Chelsea’s recent struggles in front of goal have become a recurring theme, and their recent match against an opponent saw them fail to find the net consistently.
Despite having 21 shots, only two were on target against Matt Turner’s goal.
However, there was a glimmer of hope as Chelsea managed to achieve an expected goals (xG) value of over two, indicating the creation of genuine scoring opportunities—a positive shift from the previous season.
A notable moment was Nicolas Jackson’s late-game miss, which could account for a significant portion of the xG.
His frustration was evident as he sent his shot over the bar, highlighting the challenges faced by the forward.
Unlike his successful pre-season runs behind the opposition’s defense, this match involved a more physical confrontation.
Even though Jackson had promising moments and frequently connected with Raheem Sterling when advancing with the ball, it felt like one of those unfortunate days when the desired outcome eluded him.
The lack of a suitable replacement on the bench further emphasized the team’s limitations.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino’s reluctance to sign another forward was based on concerns about obstructing Armando Broja’s return from injury.
Broja’s return to partial team training provided a glimmer of hope, with the international break possibly aiding his recovery.
However, questions regarding Chelsea’s depth in the attacking position persist, and the ultimate solution lies in converting chances into goals.
The team’s starting lineup has seen minimal changes in the early season matches, showcasing both a desire for cohesion and a response to injury concerns.
Chelsea’s attacking focus was predominantly directed towards the right wing during the game, involving players like Moises Caicedo, Malo Gusto, and Raheem Sterling.
While this approach showcased strength, it also hinted at predictability in their strategy.
Chelsea’s captain, a key attacking threat, faced discussions about his role and positioning.
As Pochettino develops the team’s structure and adapts to fully-fit options, the balance and dynamics will be intriguing to observe, including the potential role of Ben Chilwell as a left full-back.
Despite significant investments, Chelsea’s squad age averages around 22, prompting Pochettino to strategize on how to succeed with a youthful team.
Pochettino acknowledges the challenges and sacrifices required for future rewards and remains optimistic about the team’s potential.
The upcoming international break offers a chance to recover players and bolster the squad’s competitiveness.
Players like Broja and Badiashile, returning from training, along with others, can engage in intensive work during this period.
Although there’s a temporary pause in action, vital progress can still be made as Pochettino and his team navigate the tension between immediate challenges and long-term goals.
The international break provides an opportunity to recalibrate and reenergize, paving the way for a more formidable Chelsea squad.