Yesterday, Wednesday, January 30, Chelsea Football Club suffered their biggest defeat of the season, a staggering 4-0 loss at the hands of Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth.
It was a very Jekyll and Hyde performance from the blues; they dominated the first half with upwards near 80% of the possession, but could not find the back of the net. The second half was calamitous and Chelsea conceded four goals to the Cherries. Joshua King found the net in the 47 minute, which was followed by a rally of counter attacking goals by David Brooks and King again in the 63 and 75 minutes. Charlie Daniels rounded off the scoring in the 94 minute with a flicked header to the far post. Bournemouth was able to pull off an unbelievable upset to leave Chelsea and their fans in shambles.
Those who couldn’t view the game were most likely bewildered with such a big defeat and might be asking what went wrong in the second half; poorly composed, individual mistakes cost Maurizio Sarri’s side the match.
Prior to the game, on paper, Chelsea should’ve left Vitality Stadium with all three points. When Chelsea announced new signing Gonzalo Higuain would be starting his first premier league match, fans were expecting goals among goals. The Chelsea players kept the ball for an astonishing amount in the first half, but failed to beat an inform Nathan Ake and Artur Boruc between the sticks. The first half display would have given Chelsea fans high hopes of breaking the deadlock in the second half.
Eddie Howe’s locker room talk must have encouraged his side incredibly. Minutes into the second half David Brooks managed to find space in the 18 yard box in behind David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger. He played an inch perfect pass to striker Joshua King who managed to rocket the ball into the roof of the goal. Letting youngster David Brooks sneak in behind Chelsea’s backline was an unacceptable mistake for both centerbacks. The second goal was scored off of a very predictable David Luiz error. A hospital ball from Luiz was played directly to the feet of Brooks who took off and finished in a composed manner for the second goal. The third goal again was scored because of our high line and the poor zonal marking of Luiz and Rudiger. A despicable defensive display filled with lapses in concentration cost Chelsea the three points.
How can Chelsea find their heads and patch up this poor team mentality?
As the goals were piled on Chelsea seemed to give up and look hopeless by the final whistle. The players lacked fight and the right mentality need to come back and win the match. Maurizio Sarri has said numerous times that his players are “extremely difficult to motivate”. This lack of grit and passion could be fixed by giving some of Chelsea’s young prodigies a chance to impress. Players like Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Andreas Christiansen, and Ethan Ampadu are all desperately seeking game time to impress manager Maurizio Sarri and begin to forge their first team careers.
Homegrown academy players as such are built into young men dying for a chance to break into the first team of their boyhood club. Injecting more youth into the side will build the young players’ confidence and strengthen the team’s mentality. In the limited minutes they have played, they have already proved their worth and deserve more minutes under head coach Maurizio Sarri.
After the final whistle was blown, Maurizio Sarri was late to his routine post-match press conference by nearly 40 minutes. It was reported from multiple noteworthy sources that Sarri had kicked out all staff and spoke 1-on-1 to his team for the 40 minutes. He was clearly distraught with his team’s performance and apologized to the fans in his press conference when he said,” …although we can lose any game, we should not lose in that manner.” Fans will forgive the abysmal performance and be hoping for a better showing on Saturday, February 2 against Huddersfield Town.