All streaks must come to an end eventually, and the longer they go on, the more frustrating it becomes when they do come to an end. And sure enough, on Saturday, Chelsea’s 17-match unbeaten run came to a most frustrating end indeed.
Chelsea losing at Everton is not exactly novel. We’ve now done so three seasons in a row, and we’ve failed to even score in three out of our last four visits to Goodison. But this Chelsea losing at this time to this Everton is still very frustrating. Everton were in a classic Ancelotti “bad moment”. Chelsea were seemingly putting things together. Confidence was high and rising higher.
And then, this.
Neither Chelsea nor Everton were particularly great in this one, but Everton got the one moment in their favor that mattered and Chelsea hit the post twice. We might rue such bad luck, but the harsh reality is that we didn’t do enough to generate luck, let alone proper chances.
You might say we were unlucky, if you want to be generous or nice. Head coach Frank Lampard had no such intentions in his post-match comments.
“I think we could have got something out of the game but I wouldn’t say we were unlucky because it is football and I don’t think we peppered their goal with great opportunities. We had opportunities that you mentioned [James and Mount hitting the post] that could get you at least a point but we weren’t at our best tonight.”
“I didn’t think we necessarily deserved to lose the game in terms of a couple of chances. Although, if we are honest with ourselves, it wasn’t the us of recently.”
Chelsea severely lacked a cutting edge in the final third, misplaced far too many passes in midfield, and made a couple massive errors at the back, one of which was punished from the penalty spot. These are the sorts of problems we had thought we had solved — or at least were in the process of solving — but these 90 minutes were a real step back in that regard. Sure, we had several key injuries to deal with, but on paper there’s more than enough quality to ensure such performances don’t happen.
Of course, there’s little use in wallowing in pity. Time to learn from this loss and get back on that horse. We play again on Tuesday against struggling Wolves, then get a week off before diving fully into the madness of the festive schedule.
“We are a work in progress and night like tonight might happen. I don’t like them but that’s the challenge for us to make sure we bounce back strong and let’s see for Tuesday.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London
Onwards and upwards.