Chelsea sank to a 2-0 loss at Goodison Park to Everton on Sunday. The Blues are sixth in the table and two points behind Manchester United. There are now 24 points left in the Premier League season for the Blues to catch fourth-place Arsenal. The Gunners are three points up on Chelsea in the race for the Champions League. The Blues must still travel to Anfield and Old Trafford to play Liverpool and Manchester United, respectively.
Chelsea 2-0 loss leaves a lot of questions unanswered, but here are 3 things we learned in the Blues’ 2-0 loss at Goodison.
Chelsea looked fatigued at Goodison Park
Chelsea are feeling the burn from their Europa League campaign. The Blues qualified for the quarterfinals on Thursday night with a commanding 5-0 win over Dynamo Kiev. The game was played in Ukraine, which is a 1,600-plus mile one-way trip.
It is safe to say the Blues were a bit leggy on Sunday at Goodison Park in the second half. Although only four players started both fixtures, the other seven that featured against Everton made the trip to Kiev.
Jetlag shouldn’t be overestimated. It is a problem that many Europa League teams suffer during their domestic and European campaigns.
Have Chelsea hit its limit under Maurizio Sarri?
Chelsea were world beaters in the early stages of the season. However, the Blues have been found out by teams with less talent at times this term.
The Blues have lost four of their last eight Premier League matches. That span included conceding a combined 10 goals to Bournemouth and Manchester City.
Manager Maurizio Sarri has been inflexible with his tactics. The team does not have a plan B to revert to when things are not going well.
Chelsea were great in the first half against Everton, but that was a microcosm of their season. They were so good early on, but unable to sustain their performance.
Sarri has been critical of his players’ mentality this term. Which hasn’t won them over.
Chelsea’s players have been unhappy at times under Sarri and the ridiculous antics of Kepa Arrizabalaga in the Carabao Cup Final showed the lack of respect some of the players have for him.
Gonzalo Higuain is not the answer as a No. 9
Look at Gonzalo Higuain’s Chelsea stats and you may be quite impressed. The striker has three goals in seven Premier League matches.
But a deeper dive shows Higuain’s goals came against the league’s two worst teams: Huddersfield and Fulham.
Against Tottenham, Bournemouth, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Everton Higuain could only muster 395 minutes of ineffective football.
Before being hauled off on 65 minutes at Goodison Park on Sunday, Higuain managed just three shots with one on target.
Higuain’s poor play begs the question of why Chelsea did not give Michy Batshuayi a chance? Since moving to Crystal Palace in January, Batshuayi has scored two goals in six Premier League games.
Right now, Higuain’s loan deal has not been worth it.