The Blues are back in the hunt for Champions League places following 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge although manager Thomas Tuchel insists his team still has “a long way to go” to achieve their targets after moving back into the Premier League top four with a 2-0 win over Newcastle United on Monday.
Since replacing Frank Lampard last month, Tuchel has helped Chelsea rack up 13 points from five Premier League games, the same as in Jose Mourinho’s first five matches in charge before he made the Londoners champions of England three times over two spells.
Only Carlo Ancelotti – who led Chelsea to a league and FA Cup double – and Maurizio Sarri under whom the Blues won the Europa League in 2019 have bettered Tuchel’s start.
The former Paris Saint-Germain coach said finishing in the top four to qualify for next season’s Champions League remains the target.
“There are many teams behind us, chasing us but, yes, we had many points to recover when we started and it stays a big challenge because it’s many, many, many games coming,” Tuchel told Sky Sports.
“Every game is a difficult game and we will keep on fighting. It was a good run so far but we will have a long way to go.”
Chelsea were floundering in mid-table when Tuchel replaced Lampard less than a month ago and has since helped striker Timo Werner recover his confidence as the German scored his first league goal in more than four months on Monday. The former PSG boss also brought in players who had been side-lined and are now fighting for their place in the team.
Tuchel also reinstated left-back Marcos Alonso, who reportedly fell out with Lampard early in the season, who has brought his attacking threat back and even out-of-form goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was brought back for the game against Newcastle.
The German is emphatic Chelsea have room for improvement, especially in attack.
“We lacked decision-making in the box, we can be… more deadly,” he said.
Credit: Football Tribe Malaysia