It is nine years since Chelsea lost a match in the opening month of the Barclays Premier League, but on Sunday, Jose Mourinho’s team were comprehensively outplayed and beaten by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. The defending champions conceded thrice which means that they have now conceded five goals in just two matches compared to the 32 they let in for the whole of 38 games last season.
They have not looked sharp at all even though Jose Mourinho told his club’s website that it was part of the plan for the season so that the players could have proper holidays. But, he would be concerned as supposed stalwarts of the team have so far spectacularly bombed!
This is the player that has disappointed his manager the most in the opening two matches. He failed so pitifully against Swansea’s Jefferson Montero, and this failure directly led to the Swans’ equalizer on day one. Against Manchester City, he directly contributed to two goals. The first he was muscled out by Vincent Kompany and the second he just failed in a simple clearance which gave Fernandinho the chance to score.
Last season, Ivanovic lost 50 tackles in 38 games – an average of 1.3 tackles lost per game but in just the opening two weeks, he has lost nine (9) tackles – 4.5 tackles per game. A commentator said it seemed the Serb had aged five years during the summer break – he may need a sustained rest.
Last season, the Spaniard, newly bought from Barcelona, was out of the blocks like a smoking gun but over the two matches in the new season, he looks to have lost his sparkle but more importantly for Chelsea’s opponents – he can now be easily curtailed. Whether playing deep or nearer the forwards, Fabregas has thus far failed to prise open defences as he did last season and unfortunately for Mourinho, he does not have a capable replacement for that playmaking role.
A vital stat is that in 34 league games last season, Fabregas completed 75 key passes but has made a woeful contribution of just three in the opening two weeks.
Matic was able to cover lots of ground last season and played like a behemoth but he seems to be slumbering through games. Before, he was aware and was able to cut out danger – now he reacts to the danger when it is already there. He has also shown the tendency to be caught in two minds when he has the ball in offensive areas and he seems to be doing a ‘Mikel’ in this one.
Last season, Matic made 101 successful tackles in 36 league games – an average of 2.8 tackles/game but in the opening two matches, he has made four  successful tackles, which means that Chelsea’s defensive pairing of Gary Cahill and John Terry are more exposed.
Costa should be told to concentrate more on finding a way to goal than picking petty fights with his opponents. Too much of the forward’s time has been spent on agro and even when he gets into goal scoring position, he lacks the killer instinct, which contrasted with Sergio Aguero of Manchester City showed how much is missing from the Chelsea forward.
At the two-week stage of the Barclays Premier League in the 2014/15 season, Costa had already registered two goals, now he is even struggling to get shots on target. In two matches, Costa’s shot accuracy is down to 50% from the 64% he averaged throughout last season.
The Hazard situation is one that will be driving Mourinho nuts. His main talisman is yet to get going this season. Though he looked good in pre-season, especially in the match against Barcelona, but from day one, he has not looked up to speed and has not featured as prominently as Mourinho would want him in Chelsea’s attack. It must also be added that he has not been decisive as he had the chance to bring Chelsea level on Sunday in the 70th minute but his shot was blocked.
For last season’s most valuable player, it has been a frustrating two games. Also the most fouled player for last season with 180 successful dribbles – an average of about five  dribbles a game, that stat has fallen to seven  in two games, which explains a lot why the Blues are not creating scoring chances.
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