Five talking points as Chelsea are held by Foxes
Chelsea's penultimate game of the season ended in a disappointing 1-1 draw against Leicester City. Here we look at the talking points as more dropped points spoilt the fun for home fans.
Shaking off the FA Cup final blues proved not to be easy
Home fans badly needed a lift after the disappointment of a second Wembley penalty heartache of the season, but the Foxes were determined not to make it easy for them and scored a beauty early on through James Maddison to set the tone. As has often been the case with Chelsea this season, there was plenty of possession but not enough of an end product.
Home form badly needs to be sorted next season
Chelsea recovered well after going a goal down and looked like they might go on and win after drawing level. But once again, they fell short on home soil. Among the many items in Thomas Tuchel’s in-box over the summer will be the priority of making Stamford Bridge a beast of a place for opposing teams to come. They have won less than half their games in west London this season - the lowest number among all the top six sides. Just as damaging as the three home defeats were the seven draws that often involved silly dropped points against teams that should have been beaten. They dominated and had so much of the ball that a victory should have been in their grasp tonight. As it was, missed chances and a lack of a cutting edge cost them.
In a season of false nines and failing nines, Marcos Alonso has been a stand-out striker.
Ok, so the stats show that his sumptuous volley was only his fifth goal of the season. But that is a surprise given the number of times he gets into shooting positions. He undoubtedly should have bagged many more in this campaign. But he has still been a big creator chances and panic in the opposition ranks. He was arguably the most dangerous player for the Blues in Saturday’s FA Cup final. Has carried the workload well in the long absence of Ben Chilwell. He thrashed in his goal to cap a great move, where N'Golo Kante picked out Reece James, whose angled cross to the six-yard box was just perfect.
The season can’t end soon enough for Romelu Lukaku
The Belgian’s plunge in form has been one of the big mysteries – and disappointments - of 21/22. He seems to have become increasingly static and his current lack of confidence was summed up by the way he was brushed aside by Daniel Amartey after being picked out in the area by Kante’s finely weighted pass. In the past, it is a chance he would have snaffled. He had an unhappy cup final and the feeling is that Kai Havertz would have started in his place, had he been fit. He was maybe lucky too that Timo Werner was also crocked. There was one fine, twisting downward header which flew just wide, but he just does not seem to fit easily into this team. A booking for a tug on Maddison’s sleeve seemed illustrative of the big man’s frustrations.
It has not been a vintage year for the strikers all round
Christian Pulisic missed an absolute sitter laid on a plate for him by Lukaku in the second half. The American is full of energy and good intentions. No little skill too. And yet, his conversion of chances feels modest. The key thing perhaps is that he does get himself into good positions. He just needs to find a more clinical edge next season to feature more prominently in Tuchel’s plans. He made way for Cesar Azpilicueta well before the end and looked a little despondent as he walked off. Havertz, who came on for Lukaku for the final 10 minutes, has banked much goodwill, though, and looks the part, perhaps being more atuned to the fluid passing that characterises the team.