Let’s face it, securing a convincing win against Bayern Munich on Saturday to confirm our place in the quarter-finals was always going to be a big ask. With both Christian Pulisic and Cesar Azpilicueta out injured and a 3-0 defeat in the first leg, it would be almost impossible to pull this off – and unfortunately, the Blues were unable to deliver. Here are the five things we learnt from that humiliating night in Munich.
A Lively Performance by Callum Hudson-Odoi
Now, Callum Hudson-Odoi has been receiving a lot of stick lately – and perhaps, rightly so. Since coming back from his injury, he has been a shadow of his former self. However, out of a set of mediocre performances from Chelsea on Saturday, he was probably one of the better players on the night. The 19-year-old had a point to prove at the Allianz Arena, with new signings threatening to take his spot next season. The youngster appeared lively throughout and even managed to score a wonder strike outside the penalty area, before the goal was disallowed by VAR for an offside in the build-up. However, he refused to let that affect his performance and continued to work well in Chelsea’s attack when he switched to the left, allowing him to cut inside onto his favoured foot.
A Poor Return by Emerson
Emerson hasn’t started a league game for the Blues since January and it was clear to see why. With Marcos Alonso suspended and Azpilicueta injured, Frank Lampard’s only choice was to turn to the Brazilian. Although the 26-year-old played a big part in Chelsea’s only goal of the game, he was poor defensively. The left-back played Lewandowski onside for the run that led to the penalty and was also largely at fault for Bayern’s second and third goal of the evening. Emerson was nowhere to be seen for Ivan Perisic’s goal and did little to prevent the third. Overall, a night to forget for the defender.
Defensive Woes (Again!)
Speaking of defensive errors, Chelsea once again showed their vulnerability at the back. Although Emerson was arguably the worst defender on the night, all of the players on Chelsea’s backline looked unconvincing. Andreas Christensen was pretty much invisible during the entirety of the game, allowing the Bayern players space and letting Kurt Zouma to do most of the work. That being said, Zouma failed to make some decent clearances, despite looking solid in certain areas. The Frenchman was the best out of a bad bunch on Saturday, with Reece James focusing more on his attacking game.
Mixed Views on Willy Caballero
The Argentine had the worst possible start against Bayern, conceding a penalty in the first five minutes of the game. The keeper then failed to stop Lewandowski’s penalty strike (although, you can’t expect much going up against the world’s top striker). Although Chelsea’s second-choice keeper then let another three goals slide past him, he wasn’t supported by Chelsea’s woeful defence. The 38-year-old did make some saves during the game and even though the Blues conceded four goals, is it wrong to say that Caballero still looked more convincing than Kepa Arrizabalaga?
A Consolation Goal from Tammy Abraham
Another player who had a point to prove on Saturday was Tammy Abraham. The 22-year-old has lost his place in the starting XI in recent times, thanks to Olivier Giroud’s spectacular performances. With the likes of Timo Werner coming into the squad next season, Abraham’s place in the team looks uncertain to say the least. Therefore, the boss was willing to offer the youngster an opportunity to showcase his talents against Europe’s elite. Abraham started poorly, with his offside positioning denying Hudson-Odoi’s goal. However, his goal in the latter stages of the first half made up for his previous mistake. Despite his consolation goal, we doubt the Englishman did enough to prove himself.