Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea are not set up to outscore opponents. We are set up to be hard to beat, in those exact terms. So when we make it easy for opponents to score goals, it all falls apart rather quickly.
And unfortunately, we’re seeing precisely that happening this week, with mistakes leading to five dropped points in three games, with five goals conceded, one more than we had conceded in the previous twelve games altogether. Today’s 3-2 defeat to West Ham was only the third time in Tuchel’s 53-match tenure that we’ve conceded more than one goal in a game.
How do we fix that? The answer is probably as simple as “don’t make mistakes”. That’s easier said than done of course, but that’s what separates winners from losers.
Mason Mount, who scored what looked at the time to be our winning goal just before half-time — we had not lost a Premier League match that we led at half-time in three years (48 in a row, to be exact) — is looking to bounce back straight away, even if Wednesday’s match against Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League is a bit of a dead rubber.
“We have had a difficult week and the game midweek we came away with three points where maybe we shouldn’t have. We made mistakes, the same today. We are making mistakes we haven’t done for a while and need to bounce back now.
“A lot of games, it can take a toll, but that’s not an excuse we can use — we come out here and want to win, it’s a derby. We don’t concede many, so that is something we need to look at.
“It is mistakes we haven’t made, tired minds, tired bodies, but we need to keep the standard high. We regroup and come back next game. [...] We are through but we want to finish top, so we want to win the game, we are going away from home, very cold, we have to be ready for that.”
-Mason Mount; source: BBC
We’re barely a third of the way through the season, and the title race is likely to take many more twists and turns. But as Tuchel said in his post-match press conference, now is the time to ignore the big picture and focus on the little things, the little details. Those are what will make the biggest difference in the end.
And now we’re set to start finding out what we’re truly made of.
48 - Chelsea’s loss to West Ham was their first Premier League defeat after leading at half-time since December 2018 against Wolves under Maurizio Sarri – they had been unbeaten in 48 league games when ahead at HT before today (W40 D8). Slip. pic.twitter.com/uQFP4Ix4gU— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 4, 2021