Blues lack steel as defensive errors sees Sheffield United humiliate the Londoners 3-0 at Bramall La
Sheffield United 3 Chelsea 0
Chelsea crashed to a humiliating defeat as Sheffield United destroyed the Londoners 3-0 at Brummell Lane and threatens the Londoners ability to finish in the top four of the Premier League.
The Blues remain in third place and Leicester City and Manchester United could dump the boys from SW6 into fifth place if they win their game in hand.
This was undoubtably the worst performance from Chelsea this season - their inability to match the strength and tenacity of the home side was evident from kick-off. Chelsea’s lack of guile is worrying but the defence is in a major need of a revamp as individual errors cost goals and now points.
Chelsea typically dominated possession, but susceptible to errors in their own third of the pitch.
When Mason Mount failed to clear the ball on the edge of his penalty area after 18 minutes, he allowed the home side to attack and they took the lead when David McGoldrick latched onto the ball after Kepa did well to stop a Oliver McBurnnie double-deflected low drive, and the striker lashed the ball home from close range.
Chelsea’s failure to defend was exposed with the simplest of chances by the visitors on 33 minutes. Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma failed to see McBurnnie who headed home, unchallenged after Willian and Reece James failed to stop the left-wing cross of Stevens to double the score.
Chelsea simply passed and passed, without any penetration, keeping the ball for the sake of it, with United quite happy to let the Londoners keep it and run the time down until the break.
Chelsea boss decided to makes half-time changes, Toni Rudiger coming on for Christensen and Marcos Alonso for Mount and rebalancing the formation to a three at the back.
Alonso had the first chance of he half, but saw his far-post header inch wide of Dean Henderson’s gol after 48 minutes.
While the Blues changed formation, they continued to just pass the ball across the pitch to little attacking affect.
This forced Lampard to make another change on 64 minutes - Olivier Giroud on for underperforming Christian Pulisic.
The France striker had a fine left-footed volley zip past the United goal two minutes after coming on.
Cesar Azpilicueta tried a shot on 73 minutes but the ball was deflected for a corner. From the resultant kick, Tammy Abraham failed to direct his header on goal, with Giroud unable to latch onto it at the far post.
Callum Hudson-Odoi entered the fray with 15 minutes left - James made way.
Shocking defending a minute later saw the Blues for further behind.
A quick break cut through the Chelsea defence saw Rudiger tap the ball to McGoldrick who slammed the ball home from close range.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek was introduced for Ross Barkley.
United should had had a fourth when Mousset raced clear but he screwed his effort wide.
Abraham had a golden chance to score four minutes from the final whistle but his unchallenged header went straight to Henderson.
Arrizabalaga, James, Christensen, Zouma, Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Barkley, Mount, Willian, Abraham, Pulisic,
Subs: Caballero, Giroud, Hudson-Odoi, Bate, Rudiger, Alonso, Loftus-Cheek, Kovacic, Batshuayi
Sheffield United: Henderson, Basham, Egan, O’Connell, Baldock, Berge, Norwood, Osborn, Stevens, McBurnie, McGoldrick
Subs: Lundstram, Sharpe, Jagielka, Freeman, Robinson, Mousset, Moore, Rodwell, Zivkovic
Referee: Andre Marriner