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Chelsea’s struggles in front of goal cost them again in Aston Villa stalemate

Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa.
Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa.
ANALYST
Modified 29 Dec 2020, 21:54 IST
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Frank Lampard’s Chelsea side have endured a tough December and dropped points once again when they faced Aston Villa in the Premier League on Monday.

It was just a few weeks ago that Chelsea temporarily rose to the top of the Premier League table after going two months without tasting defeat. These days, though, the Blues have found it very difficult to win.

Chelsea put in an improved performance against Villa when compared to the weekend's disappointing 3-1 defeat to Arsenal. However, very little had changed when it came to the Blues’ blunt attack. Chelsea looked tidy in possession but just lacked the cutting edge to trouble their opponents.

Before Olivier Giroud’s opening goal in the 34th minute, Chelsea rarely threatened the Aston Villa goal. They were restricted to playing in their own half and resorting to long balls into the box.

Anwar El Ghazi’s equaliser in the second half sparked a response from the Blues but they simply lacked the quality in the final third to snatch a winner. The Blues ended the game with just eight shots on target.

Chelsea’s lack of goals should worry Frank Lampard

Lampard was left frustrated after Chelsea’s lethargic performance against Arsenal last week. However, he was less critical of his players following the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge.

The former midfielder admitted that despite not being happy with the result, he could not fault his players for the performance. However, he carved a frustrated figure on the touchline as his strikers missed chance after chance.

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“We pushed but couldn't break the deadlock. Attitude-wise, effort-wise, some of the play was very good against a really good team,” Lampard stated, as quoted by Goal.
"Late on we got some chances and nearly scored. When you're in a tough moment, sometimes things don't quite go for you. A month ago, we win that. We have to fight through it. I can't ask for more from the players today. No one let me down, everyone worked hard," noted Lampard.

As it stands, Chelsea’s attackers are badly underperforming. Timo Werner, who was brought in to help with the goals, is currently experiencing a mini-drought of his own.

Against Aston Villa, Lampard selected Giroud ahead of Werner and Tammy Abraham as his focal point in attack. While the Frenchman rewarded his manager with a goal, he offered little else throughout the game.

The difference between Chelsea and other in-form teams like Manchester United and Liverpool is that these clubs have other players sharing in the burden of scoring goals.

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If Roberto Firmino is not scoring for Liverpool, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are never shy of getting on the scoresheet. Similarly, Marcus Rashford, Antony Martial, Mason Greenwood, Edinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes are all capable of scoring for Manchester United on any day.

At Chelsea, though, the wingers and the midfielders are failing to add goals to their game. That is why when the Blues’ attackers are misfiring, the whole team struggles.

The Blues have some tough fixtures coming up in the next few weeks. If they are unable to solve their attacking problems, they could soon be facing a crisis.

Published 29 Dec 2020, 21:54 IST
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