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“Kante gives everything you need”, says Thomas Tuchel

What did Tuchel say?

In the post-match interview, the [team 18] manager told Sky Sports, “I was absolutely not happy with the first 45 minutes.”

“There were individual performances which were great in the first half from Kepa and Thiago Silva but in general we lacked intent, energy and relentlessness in duels and 50-50 balls.”

“I had the feeling we wanted to impress by pure skills but in derbies like this, it is not always about just skills. It is about aggression, winning duels and performing better as a team.

“We spoke clearly about it at half-time. In the second half, it was a very good performance and a deserved win. It was a very good reaction so I am happy with the performance in the second half.”

In the post-match press conference, Tuchel further added, “If you have N’Golo, you have something that everybody is looking for.”

“You have everything that you need in midfield. You have work-rate, intensity, ball-wins, skilful play, off the ball, with the ball, dribbling, drive and, today, even a goal.

“I see this every day in training and it’s hard to believe how good he is. Don’t make the mistake of reducing him to ball-wins. He plays excellent in every possession game we have in training.

“He’s a unique guy. We were strong in midfield with him, Jorgi Jorginho, and Kova Mateo Kovacic in the second half.

“N’Golo is N’Golo, he’s fantastic.”

“If you have N’Golo on the bench and you want to step up in these patterns of the game, it’s the best player to bring because he is unique and he can change any momentum.”

“It seemed to be a more defensive change, but we wanted to improve our compactness, our ball-wins, our spirit as a team, and have a higher intensity and work-rate in our match to win balls actively, put the match in the opponents half, and then rely on our skills.

“That was the idea behind it. I am happy with the reaction. The reaction was absolutely needed.

“We played a very, very strong second half to deserve this win.”

How Kante’s arrival changed the game?

Chelsea, under [coach 523937], have always played a formation that starts with a back three. Sometimes it is a 3-4-3, and at times it also becomes a 3-5-2 depending on the opposition but most of the time, Tuchel deploys a 3-4-3 with two attackers supporting the centre forward. However, he does shift to a 3-5-2 occasionally and mostly in big games when they struggle to get enough legs in the midfield.

Tuchel played a 3-5-2 in the [league 2] final against [team 9] in order to put more pressure on [coach 455361]’s possession-based midfield. He also played a 3-5-2 against [team 3468] in the semi-final, restricting [player 268] and [player 30289] from dictating the game.

Against [team 6] yesterday, Chelsea started with a 3-4-3. Lukaku was joined by Mount and Havertz upfront. [coach 455991] surprised Tuchel with his plan as Tottenham overloaded the midfield, and Chelsea were unable to get the ball. [player 99148], [player 97664], [player 1744], along with the false nine movements of [player 997], were dominating the ball. Tottenham competed in the first half extremely well and could have got themselves a goal with better finishing.

Tottenham had too many bodies in the midfield, and Tuchel spotted the problem. Thankfully for him, Tottenham didn’t take the lead in the first half, and he made the decisive change. By bringing on [player 1193] in place of [player 537121], he added an extra body and intensity into the midfield.

Now, Chelsea were playing a 3-5-2 with Havertz playing off Lukaku. Kante joined the midfield, which was now a midfield three of [player 129511], [player 73147] and Kante. Jorginho was now getting more time to move the ball quicker, and Kante’s ball retention was excellent.

[player 995] was stretching the Spurs’ backline, and [player 32612] was operating in between the lines. Chelsea had the upper hand in the midfield battle now, and Tottenham were chasing shadows.

Of course, Chelsea’s goals were executed well, but the change that Tuchel made to put Kante on was tremendous. Kante’s energy, intensity and quality was too much for Spurs to handle, who collapsed in the second half.

Fixture Details: [fixture 18138650]

Author: Devashish Akolekar

After Kante’s introduction drastically changed the London Derby, Tuchel was full of praise for the Frenchman.

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