Chelsea lost 3-0 to Bayern Munich at Stamford Bridge in what was an extremely one-sided affair in the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 fixture. Goals from Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski gave the Bavarians the win as the Blues failed to score a single goal at home.
The London giants managed to hold the visitors off in the first half with good pressing and some crucial saves at the back. However, as the second half started, things quickly went south for the hosts and their defence was soon demolished by the likes of Lewandowski, Gnabry and Thomas Muller.
Furthermore, Marcos Alonso got sent off in the dying minutes of the game in what was yet another controversial VAR decision. Jorginho was also booked in the second half which means that both Jorginho and Alonso will miss the second leg against Bayern Munich.
In this article, we take a look at three reasons behind Chelsea's loss.
#1 Lack of character
When the second half started, Bayern looked in complete control as they kept possession comfortably. Their first goal was a display of their passing prowess as Lewandoski and Gnabry combined to play two beautiful passes leading up to the goal. While the buildup was assisted by Azpilicueta's slip, it is important to notice that the Bavarians managed to comfortably cut right through the Chelsea defence which featured five defenders behind the ball.
As soon as the Bundesliga giants scored the first goal, the Blues lost their energy as their press started to fade away. They allowed their German opponents to play the ball around comfortably and did not look eager to get onto the ball. Frank Lampard's men should have increased their intensity after the first goal as it was the perfect opportunity to show their character and build pressure on the visitors.
Chelsea's defence crumbled once again as Bayern scored the second goal due to miscommunication between Willy Caballero and his defence. The ball fell into the path of Caballero, and instead of rushing out to collect it, he waited and the opponents ended up scoring.
The Blues were completely drained after the second goal and lost interest in the game. Their heads were down and they simply didn't have the energy to respond.
#2 There was no one to finish their chances
Chelsea hasn't been able to find a clinical striker ever since the departure of Diego Costa. Over the past three seasons, they have failed to score regular goals due to the absence of an efficient striker.
The Blues did manage to create some decent chances against Bayern but there was no one to finish them as Olivier Giroud had a poor outing. There were numerous occasions when the ball ran across the face of the goal and not even a single player managed to reach the ball.
This has been the narrative all season and all three of Chelsea's strikers have been extremely inconsistent. Giroud's play was extremely loose throughout the game as the Frenchman lost the majority of the headers to Jerome Boateng. Moreover, his touches were poor and he failed with the link-up plays. The former Arsenal man even killed the counter on a couple of occasions by losing the ball to a defender.
Tammy Abraham was also poor as he was continuously offside and was too slow to react to the balls being put into the box. Bayern took full advantage of Chelsea's lack of incisiveness and humiliated them at Stamford Bridge.
#3 Poor defence
Chelsea's backline featured a back three with Marcos Alonso and Reece James as the wingbacks but the defence was disorganised from the first whistle. Antonio Rudiger was pulled out of position on numerous occasions which disturbed the balance at the back. James came up short too often and exposed Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta behind him. Christensen was largely unable to deal with the pace of Alphonso Davies and lost a couple of challenges against the Canadian.
The Bavarians were able to play in simple triangles on the wing and moved the ball up with ease. The Blues defenders made some poor judgments as they jumped into tackles too early and lost the ball. There was confusion over the roles as the centre-backs looked in two minds throughout the game. The midfield was also poor defensively as Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho failed to shield their backlines. The first two goals could have been defended if there had been more blue shirts in the box.
Published 26 Feb 2020, 05:30 IST