The German rule began with a stalemate at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea began a new era on Wednesday night when new manager Thomas Tuchel entered the Stamford Bridge canoe for the first time.
Barely 24 hours after being unveiled as Frank Lampard’s replacement, the 47-year-old German sent his side into the Premier League battle with Wolves to kick off their mission at Stamford Bridge with a frustrating 0-0 draw.
Here, the PA press agency looks back on the course of his evening.
Tuchel is renowned for spinning his players, but eyebrows were raised when he left Mason frame, Reece James and Tammy Abraham, who scored a hat-trick in Sunday’s FA Cup fourth round victory over Sky Bet Championship Luton, sitting on the bench. He later revealed, after admitting that it was “unfair” to base his judgment on a single training session, that he opted for the experience after recruiting skipper Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger and Olivier Giroud in his first starting XI.
Lampard repeatedly tinkered with his system as he sought to make the most of the players at his disposal, largely settling on a 4-3-3 formation after flirting with the 3-4-3, although the Blues aligned in 4-2 -3-1 against the Hats. His successor opted for three at the back ahead of goalkeeper Edouard Mendy – Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva and Rudiger – with Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell operating as wingers. Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic have been asked to provide cover in midfield with Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech providing support to lone striker Giroud.
With his team lacking in penetration in their hunt for the first base against a Wolves team defending deeply and in numbers, Tuchel finally made his move with just 14 minutes to go when he sent Christian Pulisic and Abraham for Chilwell and Giroud. The arrival of Pulisic saw Hudson-Odoi move to the left to welcome the newcomer on the right. They were joined six minutes later by Mount as Ziyech made his way.
Tuchel was all smiles as he conducted his pre-game interviews, admitting that the last few days had been kind of a whirlwind. He walked out of the tunnel after his team wrapped themselves in a Chelsea coat and wool beanie and was warmly greeted by his counterpart Nuno Espirito Santo after the Wolves arrived before sitting down. After the kick-off, he livened up in the technical field by passing on information with Chilwell and Hudson-Odoi among the first beneficiaries. The manager’s frustration increased over time and he had his head in his hands as Chilwell skied a 61st minute attempt over the bar before wondering what might have happened when goalkeeper Rui Patricio saved of Hudson-Odoi late.