Ben Chilwell has praised Chelsea’s attackers for their defensive work in the goalless draw with Sevilla last night.
The Blues went for an unusual set-up for their opening game of the Champions League group stage.
Instead of the free-flowing, some would say reckless, football they have been known for under Frank Lampard, Chelsea opted for a more rigid, defence-first system.
The fact it resulted in the first-ever 0-0 result for Chelsea under Lampard says a lot.
Flair sacrificed for structure
Some fans would argue it was an uninspiring Blues performance as the set-up sacrificed flair for structure, particularly with the quality Chelsea have up front.
But given the scrutiny following the side’s poor defensive record this season, the compromise may have been enacted to ease pressure on the team.
Chilwell, who was arguably one of the best Chelsea players on the pitch yesterday, summed it up perfectly.
He told Chelsea’s official website: “I think the important thing there was the clean sheet.
“We knew people would be looking at us after conceding three goals at the weekend and defensively as a team we were solid today, against a very good team.”
Chilwell added that, as a top team, people expect clean sheets from Chelsea and this season’s disappointing defensive record was bound to attract criticism.
The England international also highlighted the work carried out by those outside the defensive line to help Chelsea defend as a team.
“In general, as a team it was, I wouldn’t say comfortable, because there were moments where we were under pressure.
“But how organised we were, not just the back four and the goalkeeper but the whole team.
“The wingers and midfielders were all putting a shift in for the defence.
“So defensively it was very good.”