Chelsea's late comeback masks serious shortcomings

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Saturday saw the revival of the cliche 'a game of two halves' as John Terry scored with the last kick of the game to grasp a point from the jaws of defeat.

The first half would have put a log to sleep as Everton had the better of the few marginal chances in the game. Chelsea were uninspiring at best, the atmosphere was flat and there was a real sense of hope rather than expectation.

That hope was soon relinquished when Everton took a two-goal lead early in the second half before a sudden revival saw Diego Costa score one and assist Cesc Fabregas to draw the teams level. Everton put the hopes of a Chelsea winner to bed when Ramiro Funes Mori turned in a Gerard Deulofeu cross in the 90th minute, but Terry equalised in dramatic fashion to earn Chelsea a point.


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While the result will feel like a win for Chelsea, there are still major problems which are preventing them from winning games at home.

Under Guus Hiddink, Chelsea have drawn all three home Premier League games, conceding seven goals in the process and Saturday's match highlighted some of the biggest issues present.

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Cesc Fabregas' creative form has returned under Hiddink. The presence of John Obi Mikel next to him has allowed him to free up and find the range of passing that made him so successful last season.

He has also been helped by Costa's return to form, as the Brazilian-born forward has begun to make penetrating runs in behind again, giving Fabregas a target to hit.

The problem with that pivot is the lack of energy, pace and dynamism. Mikel was fantastic in the away win at Crystal Palace, but on Saturday he was often caught too high up the pitch, not protecting his back four and leaving huge spaces for Everton to exploit.

Chelsea v Everton - Premier League

Nemanja Matic's form has dropped off a cliff, offering nothing to the Chelsea cause and meaning there was no Blues player to fill the voids Mikel was leaving.

Neither of the pair are blessed with pace or show any real appetite to get back quickly if caught out of position. Ross Barkley had the freedom of Stamford Bridge in the early second half and was able to drive at the Blues' back-line and wreak havoc.

Chelsea need to find the balance of technical ability and physical attributes in midfield. If only they had a talented, 6 foot 3 inch, box-to-box midfielder...

Ruben Loftus-Cheek has to become a regular fixture in the Chelsea midfield if they are to blossom into a team worthy of the title 'Champions'. While he may not be the complete player (he is only 19-years-old) he will surely offer more than the likes of Matic and Ramires.

Chelsea v Scunthorpe United - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round

Branislav Ivanovic

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. You could count the number of decent games Ivanovic has had this season on one hand, and you'd still have fingers left to count Matic's!

Everyone acknowledges what a tremendous player and servant Ivanovic has been for Chelsea. However, you cannot pick players based on how good they used to be, otherwise, Chelsea would still have Gianfranco Zola donning the number 25 shirt on match days. It is time to move on and resign Ivanovic to a squad player role.

Slow, positionally unaware, technically deficient, these are accusations that could all be thrown at Ivanovic this season. Again on Saturday, he was at fault (not solely) for all three goals Chelsea conceded.

For the first goal, Everton got down the Chelsea right, with Leighton Baines in all kinds of space to cross for Terry to turn into his own net.


Ivanovic was nowhere to be seen, as was also the case with the second goal when another ball in from the left was smashed home by Kevin Mirallas.

The third goal was the most blatant. As the ball was sent in by Deulofeu, Ivanovic was caught ball watching as Funes Mori and Romelu Lukaku ghosted in at the back post to score.

With little left to play for in the league, it is now surely time to give a young fullback a chance. Whether that be to £21 million Baba Rahman, or to the more popular fan choice of, homegrown, Ola Aina.

Rahman is the choice that would save the Chelsea board the most face, and allow Azpilicueta to return to his natural right-back position.


Arsenal Team

A shake-up is certainly required when the Blues take on title-favourites Arsenal next week to stand any chance of a picking up a result and this team looks to fix the aforementioned problems.

In a 4-3-3 formation:

GK: T. Courtois

RB: C. Azpilicueta, CB: K. Zouma, CB: J. Terry, LB: B. Rahman,

DM: J.Mikel, CM: R. Loftus-Cheek, CM: C. Fabregas

RW: Willian, LW: Kenedy, ST: D. Costa.

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John Terry
Branislav Ivanovic
Premier League
John Obi Mikel

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