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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge

Is relegation now a possibility after Chelsea lose 2-0 at home to Brentford?

By Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea 0 v Brentford 2

Just when Chelsea fans thought it could not get any worse - it did.

Caretaker manager Frank Lampard has now overseen five matches in a row - he’s only had five matches.

The R word was mentioned in the press box and the unbelievable is coming closer the longer Chelsea fail to register a point let alone a win.

This 2-0 defeat by Brentford tonight at former fortress Stamford Bridge showed the massive gulf in Premier League know-how and application between the sides.

Chelsea remain, for now in 11th place on 39 points from 32 games.

If Everton win tomorrow, the Blues are nine points off the relegation slot.

Their next three matches are away to Arsenal and Bournemouth followed by a home game against Nottingham Forest.

Can they win one of those games?

The unthinkable is now becoming a serious consideration.

The home side started like they had never played football with each other.

There was lots of low risk passing, mostly between the midfield and defence, with any attempt to look beyond the Brentford rearguard firmly put on the back foot with only a hint at counter-attacking at speed in evidence.

Perhaps this ultra cautious approach was to be expected, given the Blues had lost all four of Lampard’s games s head coach.

Brentford seemed grateful to this approach and controlled the game whenever they had the ball.

It took until the 14th minute for the home side to venture to the edge of Brentford’s goal - a quick break on the left by Ben Chilwell saw his cross into the area, hacked away by Ethan Pinnock with gusto.

Their first effort on goal, an on-target but weak header by Thiago Silva on 23 minutes.

Brentford had a penalty shout denied by referee Andrew Madley on 30 minutes when Frank Onyeka appeared to be pushed over by Trevoh Chalobah.

Enzo then forced a fingertip save from David Raya as the game opened up. A wayward left-footer by N’Golo Kante summed up the Blues ill-discipline in the final third.

Raheem Sterling produced an identical effort, with the same nonsense result two minutes later.

Chelsea’s nonsense up front was equaled only by the nonsense of their defending on 37 minutes when an unlucky Cesar Azpilicueta was the recipient of a Brentford corner that hit off his side and curled into the back of Kepa’s net to put the noisy neighbours into a deserved lead.

Understandably Lampard made changes, on came Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mykhailo Mudryk - off went Conor Gallagher and Azpilicueta.

A change in energy levels and increased sense of urgency to go forward gave the home fans a sense of optimism. A failed overhead kick by Aubameyang followed soon after by a low drive, and then a clipped header that went over Raya’s crossbar got the fans cheering.

Silva then went inches wide from a Mudryk free kick on 56 minutes.

Wesley Forfana and Rico Henry were booked for handbags after Henry pushed over Sterling.

The substitutes failed to deliver the desired effects - a goal, so Lampard resorted to the bench again and loanee Joao Felix and Chukwuemeka Madueke.

But before it could happen, Brentford broke free on the right and Bryan Mbeumo cut inside and walloped the ball past Kepa. The ball took a decisive deflection off Silva but the damage was already done.

Off went Enzo and Sterling seconds later.

Chants of ‘Sacked in the morning,’ followed by the ironic ‘We want you to stay,’ by the Brentford fans just added salt into the already open and badly weeping wounds.

Teams: Chelsea, Kepa, Enzo, Silva, Kante, Kovacic, Chalobah, Sterling, Chilwell, Gallagher, Azpilicueta, Forfana

Subs, Mendy, Badiashile, Aubameyang, Pulisic, Felix, Loftus-Cheek, Mudryk, Ziyech, Madueke

Brentford, Raya, Henry, Pinnock, Jensen, Wissa, Zanka, Onyeka, Mee, Toney, Janelt, Roerslev,

Subs, Cox, Hickey, Stade, Dasilva, Ghoddos, Mbeumo, Damsgaard, Baptiste, Stevens

Referee, Andrew Madley


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