Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has revealed that he is cautious of the ages of some of his defenders after their hard fought win against Everton.
All three battled well to prevent their hosts from scoring all evening, although Silva and Koulibaly both suffered from cramp towards the latter stages of the game.
Chelsea had chances of themselves and soon took the lead at the end of the first half.
Ben Chilwell was fouled inside the area and Jorginho scored the subsequent penalty, which proved to be enough to seal the win on the road.
A shorter turnaround from last season to the current one means that players have not had as much time off as previous years, and it showed during stages of the match.
After the win, Tuchel commented on his senior defenders and how they fared against their Merseyside opponents.
“All three of our players in the back three are in their thirties and we struggled a bit in general at the end of the game.
“We need to improve our physical level and we are on it. Thiago is a key player in the middle of the defence right now, but we need to move more on the ball, to invest more with runs.”
He also spoke on the win in general, saying: “It was maybe not the most exciting Premier League game. Seven minutes of extra time in the first half, ten minutes in the second half tells the story.
“Lots of interruptions and no team could find the rhythm. We struggled with the moments, to feel the moments, for the change of speed and switch of play.
“We didn't maybe want to take the risk in the final 25 metres. We didn't have enough movement on the ball in the second half and that didn't create enough ball losses. The ball was stuck between the halves.”
Koulibaly, who signed from Napoli this summer, made his competitive debut for the club against Everton, as well as Raheem Sterling.
Marc Cucurella was only announced on Friday afternoon, but he was able to come off the bench in the second half and play 15 minutes.
There was also a debut for Conor Gallagher, who has now made his first appearance for the club after four loan spells away from Stamford Bridge.
Another particular highlight was seeing Ben Chilwell make his first start for Chelsea since November, having recovered from an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
He reflected on the occasion when he said: "I've had the whole of pre-season and a few extra weeks coming in early.
“It's completely different to today. It's intense. One of the toughest places to come here, first game and happy to get the win. I'm exhausted."
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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