Chelsea 0 – 2 Manchester United – Why the Blues’ season faces the risk of falling apart


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The FA Cup 5th round clash between the two sides will take place on Tuesday 3 March at 7:45pm BST at the Stamford Bridge Stadium.

Despite putting in a decent performance on Monday night, the Blues left the door for top-four wide open as they suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester United.

At the start of November when both these sides met for their first meeting of the 2019/20 season, Chelsea had twice as many points as Manchester United. The Blues’ defeat on Monday meant that the Red Devils are only a win away from Frank Lampard’s men.

What has gone wrong for Chelsea? After all, for the first few months of the season, they looked like a side that could stop the Liverpool juggernaut. There was a time not so long ago when it looked as if the race for the Premier League title would be a three-horse race, one of them being the Blues.

The Stamford Bridge faithful could rightly point to a couple of unfortunate VAR calls that went against their last night. Another one, in which Harry Maguire clearly aimed his studs at the groin area of Mitchy Batshuayi, might have changed the game’s outcome had the decision gone in favor of the home side.

Despite acknowledging all that, one cannot blame those sitting in the Stockley Park for the recent troubles of Frank Lampard. His side has won only four of its last 14 games in the Premier League. Their berth in the top four which once looked bulletproof is now under siege from all sides.

Why Chelsea’s season faces the risk of falling apart?

Chelsea eye Ligue 1 ace
The Ligue 1 ace has impressed for AS Monaco this season
From the club’s inability to bring in a new player in the January transfer window to their poor form against the big sides, multiple factors explain Chelsea’s recent slump in form.

Chelsea’s form against ‘Big Six’ is average

After their Monday night clash with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, Frank Lampard’s men have locked horns with the traditional ‘Big Six’ on seven occasions in the Premier League. They have managed to win only two of them; victories against Arsenal and Tottenham when both of them weren’t at their best.

The other five clashes saw the Blues recording one draw and four defeats. Put all of this together, and it turns out that of the 21 points that they could have got from these fixtures, Chelsea managed to come up with only seven. That is nowhere near good enough for a side that wants to finish in the top-four.

Absence of new signings might cost them dearly

In the two transfer windows that preceded before last month’s, the Blues were under a transfer ban and were, therefore, unable to strengthen their squad. Their fans were understanding of the predicament and even urged the club to give more time to Lampard as he was experimenting with youth.

The fact of the matter is that this so-called ‘experiment with youth’ should have ended when the club’s transfer ban was lifted in December. The likes of Hakim Ziyech, who would be joining the club in the summer, should have been signed in January to help the club retain its top-four spot.

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The Blues’ poor shot conversion rate, as well as the poor form of their first-choice goalkeeper Kepa Arrizzabalaga, might cast a shadow on Lampard’s future as manager of the side.

Chelsea’s shot conversion rate is abysmal

Apart from the reigning Premier League champions Manchester City, no team in the top tier of English football has managed as many shots on opposition goal (424) as the Stamford Bridge residents. In theory, then, Chelsea should have been the 2nd top-scoring side in the country.

However, after their most recent defeat, the Blues have the fifth-best goal-scoring record in the country. While Man City need 8.13 shots to get the ball into the opposition net, the likes of Tammy Abraham and company need almost ten shots to score a goal. Youth, clearly, is making its presence felt here.

Poor form of Kepa Arrizzabalaga

While it shouldn’t come as a surprise to the Blues’ faithful who have seen the Spaniard’s form nosedive this season, it’s still an alarming fact that of all the goalkeepers in the English top-flight, the Chelsea number one has the lowest save percentage (55%).

That should never have happened once one considers how few shots the ex-Athletic Bilbao man has had to face this term. The 230 shots which the goalie has faced this season are the 2nd lowest any goalkeeper in the Premier League has to contend with. All these issues have joined forces to make the remainder of the season a painfully long one for Lampard and his men.

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