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Friday, May 20, 2022

Thomas Tuchel discovers his new Cesc Fabregas as Chelsea see off Tottenham challenge

  It is hard to spark much enthusiasm from a game that felt like a glorified friendly disguised as a competitive Premier League affair. ...

 

It is hard to spark much enthusiasm from a game that felt like a glorified friendly disguised as a competitive Premier League affair. There were two fine strikes in the first half to offer some excitement from James Maddison and Marcos Alonso , but this will be a game quickly forgotten within days as Chelsea's pretty downbeat end to this season drags to its end.

The most important fact from this night was the point gained from the 1-1 draw with Leicester has all but secured Chelsea's third-place finish, the highest since 2018/19. Even though Tottenham can match the Blues' points on the final day should Chelsea lose to Watford, the superior goal difference would need a freakish series of events.

With only one more game left, let's go through the penultimate Good, Bad and Ugly from Thursday night's draw with the Foxes.

The Good - New Fabregas

  There was a moment in the second half as the game looked to bore even the players that Reece James began moving across the pitch with freedom. Switching from his wingback role into midfield, then left-wing and then up top.

Soon the defender was playing everywhere, and it had quickly become the most interesting thing to speculate. His increasing versatility further exemplifies his talent, and the craft on his pass to create Alonso's equaliser was as majestic as one Cesc Fabregas . Many players should be replaced or improved upon this summer, but James isn't one of them – one of Thomas Tuchel's irreplaceable names.

Bad - Alonso defending


Marcos Alonso was probably best encapsulated in the first half. He lazily allowed Castagne to run off him, which led to the space that Maddison got to rifle home the opener before rectifying the error with an equaliser.

Although some might laugh this off as "Alonso being Alonso", his lapses in concentration can no longer be tolerated if Chelsea has any ambition of closing the large gap to Manchester City and Liverpool.

Ugly - Home Form

Chelsea's failure to beat Leicester keeps the tally of only eight home wins from 18, the poorest home record in the top seven of the league. Arsenal have won more games than Chelsea this season, even though the Blues will finish above them in the league.

The end to the campaign in the league has brought home many harsh realities over where the Blues are in relation to title aspirations held last summer.

A major improvement is needed under new ownership. No cups can divert attention away from this poor end or mask the problems in consistency Chelsea have faced over the last four years.

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