Casemiro, Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes, and Marcus Rashford all scored to guarantee another defeat for Chelsea under Frank Lampard. London looks at the latest talking topics from Manchester United vs. Chelsea.
Chelsea had a frustrating night. Supporters were frustrated, even if the away crowd was loud, Frank Lampard was frustrated, and Chelsea’s players were frustrated throughout the 90-minute game.
It’s understandable to be upset after a 4-1 loss, yet these moments existed before the game. Not for the first time, players on the ball were left shaking their heads and raising their arms in bewilderment when they saw no movement from their teammates ahead of them. Enzo Fernandez’s displeasure was especially evident when Mykhailo Mudryk mishandled the ball as the Blues attempted to test the opponent’s goal.
The Blues were spooked by the Red Devils right from the start. Fernandez had handbags with Jadon Sancho after Bruno Fernandes scored his second-half penalty, and the former Borussia Dortmund star put a shoulder to the World Cup winner. In response, Chelsea stars Fred intervened, and a variety of bodies headed toward the penalty box, with Kepa Arrizabalaga acting as a peacemaker.
There was a level of passion as Fernandez refused to back down from the likes of Tyrell Malacia and Fred, but he did place himself among the Manchester United stars. Of course, it demonstrates zeal, but there was a sense that some concentration had shifted throughout the team, which was worsened by Wesley Fofana’s blunders.
On the other side, perhaps a few extra bodies supporting Fernandez would have provided more assurance of comradeship. As Trevoh Chalobah attempted to break things up, Fofana attempted to separate Fernandez from Fernandes, but when you’re the losing team, it always feels like heads have gone.
Similarly, David De Geo rattled Christian Pulisic. The American fought with the goalkeeper for Azpilicueta’s cross, and the Manchester United star was not pleased. After a push from De Gea, Victor Lindelof made sure the winger couldn’t go any closer despite his rage.
Chelsea needed anything to get them back on track, but this didn’t feel like it.
Chelsea’s records have fallen.
The fact that Chelsea has lost more games than in any prior Premier League season will make headlines as they reach their 16th loss. As of now, they have only one win over a top-ten team, a 1-0 victory over Aston Villa in October under different management.
Nonetheless, the heart may be borrowed from another album. According to Opta, Chelsea had it’s youngest starting XI in a Premier League match at 23 years and 238 days. Only Kepa Arrizabalaga and Cesar Azpilicueta were 24 years old or older, with the latter’s 33 years likely doing a lot of heavy lifting on average. While veteran Thiago Silva sat on the bench, 19-year-old Alfie Gilchrist made his debut.
The Blues are only the third squad to start as many as nine players under the age of 24, demonstrating how the West London club’s prominence is changing. The outcome did not materialize, but there was some indication in the XI that the future is on its way.
The biggest test for Mauricio Pochettino
Frank Lampard has certainly been impressed with some of the commitment and energy he has witnessed in Chelsea training sessions, despite his refusal to be too specific. He does not necessarily believe the players are fully to blame, but his dissatisfaction with their ability has been a recurring theme over the last six weeks.
Rather than merely making excuses, it appears to be a problem of application, with Lampard going a step further than previously when questioned if his players are good enough at his press conference.
“It’s a question I think as a professional at the highest level will be asked of you in a period of bad form,” he remarked. The only way to answer it is to respond with your performance, which begins with how you work, how you train, and how you prepare, and if I’m being honest, collectively, that’s been the thing that’s fallen far short. “There are many reasons for this, and it’s not simply a dig; it’s because there are occasionally variables. It’s been a difficult season, and individuals have made reasonable points regarding the team size. At the same time, you can see that when a group is training and it’s together and pushing and pushing each other, good things happen and you as an individual develop inside that. That momentum is missing at the moment.”
Mauricio Pochettino’s problem will be more than just dealing with a reduced roster. He must use his arrival to inspire a new work ethic and good energy for the next season. The fitness standards will be made plain from the beginning, and no passengers will be permitted.