Chelsea: Shock AC Milan swap offer; Courtois discusses Liverpool defeat; pundits slam defence
AC Milan are said to be preparing an unexpected swap deal to help them in their pursuit of Cesc Fabregas, having realised that they will not be able to stump up the cash to buy the Spaniard and with the Blues reluctant to loan him out.
Calcio Mercato report that these problems could lead to the Itailan club offering to swap forward Carlos Bacca for the midfielder, given the club’s interest in him towards the start of the summer transfer window, before signing Michy Batshuayi.
Bacca has enjoyed a fine run of form at the start of the Serie A season and is said to be open to a move, despite having turned down repeated approaches from West Ham United over the summer. Bacca is unlikely to displace Diego Costa up front, but could be a good substitute or partner as Conte prefers to play with two up front but is struggling to with so few options available to him in the current squad at Stamford Bridge.
Conte suffered his first defeat as Chelsea boss on Friday night when Liverpool visited London, and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who could do little about either of Liverpool’s strikes, has spoken out regarding the defeat. The Belgian, who is yet to be convincing this season, explained that a poor start cost his side dearly, telling the Express:
We didn’t start well… First half we didn’t have the duels, we didn’t have the second ball, everything was for them. They pressured us and we couldn’t cope with it. It was very hard and we gave two goals away. Everyone was a bit shocked, we didn’t start well and then they scored the second when we didn’t defend well.
As much was obvious on Friday evening as the Blues were blown away by Jurgen Klopp’s tactics before starting to mount a comeback in the second half. However, it was too little too late for the Blues who succumbed to defeat for the first time this season against one of their rivals at the top end of the table, which could prove costly in May.
Pundits have also slammed the Blues’ tactics, criticising their defending at set pieces in particular. Jamie Carragher was amongst those to look at the Chelsea backline in the first goal of the game, when Dejan Lovren put his side 1-0 up on the night. Carragher said:
Chelsea were not ready from the start [of the free-kick that led to Lovren’s goal]. There were four players not doing anything, I can’t believe at this level of football there has been that level of defending.
The Blues were also slammed by many pundits for paying too much respect to Liverpool and allowing them to put the pressure onto the home side with their high pressing game. Given that Chelsea were unbeaten heading into the game, it seems nonsensical that the team did not play with the confidence of an unbeaten side, but they allowed Liverpool to treat them like they were just any other side.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by federico civerchia.
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