The opening fixture of the UEFA Champions League where Chelsea host Sevilla at Stamford Bridge ended in 0-0 stalemate.
Jorginho led the team out; the main captain Azpilicueta featured on the bench. Werner kicked the match off after both teams perform the required Black Lives Matter duties. He played the ball to Zouma who instantaneously launched it forward to Havertz. The ball was lost and Chelsea pressed.
Regardless of the pressure Chelsea produced, Sevilla held on to a patient approach. Lovely short passes and decisive long ones.
It didn’t take long for Chelsea to create their first chance. In the 5th minute, Werner in deep received a pass and then found Reece James at the flank who wasted no time in latching a first time cross towards Christian Pulisic at the centre. The brilliant move failed as Bono, the Sevilla goalkeeper was fast to keep it out.
Sevilla also got themselves a chance three minutes afterwards from a corner kick, the cross was headed out by Thiago Silva.
From Thiago Silva to Zouma, to Chilwell, back to Zouma, Zouma passes to deep-dropping Kante, Kante one-touch-pass to Mason Mount, then to Havertz and backward to Jorginho. There you have the ‘special’ tactic of Chelsea FC building from the back, feasibly qualified by the word ‘Predictable’.
It’s a fact that every team is good at pressing against Chelsea FC. To be fair with the opponents, why would they fail to stop an obvious team? It’s like a girl whose boyfriend just found out she cheats on him, reactively the angry boyfriend barge in her apartment raging, but safely for her she knows his ‘weak spot’. She only needs to activate that spot and everything between them returns to normal.
Chelsea is the angry boyfriend, every opponent we face is the girl. Our weak spot is the constant obvious build-up play that automatically makes all team a brilliant presser. Even with our qualities, our hunger, our passion – we fail to break every press.
Consequently, in the 18th minute, from a Sevilla press, Jorginho lost the ball and gave away a foul while trying to win it back. The set-piece was delivered into the Chelsea box and took an impressive Mendy’s reactive save to deny a goal.
Reece James and Ben Chilwell also impressed in their respective roles. Albeit the system defied the entire team, that didn’t halt them from producing some individual brilliancies. Good effects in the attack, stood out in 1v1, perfect-timing trackbacks, despite often outnumbered by the Sevilla’s wing and fullbacks – they read the game intelligently. Two front runners for the Man of the match.
Back to the match, Chelsea’s pressing also looked poor. This is a shame when pressing is our primary defensive and offensive tactic. Understandably, Sevilla thrives in possession, but they enjoyed far more possession for Chelsea to be tagged a pressing team. They allowed Sevilla to cook the match to their taste. “If you can’t create the press, then you should beat the press.”
Those must be the words of Frank Lampard at halftime, as the match took an upgraded atmosphere in the second half. More direct distributions, attempting a shot from outside the box. But it didn’t take long before the players remembered they have to enjoy football. Whom would you blame? When you have Silva, Jorginho, Kovacic, Zouma, Havertz, Ziyech and many more passing merchants in the team.
Ziyech came on for Mason Mount in the 61st minute, poorly, one couldn’t remember he was on the pitch until the 76th minute when he sent an inverted whipped cross towards Pulisic, which was unsuccessful.
To be fair with Chelsea, Sevilla is no pushover. They are swiftly reactive as a team and they confidently executed their system. Their defenders are disciplined and strict in movements, they maintained a deep line that prevented our attackers from running in behind, while bossed the inside space. But these are no excuse for; seeing a repetitive build-up play from Chelsea, and failing to breakthrough in the attack. However, the next match is upon us against Manchester United. I understand patience is necessary but let’s admit things are getting blurry now for the management team.