Following Chelsea 2-0 victory against Spurs last weekend, it appeared that the Blues were back to their winning ways. Yet, their shock 2-0 defeat against Bournemouth on Boxing day meant their troubling spell continues with the Chelsea players unable to secure convincing results at the Bridge.
What did we learnt from this highly disappointing fixture and where do we go from here?
Frank Lampard Got It Wrong
It was only last week that we were praising the boss for his tactical masterclass. Now, he is in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. The Chelsea legend opted for a back three once more, putting Emerson and Cesar Azpilicueta out onto the wings. Although this formation worked a treat against Spurs, it was no match for Southampton – who enjoyed playing narrowly as we struggled to get balls in from wide areas. From the offset, it was clear Lampard had made a mistake and although he made the decision to take Kurt Zouma off for Mason Mount at half time, it was already too late.
The Absence of Mateo Kovacic Was Evident
The Croatian was suspended for the Southampton, following a yellow card he picked up in Chelsea’s recent fixture against Spurs. Although the Chelsea team looked as though they had it covered, with the likes of Jorginho and N’Golo Kante making up for his absence in midfield, the Blues were in desperate need for the 25-year-old on Thursday. Jorginho started the game relatively well – finding players up front and making crucial interceptions. However, as the game went on, the Italian started to make silly mistakes. Kante also didn’t have his best game in a Chelsea shirt and Blues supporters will be relieved to see Kovacic back for the Arsenal game at the weekend.
The Blues are Becoming Predictable
Time and time again, the side has been criticised for his lack of options going forward – and Thursday proved to be no different against the Saints. Chelsea failed to create many chances and as a result, were becoming too predictable in the Boxing day fixture. As one of the more creative players in our squad, Mount’s introduction to the game made an instant impact in the second half. However, where Chelsea found creativity, they then lacked end product. Overall, The Blues need to be more decisive when going forward and make the most of their dominance in possession.
Shaky Defence is a Problem
Not only have Chelsea struggled creatively this campaign, but they have also been horrendous in defence. Their latest game against Southampton saw yet another shocking display at the back – with the likes of Kurt Zouma, Emerson and Azpilicueta all having a bad game. Antonio Rudiger, who has been praised for his return to the side, also had a questionable performance – with Fiikayo Tomori having the best game out of the bunch. It’s an area that Lampard desperately needs to address come January.
Home Curse Continues
For whatever reason, Chelsea are struggling to pick up points at home. Stamford Bridge, which was once seen as fortress for the Blues, has become a placed feared by Chelsea supporters this campaign. The West London side have picked up disappointing results from West Ham, Bournemouth and now, Southampton – all of which were deemed as comfortable fixtures for the side. Chelsea must learn from these discouraging defeats if they have any hope of beating teams that travel to the Bridge.