Tuchel's influence shines on international stage as Chelsea stars show defensive nous - TCC View
Numerous Chelsea players may be away serving their country but they have clearly taken some of Thomas Tuchel’s teachings with them across the continent.
Most of the weekend’s headlines were stolen once more by Romelu Lukaku, who scored on his 100th appearance for Belgium.
Timo Werner also got in on the act, netting his second goal in as many games during Germany’s 6-0 thumping of Armenia yesterday.
Armando Broja became an Albanian hero when he grabbed a late winner against Hungary last night.
Billy Gilmour put on a man-of-the-match performance as Scotland beat Moldova on Saturday.
Mason Mount was in the thick of the action after coming off the bench to help England ease past Andorra. He was brought down in the area to allow Harry Kane to put England two up from the penalty spot.
Meanwhile, there were several Chelsea stars whose international contributions went largely under the radar.
Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Reece James, Cesar Azpilicueta and on-loan Emerson Palmieri were all involved in clean sheets for their respective countries over the weekend.
Ethan Ampadu also ensured Wales held Finland to a 0-0 draw last Wednesday.
Each national team manager will, of course, take credit for these defensive denials, as they rightly should.
However, it can’t be a coincidence these high number of clean sheets all involved members of Tuchel’s squad.
Since the German coach took over from Frank Lampard in January, Chelsea have created a Fort Knox-like back line for opponents to try to break down.
His decision to switch from a four to a three has certainly benefited the Blues, collectively and on an individual level.
The likes of Rudiger and Christensen have been given a platform to prove their worth, an opportunity they have yet to waste.
Christensen, especially, looks transformed from the academy graduate who previously flickered on the fringes of the first team for some time.
He’s now one of Denmark’s most important components, highlighted by their successive World Cup qualifying shutouts.
Azpilicueta certainly appears more comfortable as a centre-back rather than a full-back, although he still performs both roles with equal efficiency.
Tuchel’s methods have seemingly been translated on to the international stage. Can they be repeated when Chelsea return to domestic action against Aston Villa on Saturday?
Chelsea fans will certainly hope so.