Positive signs but not being clinical cost us again!
Chelsea started the game with the predicted lineup with the exception being Alonso who kept his place in front of Emerson. The opening minutes were similar to the previous games as the high pressing and passing football created several chances for Chelsea. The goal came in the 5th minute via an Antonio Rudiger header. Hudson-Odoi then won a penalty for Chelsea but Morata failed to convert from the spot. The first 45 continued in similar fashion and Chelsea dominated the game but Morata missed quite a few chances to add to the scoreline. Several subs were made in the second half as all players were replaced and gradually Arsenal began to grow into the game. Arsenal’s persistence was finally fruitful as Lacazette scored with the last kick of the game to equalise. The game went on to penalties and Loftus-Cheek missed his which gave Arsenal victory.
The first 45 minutes were very impressive but Chelsea’s general tone even from last season was that we always started the game of well. The fact that we are not clinical enough with the chances we create will continue haunt us this season and it should be something that worries the Chelsea board with 7 days of the transfer window to go. We desperately need a right winger who scores with the chances that are created for him. We also need a striker that converts the chances that are given to him and while Morata has done that on several occasions 2018 has not been his year in that regard. If Morata continues with this form then we could see Michy or even Tammy get a chance ahead of him. The starting lineup largely impressed although Alonso was also caught out on several occasions and it seems that his lack of pace could be a problem. Caballero was decent but hopefully we either keep Courtois or get a proper goalie in. The midfield of Barkley, Jorginho, and Fabregas were impressive although Barkley needs to work on his end product and Fabregas will in all likelihood be replaced by Kante. The subs were decent to lacklustre although Tammy showed some good moments, while Bulka made some great saves to at least put him in the thoughts of Sarri for cup competitions.
The standout performer of the game was Hudson-Odoi and he was also the player with the most minutes on the pitch. Hazard will miss the community shield and might not be ready for Huddersfield but with Hudson-Odoi we have a player that could reach incredible heights. This situation does not carry false hope like Musonda. Hudson-Odoi is a player to watch and will get minutes this season.
The passing and pressing is great in Sarriball but this philosophy and generally any philosophy in football only works when you score and convert your chances. That was the glaring problem last season and it continues to be the problem in Pre-Season as well. One can only hope that the starting XI have their finishing boots on for the game against City on Sunday, and that the likes of Michy, and Hazard show up with their boots as well.