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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea's dismal defeat: Some talking points from today's clash with Forest

The early signs under Mauricio Pochettino have been modestly promising - with enough to suggest the Blues will come good once they get to know each other. The clumsy defeat at West Ham aside, it has been mostly plus points on the for and against ledger.

But Saturday's 1-0 defeat to a workmanlike Nottingham Forest - the first win for Forest at the Bridge in 28 years - will inevitably invite some introspection and tough questions about why things have not quite clicked.

Blues nowhere near being the sum of their expensive parts yet

Chelsea started the game well enough, flashing a few shots just off target and only being denied by some fine last-ditch blocks and interceptions. But it gave way to increasingly frantic football after they fell behind early in the second half and had to chase the game.

Raheem Sterling looked rejuvenated in recent matches and was outstanding in the home win over Luton. But he faded badly after the break. It was sub Noni Madueke who looked more likely to create an opening.

Enzo Fernandez was the main driving force as Chelsea tried to find a way through a brilliantly-organised thicket of red shirts - marshalled superbly by skipper Joe Worrall. Moises Caicedo disappointed and was taken off before the end. He is still settling in and can be forgiven for looking a little ordinary, to say the least.

Cole Palmer came off the bench on the hour and had plenty of the ball on his first showing since the deadline day switch from Man City. He will surely be an outstanding asset, but here, he could not fashion the breakthrough Pochettino's men wanted.

Nicolas Jackson missed a sitter and still needs to find the extra cutting edge to go with his undoubted pace.

Early desertion of fans tells its own story

There were boos at the final whistle - from many home fans who stayed until the bitter end. Quite a few chose not to, even with eight minutes of injury time played. Many decided this was not going to be Chelsea's day and were none too impressed with what they had seen.

The trouble is that the vast levels of expenditure have raised expectations to a height that the team cannot meet at the moment. They are still a group of individuals and not a proper unit.

Lack of European football will not help

There is an argument to be made that by not having European games to play, Chelsea have an advantage over rivals as they can concentrate on the league and avoid burnout. It arguably played a part in Arsenal doing so well last season and pushing Man City for the title.

But equally, it feels as though the Blues could do with extra matches to help this squad gel.

There is nothing to worry about when it comes to depth of quality, but the only way to overcome that disjointed look, is to have minutes together and the experience of going abroad together might also have helped.

As it is, they must make their domestic programme count and find a way to do better than this - especially against teams like Forest who should not - with all respect to Steve Cooper's men - offer the sort of obstacle to points that they were today.


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