Chelsea fell to their first defeat of the season at Stamford Bridge yesterday courtesy of a second half goal scored by Gabriel Jesus for Man City.
Pep Guardiola’s charges completely outclassed the blues in all departments and the Cityzens could have ended up with more than just one goal had it not been for some last ditch defending from Thiago Silva and some good goalkeeping from Edouard Mendy.
It was a well deserved revenge for the Cityzens after their loss to the Blues in last season’s final and Thomas Tuchel’s charges would now have to regroup and focus on their next game against Juventus on Wednesday.
Thomas Tuchel: “We win together and lose together. I wll ask questions of myself.”
There are however positives Chelsea could take from the defeat to City.
1. The Return Of Ruben Loftus-Cheeck:
Ruben Loftus-Cheeck played his first premier league game for Chelsea since June 2020 as he came off the bench to replace Jorginho with less than 20 minutes to go on the clock.
The Englishman made a very good first impression as his first touch beat a man and he won a free kick for Chelsea with just his second touch of the ball.
Loftus-Cheeck’s return is probably the most positive thing Chelsea fans can take out of Saturday’s game and it already seems like he has fought his way into Tuchel’s thinking. There are even suggestions already that the 26 year old could play and thrive in the ‘number 6’ role for Chelsea.
Tuchel: “What did you like about him in that position is that he is very, very safe on the ball. He has the body to protect the back three. He has the body to use to fight off players to be physical, and and you could see from time to time.”
Tuchel: “It’s nice when he drives with the ball, I think he can play both, complete in a single six like he did. He can play in the eighth position, then he can play also a double six, and he did a huge step forward, fighting for his place and it was a good match for him.”
Despite playing only 14 minutes against Man City, Loftus-Cheeck ended the game with the same amount of ground duels won as Jorginho and Kanté combined and the England international will now be looking to assert himself in the Chelsea team this season like he did in the 2018/19 season before suffering a career threatening Achilles injury few weeks before the 2019 Europa league final.
2. Easier Run Of Fixtures Ahead:
The game against Man City was just just Chelsea’s first loss of the season and despite losing to the defending champions, the worst that could happen to the Blues after this match week is being just 3 points adrift of the summit if Brighton beats Crystal Palace tomorrow.
More so, Chelsea have already played 4 out of the 5 big 6 opponents in the first 6 premier league fixtures of the season and came out with 2 wins, a draw and a loss. This means the Blues can go on a very long winning streak as all Premier League games from next till November are clearly winnable on paper.
To make matters more interesting, Man City play Liverpool next week which means Chelsea could still head into the international break as premier league leaders.
3. Chelsea’s Title Winning Credentials Not Yet In Doubt:
Chelsea’s performance against Man City was just one of those days for the Blues and it could have gone better had it been they had set up or played differently from the way they did.
Chelsea’s major problem was that they paid Man City too much respect as they chose to sit back and just defend while relying on possession turnovers, a system that doesn’t work when your opponents are flawless as Man City were on the day.
The champions league winners showed they could cause Man City problems later in the game but it was already too late as the Cityzens had already scored their goal.
Worthy of note and praise is the Chelsea defence that characteristically stood resolute by denying the Man City attack any opportunity to have a direct interaction with Mendy throughout the first half as Jack Grealish and co could only disturb but ended up with 0 shot(s) on target heading into half time.
Despite having a bad game, the Blues still showed why they are the best defence in Europe as they lost to a very good team on a bad day by a narrow margin. Hence, there is no need to panic yet.