showing, they need to get much better at finishing teams off and seeing games out. They made this game fully stressful, when it could have been a lot easier.
Chelsea missed good chances to score, and this is what needs to change to avoid a stumble to this perfect start for Tuchel.
The stats for Chelsea’s win over Sheffield United