Chelsea 2-2 Burnley - Boring, laboured and mundane. Have we not said all this before?

Chelsea under Maurizio Sarri have literally thrown away yet another opportunity to take an advantage over our top four rivals with two dr...

Chelsea under Maurizio Sarri have literally thrown away yet another opportunity to take an advantage over our top four rivals with two dropped points at home to Burnley. How many more times does this have to happen before Roman Abramovich and Marina Granovskaia decide to act?

It’s fair to say that this was a game of two halves as far as Chelsea’s play in the final third and their use of the ball goes. We all know we are at our very best when we attack teams with high tempo and move the ball wide. In the first half, for the most part, that is exactly what happened. We caused Burnley all-sorts of problems at the back and scored two good goals from it.

The flip side of that at the other end of the pitch, despite looking comfortable, we found ourselves undone by two set-pieces which was disappointing. We failed to clear a cross into the box properly as Cesar Azpilicueta heads the ball out of the box but right into the path of Hendrick who hits a beauty on the volley that flies into the bottom corner giving Kepa no chance. The other goal? Again, a cross played to the back-post for Ben Mee, with a free header, who heads it across goal to Chris Wood, who in turn flicks the ball on to the far post for Barnes to stab the ball home unmarked to make it 2-2. Our marking was atrocious and Jorginho leaves his man for the second goal, gets caught ball-watching and it costs us.

The big blow in the first half in addition to the goals conceded was the injury to Callum Hudson-Odoi who looks to have damaged his Achilles which means his season is over. Pedro came onto replace him. We then hear at half-time that N’Golo Kante is injured and cannot continue in the second half, so Mateo Kovavic comes on? Why not Ross Barkley and his creativity knowing we are chasing the game? Let’s hope Kante is fit for Man United at the weekend.

Knowing we need to chase the game, knowing that Burnley are quite happy to sit and defend deep with two banks of four in front of their goalkeeper in their 4-4-2 formation and knowing that we will need a goal, why have we yet again got sucked into playing the game slowly. We move the ball forwards, then backwards, then sideways and go literally nowhere. But for a Heaton save at his near post, I cannot remember him being forced into a save to deny Chelsea in the second half.

Burnley defending in numbers are more than happy to retreat to the edge of their box, to crowd out Gonzalo Higuain to the point he has become non-existent, to then later be replaced by Olivier Giroud with twenty minutes or so to go. His subsequent reaction to being substituted on the bench (throwing his toys out of the pram, throwing bottles to the floor) needs to be dealt with. He needs to understand that with the manager refusing to alter his tactical approach and play two strikers and match up their 4-4-2 is never going to happen and as I said, he had drifted out of the game.

The problem was that Olivier Giroud came on and was hardly involved at all. He tried to show himself available to play the ball into and off him, but he was well marshalled by their defence. Balls into the box were nowhere near where they needed to be and easily dealt with.

I keep saying it, kept Tweeting it on social media during the second half, we needed to make the pitch as wide as possible, play at a fast tempo and look for a ball to the back-post to get that all-important goal we needed but it never happened. Once again, our play was slow, it was laboured and mundane which made it easy to defend against. Every single time we moved to within their box, we looked up into the middle and saw one blue shirt surrounded by two or three claret ones making the option to play into the box impossible, fruitless.

I don’t honestly care about possession. I do not care about how many shots we have on goal and how many of those were on target. What I care about is goals and getting the best out of the undoubted talent that we have at our disposal – that on both counts is simply not happening.

Chelsea fans around the world woke up on a high this morning knowing that Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United had all been beaten this weekend, giving us a massive opportunity to take advantage with three points. We sit here now deflated, demoralised and gutted at more chances wasted.

Let’s hope for a draw against Manchester United at the weekend because, let’s face it, after getting battered yesterday at Everton, they are more than likely to be stuffed against Manchester City on Wednesday, meaning that we will turn up knowing how much of an advantage it will be to beat them but blow that as well!!

Pathetic, boring and mundane. Haven’t we said all this before?


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