Chelsea’s Defense Crumble on Halloween
Chelsea’s defense crumbled in comical fashion in Rome. The centre back pairing of Antonio Rudiger, David Luiz and Gary Cahill could do nothing about Roma’s attack.
Stephane Elshaarawy was in beast mode as he struck twice in the match. While his first goal was a cracking 25 yard effort, struck with the outside of his boot, his second was a gift from Chelsea. David Luiz lost the ball in midfield and this allowed Radja Nainggolan to send a lofted pass into the box. Rudiger and Elsharaawy chased the ball, but Rudiger misjudged the flight of the ball and Elshaarawy accepted the gift by converting clinically.
Diego Perotti who was a constant threat in the reverse fixture, scored the third goal, after another gift from Cesc Fabregas. Cesc Fabregas lost the ball in midfield, and Perotti converted with a well struck long range effort.
Chelsea’s Defense Problems Show Kante is Indispensable
Since Ngolo Kante’s injury on international duty for France, Chelsea has kept just one clean sheet.
In fact they have shipped in 11 goals in just 6 matches since. That is an average of almost 2 goals per match. The partnership of Tiemoue Bakayoko and Cesc Fabregas in midfield has not been it. Neither of them is reliable in playing the Makelele role. Steven Gerard was not impressed with Conte’s selection, saying: “Today he went with a very, very bold team selection and it’s backfired on him.”
“Fabregas doesn’t cover ground like Kante. He’s exceptional on the ball and can pick out the killer pass,” he explained.
Without Kante, the 3-4-3 formation is susceptible, especially against sides that can attack. Roma showed this by scoring 6 goals in two matches.
Conte needs to find a solution to Kante’s absence before Sunday’s match against Manchester United. Maybe a change of formation, or a change in personnel.
On Halloween, Chelsea put up a horror display.
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