Graham Potter’s Chelsea side suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
The first half saw a quiet start, with both teams rarely threatening. Chelsea suffered early in the first half with the loss of both Raheem Sterling and Christian Pulisic due to injuries.
Carney Chukwuemeka was the closest to scoring in the first half, hitting the post right on the stroke of halftime.
In the second half, Riyad Mahrez’s second-half strike was enough to give City all three points.
Here are five things Absolute Chelsea learned from Thursday night’s defeat at Stamford Bridge.
1) Recruitment is needed this month
With the winter window finally upon us, now is the perfect chance to cash in and recruit. Despite signing Badiashile, Fofana and Santos, it is evident that the side needs senior players. Throughout the spine of the team, there are a few holes within the squad. The side are really lacking up top and will suffer a great deal until the club bolster their attack. Throughout the game against City, the Blues showed real guts but struggled to make an impact in the final third. Unfortunately for the club, the Aubameyang deal has immensely failed to make an impact when leading the line.
2) Denis Zakaria proving why he should become a starter
Towards the end of Thomas Tuchel’s reign, many were questioning why the club signed Zakaria. At the start of the season, the Switzerland international would rarely get a sniff for the club. With that being said, since Potter took the job, Zakaria has appeared out of nowhere to become a regular starter. His energy and willingness to win the ball back and drive forward have been a real breath of fresh air for the side. In the clash with City, Zakaria proved to be a real standout in midfield and was one of the more stand-out players for Potter’s side.
3) Carney Chukwuemeka showing why he deserves more game time
Throughout the season, the Blues have had their struggles in midfield with the likes of N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic picking up a few injuries. Both Connor Gallagher and Jorginho having had their chance to shine. With that being said, every time Carney has had a chance to show what he is capable of, he has always given it his all for the Blues. There have been several players in the side who fail to perform and still get in every week. Against City, Carney came on very early in the first half and showed why he deserves to play more.
4) Kepa Arrizabalaga costing the side the game
Kepa Arrizabalaga has forced his way into the team over the last months following the decline of Edouard Mendy. For a fair few games this season, the Spaniard has shown glimpses and had good games. Unfortunately, in the game against City, you could argue that he cost the team. Up until the City goal, Chelsea looked lively and were the better team. After the goal, the Blues’ momentum seemed to drop and there was a lack of urgency towards the end of the game. It is fair to say that the City goal dampened Chelsea’s spirit.
5) Same old Chelsea in big games, gutsy performances but nothing to show for it
Over the years, there have been games where Chelsea has put in jaw-dropping performances against bigger teams and have gone on to win. With that being said, recently, the side have shown real heart against the big boys and have come away empty-handed. The game against City was another prime example of the issue. For the majority of the game, the side gave it their all, but as soon as they got into the final third, they struggled to finish their chances. With the way the season is going, the club desperately need points on the board.
Next up for the Blues, Graham Potter’s side travel to Manchester City in the FA Cup.