Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea career fell prey to a frustrating launch as the Blues laboured to a galling goalless English Premier League draw with Wolverhampton.
Former Paris St Germain boss Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard on Tuesday, with the Blues board hailing the 47-year-old as one of Europe’s top coaches.
Chelsea struggled for fluency in a tepid first half as many of the issues that beset ex-boss Lampard surfaced again at Stamford Bridge though.
And despite dominating possession and territory throughout, Chelsea were forced to settle for a draw – which extends their paltry league return to just two wins in nine matches.
“I was very happy with the intensity, the attitude, energy and quality of my team,” Tuchel said.
“We were well organised, had a lot of ball recoveries in the last third, never lacked intensity.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t score.
“If we take care of our performance like this, the results will come.”
Tuchel’s new tactics included deploying winger Callum Hudson-Odoi as a wing back and playing two No. 10s, in Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech, behind lone striker Olivier Giroud.
Timo Werner stayed on the bench, where he was in the final days of Lampard’s tenure, and was joined there by midfielder Mason Mount – virtually an ever-present this season – and American winger Christian Pulisic.
While Mount and Pulisic came on, Werner was an unused substitute.
“It was totally unfair because I had no explanation for anybody on the side why they didn’t play,” Tuchel said. “Every day will help.”
Just as with all the struggles under Lampard, Chelsea could not move the ball with enough incision or impetus to open up the visitors.
Chris Wood capped a sensational comeback from Burnley as they twice came from behind to claim a 3-2 victory over Aston Villa in an entertaining encounter at Turf Moor.
The Clarets ended Liverpool’s long unbeaten run at home in the Premier League but were outplayed in the first half by Villa, who only had Ollie Watkins’ 10th goal of the season to show for their dominance.
Burnley capitalised as Ben Mee converted Ashley Westwood’s corner and although the excellent Jack Grealish restored Villa’s lead, the visitors were left stunned following a lucky goal from Dwight McNeil and Wood’s header.
McNeil was attempting to cross but his ball into the area trickled into the net inside the final quarter of an hour before he provided the assist for Wood moments later, as Burnley scored three for the second game in a row.