Analysis

Tuchel praises perfect start with room for improvement, hails Lukaku’s impact and updates on James injury

Thomas Tuchel hailed Chelsea’s ‘perfect’ start to the season after watching his side claim a commanding victory away at Arsenal.

Goals from Romelu Lukaku and Reece James did the damage at the Emirates, with the Blues still yet to concede in our opening two Premier League games of the campaign following another successful shutout.

Afterwards, the boss reflected on a performance in which we overcame a little lethargy after a hard week’s work of training and made the difference with quality in key moments.

‘I had the feeling in the first half that we lacked a bit of sharpness and activity,’ he said. ‘We were a bit passive in some moments and we had a long training week where we trained very hard with double sessions so I had the feeling we were a bit leggy.

‘In the second half, we overcame some minutes in the beginning and then we controlled it very well. We created more chances and I think we deserved to win but still room to improve.’

Lukaku scored on his second Blues debut and saw another header tipped onto the crossbar…

‘I’m very happy with the way he has integrated already. He’s a very smart guy, he likes to be in the group and he’s a very democratic leader so he talks to everybody.

‘He is very friendly, humble and totally competitive so he gives something to our game that we did not have so much to protect balls and play very direct up front into the last line.

‘He cannot start better than with a goal. He almost scored a second one but for a big save from Bernd Leno and he assisted some half-chances and chances as well so it’s a good start. Now we have to improve from here.’

The boss was asked whether that is what he expected from his new striker…

‘I didn’t expect too much. I wanted to be open to watch him, to see his strengths and his capability to adapt and link up with Kai and Mason.

‘This is what he did very well. The guys like to play with him and from here we can go into the details.'

There was an update on James, who suffered a knock to the head late in the game…

‘He was not at all unconscious. He was just worried that he lost a tooth which is why he was a bit shocked but nothing else.’

Finally, Thomas assessed our start to the 2021/22 campaign…

‘It’s a perfect start. We didn’t concede a goal and we have two victories. I’s a London derby so it gives us a lot of genuine confidence that we need as a team.

‘We’re a different group, some players left, some players came in, so these experiences together are what we need.’

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