Azonto Epistles 30: Defensive errors costing us big time in title race
Before the publication of this Azonto, the Blues had played two matches in the premier league. Against Sunderland away and against Stock City at the Britannia stadium on a ‘cold afternoon at Stoke’. And we earned only 3 points out of the two games which surely would have been an easy 6 points in two games to keep the footrace in bid to catch Arsenal at the top of the EPL.
Instead, the Blues beat Sunderland 4-3 away in an exciting back-and-forth of goals in either nets each half. Eden Hazard shined in the victory in the north as he scored a brace and assisted Lampard for an equalizer in the first half. But, on Saturday, Chelsea were shocked by Stoke as they grabbed a late 89th minute winner scored by youngster Oussama Assaidi.
Jose Mourinho’s men couldn’t prevent defeat despite dominating possession of the ball for much of the game. The main problem that underlies this season’s negative performances came to haunt us yet again. Plethora of chances being created by our excellent attacking midfielders in form of Mata, Schurrle and Hazard. But, no one there to turn in those into the back of the net.
As Jose said after the game, we should have been leading 3-0 or 4-0 in the first hour itself had we taken advantage of the chances we have and capitalized on them. But, just like in Everton and Newcastle away this season, Stoke took few of the chances they had specially later on in the game to earn a shock 3 points that should have been for Chelsea.
And defensive errors are being a huge issue in the last couple of games. Against Southampton, a horrible back-pass from Michael Essien that led us to concede in just 14 seconds, the three goals Sunderland scored coming from dead ball situations following a bad clearance or man marking and finally the same errors repeated against Stoke in the weekend game.
We managed to escape the suffering in the beginning two but, the resilient defense of Stoke led to the Blues not making avenges on the other side of the pitch and score. So, the main problem of having our strikers to finish off the chances we create or generally for players to get on the score sheet more often will ease our defensive errors that might cost us some points whether in the league or Champions league.
We also learned this weekend on Sunday our FA Cup 3rd opponent which is Derby County. We face the championship side away over the weekend of the 4 and 5 January. This trophy had managed to become a favorable for many fans attributed from reputation of dominating the tournament during the past 6 years since we won it in 2007 under Jose Mourinho. And what a way to return to Stamford Bridge and win the double for the Special One after an anticipated return.
But, for the time being our focus shifts to the midweek Champions league game against Steaua Bucharesti at Stamford Bridge in a game that decides our 1st or 2nd spot in the group. Qualification is guaranteed to the next round but, winning this game would ensure we won’t face the giants of Europe that finished first in their respective groups.
Let’s hope a resounding victory for the Blues in the very next game and also in all remaining matches in December before the new year that surely are decisive in the title race which currently has Arsenal leading by 5 points clear at the top. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed it. Follow me on twitter (@FahmiCFC)!!!