‘It needs a very good mix to produce numbers like that’ – Tuchel on Chelsea’s defensive fortitude

An astonishing 31st clean sheet since Tuchel came in was secured with the minimum of fuss. We have conceded just 24 goals in that time. They are both comfortably Europe-leading statistics.

How have we managed it? Tuchel reckons it is a healthy blend of his team selection and tactics, ‘the mentality shaped by the club’, the Chelsea players’ quality and commitment, and, of course, a bit of luck.

‘Many times attacking is a good way to defend your own goal, and sometimes in the 50 matches we were forced to overcome difficult moments,’ he noted.

‘Sometimes we had to dig in and defend deep, which we don’t like too much, but I feel the players are very open to finding solutions and going through difficult moments.

‘It’s a team sport, it’s what we all love about it,’ he added.

‘We attack together and defend together. There are many ways to defend: high pressing, counter-pressing, sitting deep. They are all allowed, and every way is beautiful. We are constantly on it, but it’s not the case we spend 90 per cent of our time thinking about defensive solutions. It’s more or less the opposite.

‘The open-minded players and the quality of the players, in combination with the mentality of the club, is a very good mix to produce numbers like this.’

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