Chelsea are still unbeaten under Thomas Tuchel and while a draw with Southampton is hardly cause for panic and alarm at the club, there is one area that the Blues head coach will find himself scratching his head with.
We have seen Chelsea dominate possession in every game they have played since the German took charge after the sacking of Frank Lampsrd last month. That will please Tuchel and his possession-based style of play.
While not always aesthetically pleasing, it has been getting the job done as the head coach is seven games unbeaten in all competitions and Tuchel has yet to lose since taking the job.
But the blues have yet to score more than two goals in a game under Tuchel’s watch. Yes, they are more solid defensively and are conceding less than one shot per game an average on their own goal and Takumi Minamino was the first opposition player to score against the Blues in seven games.
Scoring two isn’t exactly bad but the 1-1 draw with Southampton on Saturday brought to light a common theme that has been evident since Tuchel arrived at the club – creating chances.
Mason Mount has been effectively playing as a number ten but has almost carried the team in recent weeks. Timo Werner got off the mark for the first time in 100 days in the top flight against Newcastle but looked lacklustre and frankly poor against Saints.
Tammy Abraham shouldn’t have started on the south coast after his ankle issue and was subbed off at half time, yet Olivier Giroud wasn’t brought on. Callum Hudson-Odoi was but departed almost as quickly as he arrived, while Hakim Ziyech offered very little off the bench in his 15 minutes.
After a period of wins there is always the nagging feeling that Chelsea were going to give someone a hiding in the not too distant future. Some suspected it might have been the case but it never materialised.
Tuchel cut a frustrated figure in the technical area throughout the 90 minutes and was asked post-match about his side’s lack of goals under his stewardship.
“We will work on it, but you will score goals in any structure and concede then in any structure. The structure is never the problem or the solution. It is always the input of the players, the structure is fluid.
“You find the spaces where you find the spaces, in different structures, you find different spaces. For sure you can pick more offensive players but at the moment it is a balanced game. It is about not conceding and also scoring.
“You can be sure we think day and night about scoring and creating chances. We play high up the pitch and given the statistics from the last matches, I know we don’t score enough for the amount of touches in the box, the number of shots, the number of chances we’re creating.
“At this moment, it is a lack of precision, it’s not a lack of opportunities or lack of touches in the box. It is a lack of quality in decision-making.”
The words precision and decision making in the final third is something that Tuchel has mentioned more than once post-match after Chelsea has failed to take chances in a game.
He needs more from his £47million striker Werner because one goal in 16 won’t cut it, despite his improvements since Tuchel arrived.
The head coach is becoming something that Frank Lampard was and often chastised for – being too reliant on Mason Mount.