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Not Quite Today

By Gary Watton
November 11 2018

Chelsea's attacking endeavours came up just short against a solid Everton, leaving the hosts trailing Manchester Mercenaries by four points in the English charts. In other years, a four point gap would be insignificant, but the league champions look well on course for another points total in the region of one hundred points, so Chelsea's only possible route to success appears to be at least four points in their head-to-head with the league leaders. Otherwise home draws like today will feel like defeats because they only serve to increase the points margin between the top team and Sarri's chasers. Of course it remains good for morale to preserve our unbeaten run and to collect a clean sheet, but only a string of wins will enable the chasing pack to keep pace with the league leaders.

In truth, the policy of fielding three non-scoring midfielders is not likely to reap much success. The club over the last 25 years has been blessed with a host of formidable goalscoring midfielders, such as Peacock, Wise, Di Matteo, Poyet, Lampard, Ballack, and Essien. However nowadays we have to cope with a trio of non-scoring midfielders. One midfielder capable of either scoring or at least providing a goal assist is Ross Barkley, and it was both cruel and illogical to bench him against his former club. History has taught us that players tend to excel when pitted against their former employer. In the event No Goals Kovacic was granted almost eighty minutes, while young Barkley was thrust into the fray very late in the proceedings.

Also, the failure to score an early goal meant that as the match wore on, Alonso and Azpilicueta were obliged to move further and further forward, leaving the team stretched at the back. A team with better counter-attacking capabilities than Evercrap would surely have mugged the hosts and left with all three points. Therefore, in spite of Alonso hitting the post, Morata having a goal ruled offside, and Willian missing a golden opportunity, this was a match that Chelsea could just as easily have lost as they might have won.

A non-scoring midfield remains a potential problem, while playing on a Sunday, three days after a Europa League venture also seems to be an ongoing cause for concern.

 

CHELSEA 0 Everton 0; half time: 0-0

CHELSEA: Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta; Alonso; Luiz; Rudiger; Kovacic; Jorginho; Kante; Willian; Morata; Hazard. Used substitutes: Fabregas; Pedro; Barkley

 

LEADING SCORERS:

Hazard eight

Morata six

Loftus-Cheek four

Pedro four

Barkley three

Willian three

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11/11/2018 13:17
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