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Chelsea defeated Fulham 2-0 at home on Saturday, in what was a very comfortable game for the Blues.
Thiago Silva was captain on the day, as Thomas Tuchel rotated his squad to face Fulham, with the likes of Cesar Azpilicueta, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Christian Pulisic all getting much needed rests, ahead of the game against Real Madrid.
The major tweak to the Chelsea team that beat Fulham was in the middle of the park, as Billy Gilmour was deployed in a deep central role, with Kante and Jorginho rested.
It was expected that Gilmour and Mason Mount will sit deep in midfield together, but Tuchel did a tactical tweak to his formation that saw Gilmour play in that deep anchor role alone, and Mount was more box to box, as he combined higher up the pitch with Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner.
Gilmour wasn’t at his brilliant best at the start of the game, and you wouldn’t expect much seeing that he has been without games for a long time.
Veteran defender Thiago Silva who played behind Gilmour, was often seen barking out instructions to the youngster.
With well over 500 career games separating the two, the Brazilian has made nearly 100 appearances for his country and more than 500 club appearances, compared to Gilmour who has only just made his 20th appearance for Chelsea.
Thiago Silva may not yet be able to speak English, but he can speak some common football slangs.
When defending a free kick late in the first half, Silva shouted “HERE!” and pointed to exactly where Gilmour should be standing. When Gilmour moved, Silva then shouted “GOOD!” to his young teammate, and Chelsea cleared out the ball neatly.