Three things Tuchel got right and two he got wrong as Chilwell downs Brentford

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Chelsea maintained their place at the top of the Premier League with a narrow win over Brentford, though Blues boss Thomas Tuchel will still have some concerns.

Liverpool’s hammering of Watford and Manchester City’s defeat of Burnley had seen Chelsea slip to third going into the Saturday evening clash.

Though their attack failed to fire, Ben Chilwell was on hand to score a stunning winner just before half-time when he struck home a half-volley.

Brentford put Tuchel's side under enormous pressure in the second-half, but several stunning saves from Edouard Mendy ensured they took home all three points and returned to the top of the league.

Here, Daily Star Sport looks at two things Tuchel got right and two he got wrong against the Bees…

Trusting Chilwell

Though he scored against Southampton, Ben Chilwell had an uncomfortable afternoon in Chelsea’s last outing in the Premier League.

Despite that, Tuchel opted to trust the Englishman and selected him ahead of Marcos Alonso in the left wing-back spot.

The Blues boss was rewarded for that decision, with Chilwell one of Chelsea’s more creative players and successfully dampening the impact of Sergi Canos.

Chilwell also scored the Blues’ winner on the stroke of half-time with a fabulous half-volley after Brentford had failed to clear Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross.

Who was Chelsea's man of the match against Brentford? Let us know in the comments section…

Youthful back three

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There was some surprise when the team-sheets were released and it was seen that Tuchel had named a back three containing both Malang Sarr and Trevoh Chalobah.

But Blues fans need not have worried about their inexperienced defence, with Sarr, Chalobah and Andreas Christensen ensuring Edouard Mendy was rarely troubled.

In fact, neither Ivan Toney nor Bryan Mbeumo had a shot on target in the first-half, though the latter did hit the post.

It was a fine defensive performance from the trio as they kept a Brentford attack that had put three goals past Liverpool at bay.

Taking off Lukaku

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Tuchel had a decision to make as the game entered the final 20 minutes, with Brentford ramping up the pressure on the visitors.

The Blues boss knew he needed to change formation to get his side back on top, with one of Timo Werner or Romelu Lukaku having to come off.

In the event it was Lukaku who was brought off, with Kai Havertz coming on as Chelsea switched to a 3-4-2-1 formation.

That was the right decision, with Werner's running and link-up play helping to relieve the pressure that the Bees were putting them under.

But two things he got wrong…

Defensive-minded line-up

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Brentford’s attacking capabilities, especially at home, have become well-known following their opening day win over Arsenal and their draw with Liverpool.

In an effort to combat that, Tuchel named what was a defensive-minded starting line-up, containing N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Cesar Azpilicueta.

That decision backfired on Tuchel somewhat, with Brentford still able to create chances and put immense pressure on the Chelsea defence.

The visitors also appeared to run out of ideas going forward, with Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner isolated up-front and unable to create many clear-cut chances.

Persisting with the Werner-Lukaku partnership

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Chelsea have been at their best when playing in a 3-4-2-1 formation, but it is a system that Tuchel appears to be moving away from.

Timo Werner was partnered with Romelu Lukaku for the second time this season and it once again produced no goals for either player.

The duo were unable to develop a connection for much of the clash with the Bees, with the pair having a combined Expected Goals ratio of just 0.13 before the break.

That suggests that without the creative talents of the likes of Mason Mount, Lukaku and Werner are struggling to find positions where they can score.

  • Premier League
  • Chelsea FC
  • Thomas Tuchel
  • Brentford FC

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