Chelsea continue their woeful record at Goodison Park as Thomas Tuchel takes a new Romelu Lukaku stance in Everton defeat.
Chelsea’s horrendous record at Goodison Park continued on Sunday as Frank Lampard got a bit of redemption after his sacking 16 months ago from the club. Richarlison’s goal just after halftime, gifted on a plate by Cesar Azpilicueta’s error, ensured The Toffees gained a vital three points in their fight for survival.
The Londoners, however, end a four-day run on the road with two displays that sum up why they are so far from the top two. Jordan Pickford’s outstanding saves in the second half prevented Chelsea from getting back into it, but the overall performance from the European Champions was well below par.
Let’s break down the Good, Bad and Ugly from Sunday’s game – looking at some key moments you might have missed.
The Good: Ruben shines
On his 50th start for the club, Ruben Loftus-Cheek stood head and shoulders above the rest of his underwhelming teammates. Maybe only Thiago Silva is rivalling his sense of inspiration and energy in an otherwise lifeless display.
Loftus-Cheek burst forward with tenacity, trying his best to spark something in his peers, looking a lot better than he did against Arsenal over a week ago. The English midfielder did not start on Thursday at Old Trafford, so he benefited from looking a lot fresher in the game.
Whether he starts next weekend against Wolves is different, but his performance deserves credit on a dismal afternoon for Chelsea.
The Bad: Lampard breaks Chelsea record
Sunday’s defeat to Everton ended a 14-game away run for Thomas Tuchel that stretched back to mid-January against Manchester City in the Premier League. This came only days after Chelsea’s club-record winning run on the road of eight was ended at Old Trafford.
Despite showing poor form at Stamford Bridge this season, the Blues have performed best away, only behind Manchester City for points gained away in the Premier League since August. Chelsea have only one away game of the league season left at Elland Road against Leeds three days before the FA Cup Final.
If they perform as they did on Sunday, it is unlikely maximum points will be gained.
The Ugly: No Lukaku
Against his old club and in desperate need of some attacking inspiration, the stage was set for Romelu Lukaku to come off the bench and impact things. But he didn’t, instead, cameras zoomed into a disappointed Belgian on the bench.
Tuchel explained after the game that the reason Lukaku wasn’t called upon was that the German “had to take Jorgi off, I only have three changes.” But this doesn’t quite wash when you factor in he chose Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech over Lukaku as Chelsea moved to a four-man defence and chased a goal that never came.
Has Tuchel given up on Lukaku? And why when the recently in-form Kai Havertz suddenly looks off it again? These are questions that will need answering in the final three weeks of this season.
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