It is safe to say that neither team deserved the win. However, Chelsea struggled the entire first half. The tactical formation was poor considering Wolves’ approach to the game. However, Chelsea turned the tables on the second half and became the dominant team. Despite the game ending in a goalless draw, everything went fine, all things considered. Here are three lessons learnt.
1. The defense needs a lot of work
This is an obvious point considering Chelsea’s recent form. However, there are certain points to address. First is the fact that the Wingbacks are too far forward. Usually this would not be a concern. But since the Blues are conceding far too easily, and are struggling with injuries, the Wingbacks act more conservatively. Today was the perfect example on the matter. Marcos Alonso and Reece James were too eager to help the attack, they left the back three exposed.
Lastly, one of the Center-backs is not a good as everyone claims he is. Now, it could be this was a bad game, but Antonio Rudiger was irresponsible at best. Chelsea have been weak in defense, and therefore, prioritizing a clean sheet should be a given. However, Rudiger left his position too many times to play Left Wing. In other instances, he was too late to react to counter attacks. Therefore, Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta had to work double to cover for his mistakes. Although the German international is having a good season, things should be looked at from another point of view. If other players are forced to cover for him, then maybe he doesn’t deserve the contract he wants.
2. Chelsea needs a Left Wing-Back ASAP
Although Marcos Alonso is good substitute for Ben Chilwell, he is not the answer. It is important to note that fatigue is hitting Alonso harder than most. Considering Chilwell’s absence, and the demands of the position, the Spaniard looks run down, and rightly so. Alonso isn’t the greatest defender in the world; therefore, an additional back-up plan is needed. Should Alonso’s form drop any more, Tuchel needs a backup, which he doesn’t have. So, an addition from the transfer market is the sensible options.
One also must consider any injuries Alonso might suffer. Since he has extended his number of minutes on the pitch, it wouldn’t be unlikely for Alonso to fall to injury. Should that happen, Tuchel will find himself with his back against the wall. With the Defense crumbing, and injuries piling, the Chelsea coach needs answers because the price of not buying is higher than any player Chelsea can afford.
3. The N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic pair was greatly missed
First, anyone saying N’Golo Kante’s days at Chelsea are done, don’t know football. Kante was the reason Chelsea had a midfield. With Trevoh Chalobah not used to playing in midfield, Kante had to provide extra support as an outlet both in defense and attack. As usual, he was all over the place making interception, creating chances, and playing quick passes in the opposition’s third.; All of this not being fully fit. Kante hardly lost the ball when in possession and played a key role in the buildup. Without him on the field, Chelsea would have lost key battles all around the pitch and, ultimately, the game.
Then, Mateo Kovacic, whose presence, and ability to control the midfield, were exactly what Chelsea needed. Although the Blues did not win the game even with Kovacic on the field, the team improved immensely. The midfielder dictated when and how the team would attack. He also relieved pressure of Kante and made himself available to receive the ball when in tight spaces. Having him back on the pitch is a relief for the upcoming fixtures and for the future of the club.