There’s plenty of soul-searching to be done after Chelsea’s latest disappointing result, a 2-2 draw against Bournemouth yesterday, which has just about dwindled away the Blues’ last bit of top-four points advantage (pending today’s results). Should Manchester United keep up their good form and beat Everton, they will have closed the gap to just one (1) point with ten matches remaining.
While it’s been clear that Chelsea are a work in progress this season in just about every aspect, focus has largely been on the team’s inability to convert chances into goals. But Chelsea’s 47 goals are right in line with our position in the Premier League table: fourth most scored, fourth place. Only Liverpool, Manchester City, and Leicester City — the top three — have scored more. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible.
The same however can’t be said for Chelsea’s defensive record. In fact, no team in the top-10 have conceded more than Chelsea’s 39 (Burnley are also on that many). That number is nearly twice (2x!) as many as Liverpool have conceded (20) and at least 10 more than any other team in the top-five, the current Champions League qualification places.
In a way, it’s a minor miracle we’re still somehow hanging in there despite a mid-table defense.
And that’s precisely what Pedro pointed after last night as well. To have scored 2 goals in four of last five Premier League games but collected just six points from them certainly does not reflect well on the defending and midfield (of which Pedro’s also a part, obviously, since it’s a team game).
“It is always difficult when you concede goals from set-pieces, and also to concede when you start the second half again. This is frustrating because you are playing very well, Marcos and Reece with good energy and good spirit. Moving the ball well, we created chances but finally you have one point here and it is a difficult result for us because we had a good opportunity.”
“We need to improve and we need to recover some of our compactness because sometimes it is difficult to play with space, but we continue in this way to do our best in the next game.”
-Pedro; source: Chelsea FC
Pedro’s been an innocent bystander for much of the season thus far, but has been pressed into service lately thanks to Chelsea’s never-ending string on injuries.
With just 1 goal in 16 appearances this season, and even that against lower league opposition in the League Cup, a few clutch goals from Pedro (like in 2016-17) would still make the team’s job easier in general however.