Tuchel hails Chelsea’s ‘invisible men’ as the secret for Chelsea’s brilliant defensive record

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Chelsea have conceded just 24 goals and kept 31 clean sheets in Thomas Tuchel’s 50 games in charge of the Blues.

Ahead of Sunday’s Premier League game against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, Tuchel has revealed the secret to Chelsea’s brilliant defensive record.

He said: “I will give you one example. If you look at the goal from N’Golo against Leicester when he runs more or less half the pitch and scores a fantastic goal with his left foot I was surprised when I saw it and realised that Toni Rudiger was [among] the first ones to be there, to congratulate and hug him because I thought ‘how fast is he for this to happen? He [Kante] scored from the edge of the 18-yard box?

“When you look at it in detail you see that while N’Golo is driving forward Toni is closing the space and doing this kind of ‘invisible work’ to close the striker down.

“I think it was [Ademola] Lookman who was in that corridor and if the [Kante] shot is blocked and the ball goes there he [Rudiger] would be the first one to go into a counter-press. He takes the responsibility for covering that which meant that Lookman could not take the ball free, he could not turn and initiate a counter-attack that ends maybe with Vardy and a goal.

“So this is the kind of work which means we are taking care of our roles and in that moment Toni is doing this, this very humble work, because how big is the chance that N’Golo scores from the left foot? He [Rudiger] could have just stood back and watched but he didn’t.”

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