- Chelsea beat Tottenham with three goals in the second half in north London
- Thomas Tuchel responds to poor first half performance by taking down Mason Mount
- His replacement N’Golo Kante scored second and ran the show in midfield.
- Graeme Souness praises Tuchel’s ability to adapt to English game so quickly
- Fellow pundit Micah Richards highlights Tuchel’s ability to make a difference
- Roy Keane said the blues had a ‘machine-like quality’ to him under German
Graeme Souness and Micah Richards were impressed by table-topping Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel as they eventually beat Tottenham in a one-sided London derby.
After the first half was shadowed by Joe Nuno Espirito Santo’s men, Tuchel decided to land an out-of-the-mason mount and replace it with N’Golo Kante.
The switch, coupled with more intensity for the visitors and a poor second half for the Lillewhites, made all the difference in the addition of Thiago Silva, Kante and Antonio Rudiger on the scoresheet.
Micah Richards and Graeme Souness were impressed by what they saw from Chelsea
Thomas Tuchel’s decision to bring in N’Golo Kante paid off as the Frenchman ran to midfield
Antonio Rudiger puts the icing on the cake as the Blues move to the top of the Premier League table
Speaking after the match, which sent the Blues top, Sky Sports pundits Souness and Richards praised Tuchel’s ruthless streak.
Richards said, ‘I think Thiago Silva did a great job in the second half. Kante came in, a little more energy in the midfield and he just dominated the second half.
‘I was watching, wondering ‘what has changed?’ and i know he is [Tuchel’s] Sub made, we can talk about bringing in Kante, but Chelsea are just eliminating teams.
‘I’ve never seen a manager say something’s not right’ [to this extent] And then it seems like they switch to a different team in the second half.
Souness traced Tuchel’s no-nonsense approach to a match last season, reminding his team of the standards that need to be maintained.
Scott said, ‘He has the team where he can mix it up. Callum Hudson-Odoi [against Southampton in February].
Souness outlines Tuchel’s ruthlessness in taking down popular Mason mount for Kante
‘The sub goes, she’s not happy with him – take him off. That statement alone has put a marker down for everyone in that dressing room.
‘You can’t mess with this man. He has a team where he can continue to mix it up. I’m as big a fan of Mason Mount as anyone out there, but felt like he wasn’t quite into it and I like the way he talks about it, it’s not all about formations and strategy [in his post-match interview].
‘For them, it was more about energy levels and being first for the ball and being aggressive and they picked up very early on that is so important in our game, more important in the Premier League than in any other league. You have to be physically ready for this.
Midfielder Saul Nigge on the bench in north London after a poor start against Aston Villa
‘If you’re a big team, whatever you’re playing for, you have to be ready to face that physical challenge. It is now continuous.
‘We saw with Saul, who he saw in training and thought was ready last week and it was a wake-up call for Saul and he’s not [been] included this week. Boy caught our game very quickly.
Right now, they’re the real deal. Spurs were better in the first half. Chelsea won 3-0. They have tremendous faith and today was a classic example. This is what separates the top teams from the good teams.
Thiago Silva was steady at the back and broke the deadlock with a header after half time
Richards said, ‘Chelsea has that quality.’ ‘Every time they go ahead it looks like they’re going to score. Chipping in the rest of the team [with Lukaku not scoring]. It could have been six or seven.
‘Tuchel is decisive. If he feels that something is not right, he changes things. He has been taken off Mount for Thorn and Mount will fight for him next week.’
Fellow pundit Roy Keane expressed similar sentiments: ‘It just confirms what we already know. They are an excellent team.
Kante went home for a rare strike before Rudiger scored on a memorable Sunday afternoon
‘There’s a machine-like look to him. Chelsea are a fantastic team – real quality, energy, desire.’
Chelsea will next host Manchester City at Stamford Bridge three days later before playing in the Carabao Cup at home to Aston Villa on Wednesday.