FROM STAMFORD BRIDGE – The good news for Chelsea is their horrendous 2022/23 season is almost over. The bad news is they still have to play actual games of professional football between now and the end of May.
The Graham Potter experiment just flat out failed, but this return to Frank Lampard on a caretaker basis is somehow worse.
Brentford’s 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday condemned the Blues to a fifth successive defeat in the second era of Lampard. They were outfought and outwitted by a dogged Bees outfit who succeeded at frustrating their hosts.
An own goal from Cesar Azpilicueta in the first half saw Brentford take the lead, and despite a period of Chelsea dominance after the break, Bryan Mbeumo put the game to bed late on.
Here were Chelsea’s best and worst performers according to 90min’s player ratings.
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Trevoh Chalobah: 6/10
Deary me, the bar is low for this one.
One of Chelsea’s biggest problems was that they lacked creativity. A lot of their midfielders and forwards were capable of dribbling a little and then passing on responsibility, but no one could truly take the game by the scruff of the neck.
The Blues’ defenders largely kept Brentford at bay from open play, though some miscommunication between retreating duo Thiago Silva and Wesley Fofana made their failed recovery look haphazard.
That leaves Trevoh Chalobah, who didn’t make any errors, kept Ivan Toney quiet in their first-half duels and was actually a decent passer from the back.
Believe me, this was a very low bar to clear.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 4/10
Going through the player ratings, there were a lot of 5/10s. Chelsea weren’t outrageously bad but it’s an indictment when no one is good – Lampard is lucky I’m not dedicating this section to him.
Cesar Azpilicueta hadn’t played since February 18 before tonight and it showed. Starting at right wing-back at the ripe old age of 33, he provided little dynamism, was an awful outlet and scored an own goal before being withdrawn at the break.