Former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves has criticized Chelsea defenders Kalidou Koulibaly and Lewis Hall after their Premier League defeat against Newcastle United on Saturday, November 12.
The Blues lost 1-0 at St. James' Park as Joe Willock's goal was enough to seal the three points for the Magpies. The goal came in the 67th minute and was created by in-form winger Miguel Almiron.
The Paraguayan forward made a run past Hall, who started his first-ever league game. He got on the end of a long ball and was allowed to cut inside by Koulibaly. The Senegalese made a couple of failed attempts to block Almiron, who set it up for Willock to finish brilliantly.
Hargreaves has criticized Hall and Koulibaly for their roles in that goal, saying (via Metro):
"It was a fabulous finish from Joe Willock. Almiron gets a run on Hall, he’s just ball watching. You just think, Koulibaly, you got to know your player. Don’t let him inside on his left foot. Make him go to the right. There’s plenty of space of space in front of that Chelsea back-four. The midfield don’t get back."
With the win, Newcastle ensured that they will be third in the league table at Christmas. Chelsea, meanwhile, are dangling in eighth, 16 points behind league leaders Arsenal.
Graham Potter on Chelsea's abysmal form
Chelsea have now lost all three of their previous league games and are winless in the previous five. Manchester City also eliminated them from the EFL Cup on Wednesday, November 9.
Speaking after the Newcastle game about the lack of results, manager Graham Potter said (via Football.London):
"It's not nice to not get results. It's as simple as that but I have to look at why that is and the situation that we've had to deal with. It hasn't been straightforward at all. We've had a lot of games, a few injuries to key players, destabilised us, today again you see they're missing. Just had a period that's been incredibly challenging."
"You face four of the teams in the best moment in the Premier League in terms of the version of themselves and that can challenge you as well. As much as we can't accept it, we have to deal with it and try to move forward."
Chelsea have lost three consecutive league games for the first time since 2002.