Chelsea record setback in title race with shocking 2-1 defeat at the hands of West Brom
Chelsea’s lack of strikers was evident in last night’s 2-1 defeat to West Bromwich Albion. Stamford Bridge boss Roberto Di Matteo admits he is ready to wield the axe and find himself a couple of new strikers.
Roberto Di Matteo’s attack missed a dozen chances to score which resulted in a huge blow to their title hopes. Chelsea is now third-placed with 24 points. Manchester City are on top of the table with 28 points closely followed by Manchester United, who are just a point away breathing down their neck.
The Chelsea manager had announced big changes in his squad due upcoming Champions League clash against Juventus. Roberto Di Matteo later confessed that he wanted his first team well rested for the Juventus game which is why a number of first team players were missing from the West Bromwich Albion game.
Chelsea are scheduled for a do-or-die match against Serie A giants Juventus. Chelsea’s Champions League qualification hangs in the balance as the defending champions prepare for their last Group match.
Troubles are piling up for the Blues. Chelsea are due to face the Premier League champions Manchester City after their clash with Juventus. Roberto Di Matteo desperately needs tighter defense and an immediate improvement in his attack.
“It's time to change in terms of set-up and selection because we need to go back to winning games and not conceding goals,” Roberto Di Matteo said. “We have to sacrifice a bit of our attacking options and go a bit more defensive to make sure that, first and foremost, we don't concede.”
Chelsea’s misfiring striker Fernando Torres was left out of the game, instead Daniel Sturridge was given a rare start. Juan Mata was also omitted from the first team, although he was brought in later when Roberto Di Matteo realized the threat of an embarrassing defeat. Chelsea’s lone goal was scored by their in-form midfielder Eden Hazard.
Restraining goals and minimizing mistakes was the moral Chelsea learned from the lesson. Roberto Di Matteo admits his men could have blocked goals from Shane Long and Peter Odemwingie, both of which came through headers from close range.
“The pressure is always there and it doesn't help when you don't win. Giving away goals like we did today makes it very difficult to do that,” Roberto Di Matteo added.
“Our defending was very poor today and we have to do better. For three years running this team has had a dip in November and for some reason we're back in this position again.
“We have two massive games coming up and we have players who have experience of being in this position before. Sometimes you need to be able to win 1-0 and focus on responsible defending to bring the points home. We also need the strikers to chip in with more goals because that is what they are there for.”