Chelsea fail to impress in Tuchel’s first game

Chelsea began life under Thomas Tuchel with an uninspired goalless draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge.

A day after replacing Frank Lampard in the Stamford Bridge hotseat Tuchel was left with much to ponder as his side dominated possession but offered little goal threat.

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Chelsea strung together almost 900 passes against a defensive Wolves but the vast majority of them were risk-free and easy meat for the visitors well-drilled rearguard.

An entirely forgettable first half at Stamford Bridge was followed by a more lively second period with Chelsea going close to giving Tuchel a dream start on a few occasions.

Ben Chilwell blasted a great chance over the bar and Callum Hudson-Odoi, a surprise starter, had a deflected shot saved.

It was actually Wolves who had the best chance when Pedro Neto scooped a shot onto the roof of the net.

Chelsea’s poor run of form, which cost club great Lampard his job on Monday, continues and they have now managed to win only twice in their last nine league games.

Former Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain coach Tuchel sent on Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and Tammy Abraham late on and they livened things up but Wolves held firm to leave Chelsea in eighth place.

It was not the start Tuchel would have liked but after what he described as a “surreal” week he found plenty of positives from his side’s performance.

“I enjoyed it a lot because I was very happy with the intensity, the attitude, energy and quality of my team, we were well organised, had a lot of ball recoveries in the last third, never lacked intensity,” Tuchel, whose side move up a place into eighth spot, said.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t score, but if we take care of our performance like this the results will come.”

Tuchel, twice a Ligue 1 winner with PSG, rung the changes for his first selection, dropping Lampard favourites Mount, Reece James and Abraham, and opting for experience with Olivier Giroud, Jorginho and Cesar Azpilicueta all starting.

There was lots of harmless passing in the first half but apart from an Antonio Rudiger header there was little to get excited about.

Tuchel clearly called for more daring after the break but it took Chelsea a long time to start to threaten, with Hudson-Odoi their most likely creator in a wide right role.

Mateo Kovacic thought he had scored with a terrific curling effort, shortly after Kai Havertz had set up Chilwell who lifted his shot over the bar.

Tuchel waited until the 75th minute to send on United States international Pulisic and shortly afterwards gave Mount the chance to show that leaving him out was a mistake.

Mount looked impressive and one great turn almost resulted in a chance but his cut back found no one in a blue shirt.

Wolves showed little of the flair they have been associated with but Neto nearly stunned the hosts when he was played in by Daniel Podence but his audacious scooped lob went just over.

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