The past weeks have been extremely tough for Chelsea. Despite having shown an upsurge under the wing of Guus Hiddink, their season has taken a turn for the worst after a series of poor results.
The Blues now find themselves out of two competitions and in being 11 points adrift of the top four, they have very little to gain from the remainder of their Premier League campaign. Besides, do Chelsea really desire the Europa League and Thursday night clashes in far-flung nations?
However, of all the recent blows, the club’s FA Cup elimination to Everton proves the biggest and raises questions as to what Chelsea can truly wish to ascertain in 2015-16.
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Everton and Chelsea contested a tight affair at the weekend but ultimately the Toffees prevailed 2-0 via a Romelu Lukaku brace. Albeit fielding a strong outfit, the Blues failed to create any major chances and thus folded at Goodison Park.
First and foremost, the fact Lukaku instigated their demise proved painful viewing for Chelsea supporters. The man the Blues had given up on in 2014 had delivered harsh vengeance via a wonder goal and a neat right-footed finish.
Moreover, the nature of the defeat proved particularly embarrassing. Although Gareth Barry was equally erratic for the home side, Diego Costa proved nothing short of a bull in a china shop and some incidents were simply cringe worthy.
Yet above all, Chelsea had been dumped out of the only competition they had a realistic chance of gaining something positive from, never mind winning. Having been put to the sword by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League and cut adrift in the league after a stale home draw with Stoke, the FA Cup appeared the club’s only hope.
The seriousness to which the west London side was taking the competition was exemplified by their ruthless 5-1 romps of MK Dons and Manchester City, but they stalled against Everton. Usually FA Cup elimination would prove a minor blow, yet given the context of 2015-16 it amounts to so much more.
Chelsea is a club hungry for success and the weekend’s Merseyside meltdown has confined the club to a season void of silverware. Some are certainly of the opinion that the defeat practically closed the curtains on Chelsea’s season and it’s easy to see why. What do they have left to gain?
It’s a bitter pill to swallow and one that certainly extends further than the resurfacing regrets of selling Lukaku. Despite a recent upturn, Chelsea’s 2015-16 campaign looks to be losing steam as well as incentive.
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