Pat Nevin insisted Chelsea lost the midfield battle in the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday and believes N’Golo Kante’s not being fully fit played a big part in it.
It is safe to say that the visitors were even unlucky not to get away with a bigger victory at Stamford Bridge.
Tuchel, who decided to start three midfielders, certainly did not expect that Pep Guardiola’s men would have that much control in midfield.
Nevin thinks Guardiola’s bold decision to essentially use his two centre-backs Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias to deal with Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner gave his team numerical advantages in other areas of the pitch.
That, and Chelsea’s not having their midfield engine at his best as well, he argued. He told the club’s post-match Matchday Live programme:
“When you go 2v2 at the back, they can flood the midfield, and they won the midfield. That’s why our midfield was overrun.
“And I’m not sure that N’Golo was fit. That was a long, long way from N’Golo we’re used to.“I can only see that as him not being 100 percent fit.”