Saturday was no doubt disappointing for Frank Lampard and his team. It is the third game in a row without a victory, and it is important Chelsea bounce back quickly. However, all is not lost, and there are always positives to take from a loss. Here are three things to be encouraged by following the defeat to West Ham.
The 19-year-old is making the right-back spot his own and putting in brilliant performances almost every time he steps on the pitch. He can’t do much wrong at the moment.
Although he was beaten for the West Ham goal, it was more down to good work from Aaron Cresswell. The right-back completed nine dribbles in the game, an incredible number from full-back, and completed 90% of his passes.
He also won 13 out of 16 ground duels and put in nine crosses. Similarly to the game against Valencia, a number of his crosses were begging to be attacked. When Abraham return’s to the side, James will no doubt start racking up assists in the coming weeks.
Better from Kepa
Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has been in the firing line for criticism of late, and some would say rightfully so.
However, in Saturday’s game, he showed signs of why the club forked out £70m for his services in 2018. The Spanish keeper produced several fine saves to keep the Blues in the game on Saturday, including a double save from Balbuena and Antonio.
Although he failed to keep a clean sheet, he was not at fault for the goal. If Chelsea had got something from the game, a huge reason for that would have been the performance of Kepa.
Players returning to fitness
Although it does not take away from the three points dropped, the team on Saturday was not Lampard’s preferred 11. Kante was rested to avoid further injury problems, and top scorer Abraham missed out following a hip injury he picked up against Valencia.
Once Kante returns to full fitness, and Tammy comes back in, the Blues will be a much stronger outfit. Add Ruben Loftus-Cheek into the mix and the team is looking increasingly stronger.
Two of these three are likely to return to the starting line-up for Wednesday’s game against Aston Villa, where fans will be hoping for a much-improved performance.