Chelsea conceded a goal for the first time in over six hours of play last night, and unfortunately it was quite a significant one: a late equalizer for Manchester United, for a share of the points and the spoils — though not quite the vibes, which have trended in opposite directions since.
Of course, it wouldn’t have mattered that the ball landed just inside the goal line after Kepa managed to push Casemiro’s header onto the post, if we had a larger cushion. But it’s hard to do that when you only manage one shot on target — and even that from the penalty spot! In fact, Chelsea’s six total shots were the fewest for us this calendar year.
Graham Potter has joined his predecessor in acknowledging this issue, which should sound quite familiar to all of us, unfortunately.
“We were nearly there but lacked the last bits and I think that’s an area, our attacking play, we can say we can do better. It was an intense, hard-fought match against a team in a good moment [but] it’s something we can improve.”
While Potter did call out our anemic attack, he was proud of the team’s efforts overall, even if a lot of these 90 minutes were a scrappy, low quality affair (from both sides) — a tactical duel, if we want to be generous and kind.
“First 30 minutes I thought Manchester United were better and forced us back. We had to adjust a little bit there, try to get another player in the midfield and put a bit more pressure on them. They were building their attacks to easily and driving us back, so we had to adjust that.
“From that point, I thought we did well in the game. We are disappointed of course to concede late but over the course of the game, I think a point is right for us.
“I don’t think we can sit here and say we deserved to win because we didn’t do enough to win the game I don’t think. But effort-wise, what the boys put in, was amazing. It was a fantastic effort from the players and I am proud of them for that. [They] are in good place in terms of fighting for each other so that is a good start point.”
-Graham Potter; source: Football.London
We’re building some decent foundations, to be sure, showing resilience and being hard to beat, which were exactly the foundations of our successes over the past couple years. Can we evolve beyond that? Over to you, GP.