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Football London: Follow View Profile Cesar Azpilicueta replaces Thomas Tuchel for Chelsea as Raheem Sterling joins exclusive club

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Chelsea saw their first three points at home of the season on Saturday in their 2-1 win over Leicester City. Raheem Sterling’s brace proved enough to separate the sides, despite Harvey Barnes’ strike leaving the Blues with a very nervous end to the game.

Raheem Sterling celebrates after scoring Chelsea's first goal in the 2-1 win over Leicester

Raheem Sterling celebrates after scoring Chelsea’s first goal in the 2-1 win over Leicester© Chris Lee – Chelsea FC

It sees Thomas Tuchel’s side record seven points from the first 12 available this term, and the Blues may head to Southampton on Tuesday with a bit more confidence after showing some perseverance to come through at Stamford Bridge.

It was a match not short of talking points, with Tuchel having to watch away from the sideline, a new formationConor Gallagher receiving an early red card and each side feeling hard done by VAR. It was game in the end, won by character as well as moments of quality.

READ MOREWhy Marc Cucurella got angry after Conor Gallagher red card as Chelsea find Thomas Tuchel deputy

As Tuchel noted: “I’m happy we hung in and showed the mentality that was needed to have at least the chance to get away with a win. To keep the clean sheet as long as possible, or throughout the match, was the target for the second half.

“We conceded a goal – totally not needed – and therefore we were under a lot of pressure in the last minutes and conceded two chances. We were lucky in the end not to concede the equaliser but we did everything to have the chance and the mentality was very good.”

With the elements of drama, you could be forgiven for missing a thing or two. football.london takes a look at those moments you might have missed.

What Thomas Tuchel did before kick-off

While Tuchel was banned from his position patrolling the touchline and in the dugout, the German coach appeared to believe it would make little difference overall with his ability to still enter the Chelsea changing rooms come half-time and to work with a member of his coaching staff from the stands.

Related video: Thomas Tuchel hails Raheem Sterling’s ‘crucial’ contribution against Leicester

 

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Thomas Tuchel hails Raheem Sterling’s ‘crucial’ contribution against Leicester

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The 48-year-old was not far away from the touchline either side of the game as he watched the teams warm up. Tuchel greeted each Leicester play as they headed down the tunnel back to the changing rooms and applauded the efforts of Millie Bright, Bethany England and Frank Kirby who were presented with flowers by Blues boss Emma Hayes for their Euros success with the Lionesses over the summer.

Tuchel was once again pitchside after the full-time whistle, with the media team having to prevent him entering the playing field so that he did not contravene his suspension. Close one.

Cesar Azpilicueta’s sideline role

Tuchel’s presence was an obvious miss from the technical area, and perhaps with some relief to the fourth official. Arno Michels was the man placed in charge for the afternoon, though it was clear the likes of Zsolt Low and Anthony Barry were also present on the sidelines.

They were not the only figures filling in for Tuchel, however. Cesar Azpilicueta was quickly away from his place among the substitutes when Gallagher was handed his first yellow card of the afternoon. The Spaniard came down the dugout steps to ensure the fourth official’s ear wasn’t given a rest.

Ben Chilwell’s familiar friends and foes

It was a an afternoon of contrasting greetings for Ben Chilwell as his former team turned up to Stamford Bridge. The wing-back took a break from taking in the pitch alongside Christian Pulisic and Reece James, to say hello to the Leicester coaching staff and spent a good view minutes in conversation with Jamie Vardy.

The Foxes away support took a different tact and spent plenty of their time mocking Chilwell’s place on the Chelsea bench whenever he ventured near. The 25-year-old was unperturbed and made a point of applauding Chelsea’s supporters in the same corner to a raucous reception to prove a point of his new allegiance.

Raheem Sterling joins exclusive club

Saturday afternoon saw Sterling vindicate Chelsea’s summer transfer spend by bagging two goals, with the latter an effort that looked eerily familiar from his time at Manchester City. There will be hope there are many more to come, with Reece James providing the perfect delivery.

His strikes not only provided plenty of hope for the season ahead but saw him join a very select group of players. As per Opta, Sterling became one of three players to have scored for Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea in addition to Nicolas Anelka and Daniel Sturridge.

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