Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has played down claims that the club have a ‘defensive’ style under Thomas Tuchel given their outstanding record at the back.
Tuchel took over from Frank Lampard as the blues manager at the end of January and is yet to taste any defeat in any of his first 14 matches in charge across all competitions.
Over that period, Chelsea have conceded only two goals and kept 12 clean sheets which has helped the London side climb up to fourth place in the Premier League.
Chelsea have also booked a place in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League after a 3-0 aggregate win over Atletico Madrid and will play Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-finals.
While they have been good defensively, in terms of going forward, Tuchel’s side have found the back of the net just 17 times in total and failed to score more than two goals in a single match.
Responding to claims that the Blues have a ‘defensive’ style under Tuchel, Azpilicueta told Chelsea’s matchday programme: ‘Well, being defensive? There is lots of opinions on that.
‘Some might think that being defensive is just to have the team as deep as you can and put a lot of bodies in the way, but our way of defending has been completely different,’ he told us.
‘We’ve been trying to be in the other half of the pitch, to push them deep and recover the ball as quick as we can, to not allow counter-attacks.
‘The further the opponents are from our box, the less dangerous they are – that’s obvious.
‘It’s down also to the hard work of the whole team, especially the attacking players, because when we lose the ball, that first reaction has been really, really helpful for everybody.
‘The intensity and the focus from everybody is the same, from the goalkeeper to the centre-forward. ‘We are all thinking the same way and we cannot drop that.’