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Kepa: Chelsea have to look inward and dig deep to find solutions

Palpable disappointment and frustration all around

Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

There was very little Kepa Arrizabalaga could do against the absolute howitzer of a header from an unmarked Adam Webster last night, which gave Brighton a share of the points yet again against us, just as in our previous two meetings. In fact, four of our last five games against Brighton have ended in a draw, as did a preseason friendly in 2020 as well!

That’s hardly any consolation of course, especially given the frustrating manner of the conceded goal — on a set piece, with a missed marking assignment, and just after Kepa made an excellent save, even — not to mention the dire performance from the team overall.

Our (current) starting goalkeeper struck a frustrated figure post-match, just like everyone else at and around Chelsea right now.

“We are not happy of course, we dropped two points and we didn’t play well. [...] Of course there is disappointment and frustration. We got only a point because they scored from a set-piece. We worked a lot, we ran a lot, but in small details we lost two points. Set-pieces are about concentration, about focus and taking your man.”

Tuchel spoke about physical as well as mental fatigue affecting the team to a great extent, and certainly a lack of concentration on a set piece fits that bill. All it takes is one lax moment, after all, when the margins are this small.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

“They played a very physical game, one against one in all the pitch. It’s not easy to control the game against Brighton. You have space behind the line, you have a chance to go one against one, but in the same way they have those chances.

“It was a very open game. We had to create more chances. We had opportunities near the box to go one against one, to shoot, and maybe that’s something we have to improve.”

It certainly would be helpful to score a few more goals. While we remain hard to beat — still just 4 defeats all season and just 2 in our last 26 — the lack of consistent goalscoring leaves zero room for error, and amplifies the impact of things like luck, decisions, and fatigue.

And unfortunately there is no magic potion to solve this situation.

“We have to look at ourselves, not outside, and improve. There is not one solution. We are working on it, trying to find solutions.”

“We are honest. We are in good positions in all the [other] competitions [but] in the Premier League we have dropped points in the last month. We have to get back to winning ways [...] improve and step up.”

-Kepa Arrizabalaga; source: Chelsea FC

Well, at least our intentions are good.

FBL-ENG-PR-BRIGHTON-CHELSEA Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images