Same old from Chelsea.
Chelsea travelled to the Emirates on Boxing day and got beat 3-1 by a struggling Arsenal side which had not won a single game in their last 10 tries. Lampard selected a strong enough XI with Mendy in goal while Reece James and Chilwell both made unexpected recoveries to features in the starting XI. Silva and Zouma continued as the defensive partnership while Kante, Kovacic, and Mount made up the midfield. Werner and Pulisic played on the wings with Giroud up front. Arteta went for a youthful XI with Willian, Luiz, and Gabriel all missing from the matchday squad.
After some nervy opening minutes in which both teams exchanged blows and came close to scoring, Arsenal began to impose authority on the game. Chelsea just looked second best to every ball during the 1st half and we failed to grab any momentum in the game. The first goal came in the 34th minute as Tierney broke into the box and while Reece James had a slight nudge on him Tierney managed to dive and get an unwarranted penalty. Lacazette stepped up and scored the goal to make it 1-0. Chelsea didn’t wake up from the goal and Arsenal continued to put pressure on the game. Kante then brought an Arsenal player down outside the box and Xhaka stepped up to score a free kick in the 44th minute to make it 2-0 before half time. Chelsea went into the 2nd half needing a big come back and an even bigger turn around in performance which had been abysmal.
Jorginho came on for Kovacic at half time while Werner also came off for Hudson-Odoi with the German having produced another lacklustre performance at the front. Hudson-Odoi provided some much needed drive in the game as his energy made a difference up front but still Chelsea couldn’t control the game. Saka made it 3-0 in the 56th minute with what was a fluke attempt at a shot that ended up at the back of the net. Havertz came on for the final 15 of the game and Chelsea finally began to switch into gear with 15 minutes to go. Abraham scored in the 85th minute after some good work by Pulisic and Hudson-Odoi while Mount was brought down in the box around the 89th minute. Jorginho missed the penalty though and the game ended 3-1 with Arsenal finally managing to win the game and Chelsea helping yet another side in poor form.
Chelsea Team Review
Mendy wasn’t at fault for any of the goals and he actually made several good saves during the game to limit the goals to 3 for Arsenal. Can’t say much else about the performance.
Reece James and Chilwell made surprise comebacks to the team and on the face of it looked great but one could see they were a bit off the pace. Silva and Zouma were good but the organization was lacking in this game. Neither of the goals were really the defences fault though although we did concede a lot of shots.
Kante looked tired and in need of a rest as much like the rest of the team he couldn’t match the intensity. Kovacic was not great and was taken off at half time while Mount only began to get into the game when the rest of the team did around the 75th minute mark. Jorginho wasn’t great when he came on and missed a penalty once again which really shows that it’s time he stopped taking them. Havertz looked decent when he came on and looks to be recovering from the Covid.
Pulisic was probably our best player that featured from minute 1. The American seems to be getting into his stride and his mazy dribbling runs were key for Chelsea whenever we managed to create some sort of chance. Werner was not great once again and Lampard has to see the light and either play him as the striker or drop him for a game or two because there is something wrong psychologically when it comes to the German. All the talent is there it’s just as if some lock has been put on him. Tammy was decent and he got a goal to his name but he had several more chances as well. Hudson-Odoi was good when he came on and Lampard stated that he will start the next game.
3 defeats in the last 4 and the good run has really come to an instant halt. Lampard more than most will know it’s not good enough like any other big team, a poor run of games brings pressure. The starting XI was good and while Lampard needs to be questioned about the positioning of some players in the team like Werner, the players also have to be blamed for their utter lack of urgency in the game. It is as if we went into the game thinking this was going to be a simple win. Those wanting Lampard to get sacked won’t be getting any joy because he really isn’t going anywhere for now. Lampard now needs to get back to the basics, he needs to find out how he can get the best out of Werner and he needs to get the team performing again. We have shown good form but these types of needless losses will not help.
So Arsenal move into 14th with the win while Chelsea drop down into 7th, 2 points behind 4th placed Manchester United. Next up a visit from an in form Aston Villa team. COME ON CHELSEA!!!