Chelsea's defeat at the hands of Juventus was yet another bad result for the Blues in what has been a difficult run of fixtures for them. Thomas Tuchel's side had most of the ball against the 'Old Lady' but they could do nothing with all that possession and failed to threaten their defense throughout the match.
The result was similar to the loss against Pep Guardiola's Man City at the weekend where they were pinned back in their half for the full 90' minutes.
The manner in which Chelsea lost their last two games will come as a worry for Tuchel whose side has been the team to beat since he arrived at Stamford Bridge. Perhaps the Blues were lacking their main creative spark in midfield as Mason Mount was injured for both matches. They have been feeling the ripple effects of Mount's absence as their other midfielders do not offer what he offers from the middle of the park.
Chelsea used 3-5-2 against Manchester City and Juventus but it did not work because the three central midfielders who started were static. They have played the 3-5-2 formation before under Tuchel, but it has almost always been with Mount as one of the three in the middle.
That is important because he would be able to get forward and effectively recreate the 3-4-3 or 3-4-2-1 shape, serving as an extra body in attack when his team has the ball. The trio of Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, and N’Golo Kante lacked that, just like they lacked it while Maurizio Sarri was the manager.
Kovacic was supposed to be in this sort of role back under Sarri but the Croatian is a midfielder who prefers to stay behind and play from deep. He also lacks the ability to convert chances when they fall to him, unlike Mason Mount who can finish like a striker.
The result of Chelsea's static midfield was that Lukaku and Werner/Havertz were isolated on their own up front, making it easy for the opponents to prevent them from linking up. Lukaku is always given the ball with his back to goal while Werner/Havertz saw little space to run into in those two matches.
The defeats to Man City and Juventus prove how important Mason Mount has become to this Chelsea team. He seems to be the only midfielder in their squad who is brave enough to try out through passes or make overlapping runs in-behind the opposition defense line.
Thomas Tuchel will be hoping to have the England midfield maestro back as soon as possible and he could likely feature against Southampton at the weekend if he is fit enough to play.
Photo credits: Sky Sports, Football London, Chelsea News & Daily Star.
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