Chelsea's disastrous season continues as they suffer a major setback in their Champions League hopes.
It would be an understatement to claim that Lampard's second spell as Chelsea manager has started poorly. Not only has his first two games ended in defeat, his team have also been unable to score in either game. For the first time in 30 years, Chelsea have failed to score a single goal in their last four games.
At this point, it is common knowledge that Chelsea have an under performing attack but the current level that they are playing at is nothing less than abysmal. Their match against Madrid was a perfect summary of their attacking issues this season. Chelsea's ineffective attack can be attributed to both individual and coaching issues.
Individuals such as Felix and Sterling were not good enough against Madrid. Felix had a golden opportunity early on in the match that he squandered and Sterling was miserably mediocre. There is also no belief in their own ability, Lampard said himself after the game said himself that the players do not know how good they are. Every 50/50 that Felix and Sterling went for was a half-hearted attempt that never threatened Madrid's defenders.
Even though Chelsea's forwards have been under performing, the coaching of these forwards have also severely inhibited their performances. Felix and Sterling were used as a two striker partnership where one would receive the ball to feet from deep and the other would make a run in behind the Madrid defence. However, this partnership was easy to counteract for two reasons: Sterling and Felix have never been used together as a two striker partnership, resulting in their link up play and communication being ineffective. As well as that, Militao and Alba were more than capable of using their own physicality or pace to overpower either striker.
The use of Chilwell and James in this match was almost criminal. Both players had a terrible performance, Chilwell got sent off after Cucurella got caught out of position and James was torn to shreds by Vinicius Jr. However, Chilwell and James were isolated going forward as little support from the midfield and forwards were given to the wing-backs.
The midfield was torn to shreds by Madrid. Kante had a subpar performance and seems like it may be a while until he can play a full 90. Fernandez attempted to make things happen with no success and Kovacic was a passenger. Madrid were also able to easily bypass our midfield with 1/2 touch football that our players could do nothing against but watch.
The difference between Chelsea and Madrid was the fluidity between the players. Madrid toyed with our team like a predator teasing with its prey. Chelsea in comparison to Madrid were a clunky awkward mess. Chelsea needs to find an attacking edge quickly, otherwise it will be a very depressing end to the season for Chelsea.