On the touchline, it was a battle of wits between English league football’s third longest-serving coach and the newest arrival, with Tuchel vocally getting instructions and details over to his new players. As the contest entered its final quarter, Sean Dyche’s men still hadn’t fashioned a shot at goal, although that owed much to Thiago Silva’s excellent anticipation after 68 minutes as he intercepted a dangerous ball into the box from Robbie Brady.
Down the other end, the ever-threatening Hudson-Odoi caught Brady unawares and slipped in behind him to fizz in a cross of his own. The effort deflected towards goal off Mee and was expertly pushed away by Pope.
Spanish double act
Hudson-Odoi might not have notched a goal or assist as he departed with 15 minutes remaining – Pulisic striking just wide from the wing-back’s final contribution – but his involvement in the final third had been significant.
His replacement, Reece James, almost made sure of the points with one of his first touches, a well-struck right-footed effort, but Pope was down low again to make a really good stop.
The game was put to bed in the 84th minute as Alonso justified his inclusion with a stunning goal. Advancing forward from the left, the Spaniard took Pulisic’s pass on his chest, then his knee, before firing an unstoppable volley into the far top corner. It was a goal fit enough to seal any win and ensured Chelsea Tuchel three points for the first time under the German’s reign.