Ouch! – Why Chelsea Might Miss Out On A Top-4 Finish This Season
Chelsea’s latest exploit in their 3-3 draw against AS Roma in a Champions League encounter at Stamford Bridge did not exactly play out the way they wanted it to. Its not just a problem in that match alone – the Blues have been struggling from the time they lost to Arsenal in the FA Cup final last season. It almost seems like whatever magic they used to win the Premier League title in the previous campaign has run out.
Chelsea simply haven’t been the same since then. Their opening day defeat against Burnley came as a major shock. However, they did seem strong against Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid in Spain about three weeks ago, but it seems like they are back to square one now.
Manchester City humbled them last month, Crystal Palace embarrassed them last weekend and Roma humiliated them in their own home. They may continue to be at the top of Group C but their inability to convert games into wins is proving to be a problem.
In fact, they may be looking at the possibility of finishing outside the top four if they continue this way. One of the first things Conte should do is to figure out a solution to deal with N’Golo Kante’s absence. Chelsea are just not the same side without him. In fact, much of their good fortune last season could be attributed to Kante’s dominance.
They lack energy in the field, and they look vulnerable in the defence which presents opposition players with the time and space they otherwise would have been denied.
Against Roma, Conte’s men blew a two-goal lead and were lucky not to finish with 3 points. David Luiz and Eden Hazard both scored fine goals to take control but that was about it. The Italian club wasted no opportunity to exploit the mistakes made by Chelsea, and were almost set to walk away with three points.
If Conte cannot find a solution by the end of the month, this is probably how the team will fare throughout the season. To be fair, Conte did tweak his system a bit against Roma to make up for Kante’s absence but it clearly did not work.
Chelsea play Watford in the Premier League next, and interestingly, Watford are ahead of the Blues in the points table. Word will be out that the Blues are no longer as strong as they were and Marco Silva’s men will be eager to capitalise. Moreover, if this is how they continue, Chelsea may have to kiss their hopes of a top four finish goodbye.