Chelsea were far from their best once again against Wolves on Sunday, with Thomas Tuchel’s side dropping points for the second Premier League game in a row.
Just days after being held by Everton, the Blues put in another poor display at Molineux. Idusport will now take a look at the four worst players as they lost more ground in the race for the Premier League title.
Chelsea have seen Trevoh Chalobah enjoy a fine breakthrough season.
But it was telling the youngster was the first to be withdrawn by Tuchel, having struggled to get to grips with Wolves’ midfield.
Chalobah made way for Saul Niguez at the interval after failing to drop the likes of Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho in the middle of the park.
Saul fared little better, producing another flat display.
Yet given Chalobah started the game, albeit without being fully fit, it’s fair to say Tuchel’s decision to throw him into the team backfired.
There’s no denying Reece James has been a fantastic asset for Chelsea this season.
So we won’t go too overboard in criticising the England star after he put in a subdued performance against Wolves, at least by his high standards.
James struggled to join the Blues’ attack because of the way Fernando Marcal and Daniel Podence provided problems down his side.
The right-back did improve as the match went on.
But this was a forgettable afternoon for James, just like it was for many of his Chelsea team-mates.
Marcos Alonso did hit the post against Wolves, though the wing-back’s strike wouldn’t have counted anyway with the flag already up.
Going forward, he was solid – if unspectacular.
But Alonso struggled from a defensive perspective, giving Leon Dendoncker a free header for one of Wolves’ biggest chances of the game.
The former Real Sociedad star also struggled to contain the threat of Ki-Jana Hoever, who put in an enterprising display.
Given Alonso’s struggles on the day, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Chelsea sign a new left-back in January amid links to Everton’s Lucas Digne.
Hakim Ziyech was forced to come off with 25 minutes remaining.
Yet that could be a blessing in disguise for the former Ajax star, who put in another anonymous showing on the right of their attack.
This Chelsea side are at their best when they use their searing speed to go after opponents.
But Ziyech lacks the pace of other players from within Tuchel’s squad and, nearly two years on from his arrival, is yet to come good.
Ziyech was lucky to last 65 minutes, in truth, and this performance will do precious little when it comes to silencing his critics.
Tuchel was angry before the match
Speaking before the game, Chelsea boss Tuchel admitted he was ‘angry’ after the Premier League refused to call off their match with Wolves.
With coronavirus cases rising, and the Blues impacted, they wanted the game postponed for the time being.
However, that didn’t happen. And Tuchel said: “It is exactly like this, we thought we had a strong case regarding the security and health of players, we have seven positive cases, we were made to be in the bus and travel together for three hours, were in meeting together, in dinner and lunch and the situation does not feel like it will stop if we keep on doing this. We applied to not play and put the situation under control and it was rejected.
“It is very hard to understand it, we are very concerned about the health of the players. We end up with players who play coming from injuries and we take the risk.
“I am worried from a medical point of view, we have had four days of consecutive positive tests. How will it stop if we are in a bus together and in meetings together if we pretend it is not happening?
“We are disappointed, we are a bit angry.”