On the Spot

Foxes’ Scare at the Bridge

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While it may not be easy peasy to be assertive on what has gone south in West London, there are, however, clear indications of the insipidity in the camp of the EPL champions. There are certainly cracks at the Bridge. The extent or level of conspicuity is what may fall in the realm of debate. For the champions to be 15 points behind table-toppers, things are certainly far from fine and dandy!

The Blues appear to have given up the chase for the title. And the game against Leicester City last time out epitomizes the depth of the hole they have dug for themselves. The Blues were offbeat! Uninspiring and lethargic!

Leicester City were the better side for much of the first 45 minutes. Jamie Vardy was constantly poking around the Chelsea defence area. Aided by Shinji Okazaki, and from the left side by Ben Chilwell, the Foxes’ number 9 was making life a ‘9thmare’ for Gary Cahill and co. N’Golo Kante’s influence and imposition in the midfield was largely dwarfed by the likes of Wilfred Ndidi and Marc Albrighton. The former almost getting the opener for the visitors early on but for the heroics of Thibaut Courtois who was the busier of the two goal keepers on the day. Tiemoue Bakayoko was at his awful best – as he has been, in my opinion, since his unveiling as a Chelsea player. The feeling of ‘having lost their crown’ seem to be getting to Eden Hazard. The Belgian appears to have lost steam, like Usain Bolt in his last days on the tracks. Perhaps, talks on his Stamford Bridge future, and the ‘mad reality’ of Real Madrid’s paparazzi on him, may have taken off some flashes off his game. He substitution put the crown on his abysmal performance on the day. And the fact that Alvaro Morata is, at the moment bankrupt in the goal scoring business makes it worse for Antonio Conte. Morata’s deputy, Michy Batsuayi, who, ordinarily should step in when the boss is off duty, is apparently still an apprentice in a business where time is of the essence. Conte’s up a river without a paddle!

Chelsea struggled all day to make any appreciable impact on the game. Only the exit of Chilwell via a red-card decision – which was rather harsh – gave Conte’s men some measure of supremacy in the last 15 minutes. Yet, they had neither the keys nor the intelligence to unlock a supposedly fragile door.

In the end, it was all boos at the Bridge. And maybe rightly so!

 

By Uche Atuma

About Uche

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