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Cucurella among Chelsea flops in sloppy Sheffield Utd draw

Cucurella among Chelsea flops in sloppy Sheffield Utd draw

Chelsea missed the chance to close to within three points of the Premier League’s top six as they were held to a disappointing 2-2 draw by relegation-threatened Sheffield United on Sunday. Any momentum picked up from Thursday’s dramatic win over Manchester United has likely now gone, as the Blues continue to lurch from one extreme to the other this season.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side raced into an early lead against the struggling Blades, as Thiago Silva finished off a superb cross from Conor Gallagher at a corner. Sheffield United fought back, though, and Jayden Bogle scored an equaliser after ghosting behind Marc Cucurella and putting a finish beyond Djordje Petrovic, who bizarrely sat down and appeared to give the forward the entire goal to aim at.

Despite a spell of sustained Blades pressure immediately after half-time, Chelsea took the lead midway through the second half as Noni Madueke cut in from the right flank and slammed an effort into the top corner. But the Blades would not lay down and stole a point at the death, as Oli McBurnie finished from close-range after two flick-ons on the edge of the Blues box.

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Goalkeeper & Defence

Djordje Petrovic (3/10):

Beaten at his near post by Bogle’s shot in a woeful piece of goalkeeping. Caught on his heels by McBurnie’s late goal, too, as he did nothing to narrow the angle. Not good enough.

Axel Disasi (6/10):

A strong performance down the right, standing up to the Blades’ physicality.

Trevoh Chalobah (4/10):

Struggled with the presence of McBurnie up front and was booked. Missed his header before the striker equalised too. A tough afternoon.

Thiago Silva (5/10):

Opened the scoring. Appeared to scuff his finish somewhat but did well to find space from a corner, although he then gifted Brereton Diaz a chance with a blind pass. Just as guilty as Chalobah for failing to clear the danger before Sheffield United’s shock leveller.

Marc Cucurella (4/10):

Completely blind-sided as Bogle sprinted beyond him to collect a through ball and equalise. Effective going forward, but his defending just isn’t good enough. Booked late on for a cynical foul and one has to think that Chelsea can do so much better at left-back.

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Midfield

Moises Caicedo (6/10):

Made a super block to deny Brereton Diaz after a sloppy Thiago Silva giveaway, although he was nutmegged in the build-up to Bogle’s goal. A mixed performance

Conor Gallagher (6/10):

Delivered the ball for Thiago Silva’s goal. Hustled and harried in midfield, as is his usual style, leading the press.

Enzo Fernandez (6/10):

Tidy in possession and always willing to take the ball. Grew into the game.

Attack

Cole Palmer (6/10):

Shackled effectively by the Blades backline, albeit via some borderline challenges. Laid the ball into Madueke’s path before his goal and had a couple of pot-shots, but couldn’t get on the scoresheet this time. Subbed for Chukwuemeka.

Nicolas Jackson (5/10):

Wasted an excellent chance as he failed to sort his feet out after a fine Cucurella delivery. A physical presence, but still lacks that clinical edge.

Noni Madueke (7/10):

Always willing to run and cut inside, and scored as a result, as he dropped his shoulder and slammed the ball into the roof of the net. Subbed for Mudryk and was clearly Chelsea’s best player.

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Subs & Manager

Carney Chukwuemeka (6/10):

On for Palmer. Barely had time to make an impact.

Mykhailo Mudryk (6/10):

Replaced Madueke but did not get himself into the game.

Benoit Badiashile (N/A)

On in injury-time for Cucurella.

Cesare Casadei (N/A)

On in injury-time for Jackson.

Mauricio Pochettino (4/10):

Chelsea were outplayed by relegation fodder here – with all due respect to Sheffield United – and one has to think that the clock is ticking on this reign. Everything Pochettino tries just doesn’t seem to work.

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