At the London Stadium, the London derby between West Ham United and Chelsea ended in a disappointing barren for Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea.
Here are 3 things we observed from the game:
ITS WEST HAM’S DELIGHT OVER CHELSEA’S LOST POINTS:
Prior to the game, the tactical and playing style of both teams was a major talking point. Chelsea new attacking and expansive style of football was bound to be tested by West Ham’s defensive style supplemented by a counterattacking game plan. While Sarri’s team had much of the ball possession in the game, Pellegrini’s team were happy to defend in blocks and feed on scraps. This was a lost chance for Chelsea to keep the momentum and pace with league leaders, Liverpool. While still unbeaten, Sarri will feel his side should have done more to win the game. Two points dropped means it’s a delight for West ham as they chalk another point on the league table.
CHELSEA LACK A GAME-CHANGING PLAN B:
With the scores levelled at 0-0 midway through the second half, it was expected to see a tactical tweak in both formation and playing style from Sarri, but that was never to be as three points eluded the team at the London Stadium. His decision to keep to the status quo by doing a like-for-like substitution rather than roll out the dice with a magic formula was his team’s undoing. The truth is simple, if Chelsea really want to compete and win the league title, then having alternatives that will be useful in breaking down teams and getting us off the hook in games will be crucial. Many more teams are going to adopt West Ham’s blueprint, but it’s up to Sarri to find a way to get his team winning games like this.
CHELSEA STILL TO WORK ON DEFENCE:
Chelsea’s play this season has been proactive and efficient, but real issue with the team has been the defence. Sarri’s decision to play his defensive line as high as 40 metres away from goal is courageous, but vulnerable to quick counterattacking football just as seen in the game against West Ham. On one or two occasions, Chelsea were fortunate not to be behind. With a double-header against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool to come in this week, Sarri must do well to improve Chelsea defensively or painfully watch his team torn into shreds.
Let’ s hope for the best. Cheers!