UEFA Champions League: Chelsea boom: A very different team from the European champions in 2021

AndOn May 29, 2021, in front of just over 14,000 spectators and in a post-pandemic context, Chelsea won the UEFA Champions League for the second time at Do Drago (Porto). Thomas Tuchel, who had landed months earlier at Stamford Bridge, completed the dream of returning to give Roman Abramovich his last major European title. Years later, there was little left in London of that team that “demolished” City on Portuguese soil. Neither the owner nor the coach…and many new faces in the starting eleven.

It was on January 26 when Chelsea decided to sack Frank Lampard (the current coach) in order to “save” Tuchel from unemployment, who had been “on vacation” for a while after he said goodbye to Paris Saint-Germain. It was successful. They eliminated Atlético Madrid, Porto and Real Madrid in the semi-finals. In the last, decisive match, they beat Manchester City 0-1 with a key goal from Havertz.

The German is precisely one of the few “survivors” of the boom Chelsea have experienced since then. Holders of Do Drago, Mendy, Ridiger, Chilwell, Jorginho or Werner have left the club or lost ownership. To add another name, Kant is now back after a nightmare 2022/23 due to injuries. The rest are new faces.

Chelsea started in the last 11 in the final for Porto in 2021.

Chelsea started in the last 11 in the final for Porto in 2021.

In addition, Many other names left the “blue” team to make room for several signings: This is the case of Marcos Alonso, Christensen, Zuma, Emerson Palmieri, Abraham, Giroud or Hudson-Odoi. the latter, on loan to Leverkusen from Xabi Alonso and still, in part, linked with London.

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The ‘new’ Chelsea

Access Todd Boylethe historic shift to the transfer market and Over €600m spent in 2022/23 has forcefully changed the face of Chelsea. Enzo Fernndez, Koulibaly, Badiashile, Joao Flix, Sterling, Cucurella or Mudryk are some of the new faces that have arrived under the leadership of the American pole.

His plans don’t end here, warns Bohle: “Our commitment is to acquire as much talent as possible, and to invest for the long term.” With the departure of the directors of the “Abramovich era” (Granovskaya, for example), The American arrives determined to sweep almost any memory of the Russian billionaire-driven stage off the bridge, however glorious.

Our commitment is to acquire as much talent as possible, and invest for the long term

Todd Boyley, owner of Chelsea Football Club

But there are still those who resist. Kepa, substitute in 2021, has regained his position under the stick, Reece James is untouchable at the right flank, Chilwell fights to dislodge Cucurella, Kovacic and Kant (if they are healthy) and remain in the midfield struggle and Havertz, against the absence (so far) of ‘ 9’ Naqi, he is still the reference in attack.

The expected eleven from Real Madrid - Chelsea tonight.

The expected eleven from Real Madrid – Chelsea tonight.

The results do not match

And despite the multiple changes ordered by Bohle, There is no doubt that this Chelsea is a worse team than the 2021 team. The comeback, led by Tuchel, led them to win the European Championship, lose the FA Cup in the final against Leicester, and finish fourth in the Premier League. Some results, surprisingly enough, will not match Lampard this academic year 2022/23.

The “Blues” are further from the Champions League places (17 points behind Manchester United) from relegation And their part of the Champions League draw is the most complex: first, Real Madrid; Later, it is presumably Manchester City.

Tuchel, in the Champions League match against Real Madrid.

Tuchel, in the Champions League match against Real Madrid.ANGEL RIVERO / MARK.

In addition, Chelsea de Tuchel, at least during those six months and in Europe, has sent an impressive force. Although they lacked a goal (like that, that’s why 114m was spent on Lukaku the summer after they were champions of Europe… even though it went wrong), they were a more compact team, with an unbeatable physical level and very tough. He won the kill-to-kill tie.

At the moment, and unfortunately for the fans who come to Stamford Bridge every 15 days, Looks like her baby teeth haven’t fallen out yet.

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