Chelsea’s new manager Thomas Tuchel has been praised by pundit Garth Crooks for bringing Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso back in for the 2-0 win over Burnley.
The Spanish pair were superb for Chelsea, scoring the goals in a 2-0 win, which gave Tuchel his first victory since replacing Frank Lampard as Blues boss last week.
Lampard hadn’t given Azpilicueta or Alonso much playing time this season, and Crooks praised the new man in charge for bringing them back in, with the performances certainly repaying the German tactician’s faith in them.
Azpilicueta made a superb run for his opening goal, and Alonso then finished well later in the game, showing once again that he can be an effective wing-back – a role he shone in under Antonio Conte, but which he’s not really been used in since.
“Thomas Tuchel’s first game in charge against Wolves after the departure of Frank Lampard was a rather cautious affair. Not so against Burnley. The Blues took the handbrake off against the Clarets, Cesar Azpilicueta in particular,” Crooks wrote in his column for BBC Sport.
“The Chelsea captain played his part in both fixtures but his goal against Burnley was quite outstanding. Azpilicueta’s determination to cover the ground in order to receive the pass from Callum Hudson-Odoi was compelling.
“It also makes you question why Frank Lampard left the full-back out of the side for so long.”
On Alonso, he said: “It never ceases to amaze me that when a new manager comes in players who were previously out of favour suddenly come into focus. Marcos Alonso has hardly featured for Chelsea this season but scored what can only be described as an Alonso classic.
“New manager Thomas Tuchel seems to have dispensed with any notion of Alonso defending and got the player concentrating on using his magical left foot to great effect.
“Whatever Tuchel’s reason for bringing players like Alonso back, it will certainly give the English players in the club a reality check.”
All in all, it’s a promising start from Tuchel, who looks a fine choice for Chelsea after Lampard’s struggles this season.