Four things Thomas Tuchel got wrong and one right as Chelsea draw vs Zenit
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel will not be very pleased with his side after missing out on top spot in their Champions League group.
All the Blues had to do was match Juventus’ result, who beat Malmo, but they could only draw against Zenit St Petersburg.
It was another less than convincing display from the European champions, who are encountering a bit of a wobble in the Premier League as well.
Injuries have not been kind to Tuchel, who made a number of changes to his side that would have left many scratching their heads.
But where did the German go wrong? And did he get anything right?
Malang Sarr shop window
Chelsea tried desperately to find a suitor for Malang Sarr to leave the club but failed to do so – instead becoming a bit-part squad player.
Well, their attempts to offload the Frenchman might have just taken a major blow after he had a shocker on Wednesday night.
Even being played in his favoured position on the left-hand side of a back three, Sarr looked clumsy throughout the contest against Zenit.
But as well as his on-the-ball defending being poor, off it was much worse with the former Nice star unclear when to step up or drop off.
Ross Barkley off the boil
It was a bit of a shock when Ross Barkley was named in midfield, his first appearance for Chelsea since a 1-1 draw against Burnley.
But he would have done little to convince Tuchel that he can be the man to help alleviate the current midfield injury crisis with Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic all out of action.
The former Everton star made a big error in the first half that saw the Blues concede and he failed to bring that metronomic style of play Tuchel loves in his midfielders.
Andreas Christensen contract blues
Standing in for Thiago Silva in the middle of a back three was Andreas Christensen, who is still yet to sign a new contract with Chelsea which expires in the summer.
Tuchel even admitted that his selection of the Dane has been affected by the negotiations and it is easy to see why after yet another shaky display.
The Blues academy graduate started off the season majestically but his form has tailed off – where he had a tough game against West Ham who beat Chelsea 3-2.
And his mind looked elsewhere when he did not know when to stand up or drop back for Zenit’s second goal.
Reece James midfield question
One shining light for Chelsea has been the form of Reece James, who has convinced many he could be the best man at right-back for England.
But his performances are now just limited to the wide areas of the pitch with Tuchel placing his trust in the Chelsea ace and putting him in midfield.
James has the strength and composure to fit in well in midfield but the experiment did not quite work tonight.
On his 22nd birthday, the defender-by-trade was outnumbered in midfield but did not get much help from his midfield partners.
Bright Timo Werner
While it was hardly a 10/10 performance from Timo Werner, the Germany international proved pivotal to Chelsea's draw.
It was the former RB Leipzig star that got the Blues up and running with his goal after two minutes.
And his combination work for Romelu Lukaku's goal in the second-half was majestic and perhaps something that Tuchel will keep an eye on in the future.
To top it off, it was Werner that won the match for the Blues with a fine finish but a late screamer from Magomed Ozdoyev saw Chelsea finish second in their group.
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