LIVERPOOL (REUTERS) - Frank Lampard's sacking as Chelsea manager sent some supporters into mourning, yet it has taken only 10 games for Thomas Tuchel to make the decision to offload the club legend look inspired.
Lampard's last 10 games in charge resulted in five defeats and four wins, two of which came against Morecambe and Luton Town in the FA Cup.
Chelsea's expensively-assembled team had dropped to ninth in the Premier League standings and were apparently suffering an identity crisis that threatened to wreck the season.
Their transformation under Tuchel has been remarkable and Thursday's (March 4) 1-0 win at Liverpool was a tactical masterclass from the German who easily out-foxed his compatriot Jurgen Klopp.
Chelsea are unbeaten in Tuchel's 10 games in charge, winning seven, drawing three and keeping eight clean sheets.
"I am very, very happy with the performance. It was clear we needed a complete performance in all aspects of the game," he said. "We did this, we were very brave with the ball and never lost intensity with the ball.
"We were always aggressive and very brave. This was the key. It was a top team performance and a deserved win. When you arrive in a match like this you cannot overthink it. We managed all situations very, very well."
Tuchel got the better of Diego Simeone last week as his side beat Atletico Madrid 1-0 in the away leg of their Champions League last 16 tie, and the articulate German showed again on Thursday why he was picked as Lampard's successor.
His side were far more decisive than Liverpool in the first half, playing on the front foot, then when they had to dig deeper in the second period they did so with a calmness that augurs well for the rest of the campaign.
Tuchel brings an intensity to the touchline that Lampard sometimes lacked and he has shown that he is not afraid to ruffle feathers.
Mason Mount, scorer of a wonderful goal on Thursday, was not in his first starting line-up, while Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham have been left in no doubt that instructions must be carried out to the tee.
Big-money signings Timo Werner and Kai Havertz also know they will get no preferential treatment from their compatriot.
Tuchel's high standards have quickly seeped through the squad and Chelsea have become a tough side to play against when under Lampard they had become a soft touch.
They are now fourth in the table, albeit having played a game more than some of the sides below them.
"The race is on, there are still 11 games to go," Tuchel said. "We go step by step. We can never rest and never celebrate, there is no time."