Chelsea made it five defeats in a row under interim manager Frank Lampard as they were beaten 2-0 by Brentford at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
The result surely brings an end to any distant hopes of securing European football for next season and with a tough fixture list to come, it feels remarkable to consider that the Blues can’t even consider themselves completely safe from relegation considering their current form.
Lampard opted for the same formation and much of the same personnel that started the 2-0 defeat against Real Madrid last time out and it produced the same result, with the Blues’ woeful record in front of goal continuing with yet another blank.
What happened in Chelsea vs Brentford?
Chelsea came into the game low on confidence and it was easy to see why on Wednesday night, as they once again failed to truly trouble David Raya in the Brentford goal.
N’Golo Kante and Thiago Silva had come close for the Blues before the Bees took the lead just before half-time, as Zanka’s header was deflected into his own net by Cesar Azpilicueta.
The home side pushed for an equaliser in the second half but Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang’s header was the closest they would come, with Thomas Frank’s side making the points safe on the break thanks to Bryan Mbuemo’s fierce strike.
Who was Chelsea’s worst performer vs Brentford?
While Azpilicueta will naturally be the scapegoat after he was hauled off at half-time following his own goal, sadly his overall performance was also far from good enough and perhaps emphasised why he shouldn’t be anywhere near the starting lineup.
The former Marseille man has been a brilliant servant to the club, amassing 503 appearances for the west London outfit, but Wednesday night represents a sad decline for a once-reliable defender.
As per Sofascore, the 33-year-old would earn a disappointing 6.3/10 rating for his performance at Stamford Bridge, which was the worst of any outfield player to feature in the game from both sides.
In the absence of Reece James through injury, Lampard trusted the veteran defender to be his right wing-back on Wednesday night but that gamble simply didn’t pay off, as he mustered just 27 touches of the ball in the first half, completing 11/16 passes with a woeful 69% success rate.
Considering Kepa Arrizabalaga would manage 29 touches and 17 passes, it is easy to see why Lampard was so keen to substitute Azpilicueta upon his return to the side.
The experienced £180k-per-week Spaniard was making his first appearance since February but failed to repay his manager’s faith, as he registered no tackles, no successful crosses and no key passes in a forgettable display.
Neil Warnock once suggested that Azpilicueta was “fortunate” to be at Chelsea and while there is no doubting his commitment, Wednesday night’s display certainly suggests that he shouldn’t be considered a regular any more. Indeed, on this evidence, he would also be ‘fortunate’ if he ever stepped foot in a Chelsea shirt again; it’s clear he’s way past his best.
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