Chelsea were handed their first defeat under the Thomas Tuchel reign on Saturday, but it wasn’t just any old defeat.
They lost 5-2 to relegation struggling West Brom, a team they were expected to breeze past.
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However, things did not go accordingly and after Thiago Silva got sent off, the team and the players folded over and crumbled once again, as we have so often seen them do.
Former Chelsea winger Pat Nevin though, is trying to draw some positives from the result and the performance, and he believes that Tuchel would have learned more from this defeat and performance from some of the players, than he would have from the previous 14 matches, in which they went unbeaten.
I believe he has a great point. Things felt far too easy up until Saturday, and almost as if some of the players were playing out of their skin and some of them it was the best form we had ever seen from them, it didn’t feel natural.
Nevin, writing in his Chelsea column on the website, said:
“I reckon Tuchel learned more in the game against West Brom than he did in any other single Chelsea match he has been in charge of so far. It had all been a bit like clockwork up until now, but this was different, and it may well have shone a light on previously unnoticed weaknesses, ones that will only show up in the dark moments.
“He will be happy that this ‘out of the blue’ performance didn’t happen in Seville against Porto tomorrow night. That could have killed the Champions league dream in no time.
“The importance of how the players react to these types of results is critical. After Manchester United’s humbling, they won three of the next four including an away victory at PSG, while the other game was a draw against Chelsea. Liverpool went on a run of six wins and two draws in the next eight games after they shipped those seven goals at Villa Park. Man City have done quite well too since their slip up!”