After Chelsea overcame Brighton 2-1, we look for three lessons from the win.
1. Hazard as false nine is the way forward
This system is definitely the best for the team. Hazard is not an effective presser of opponents. He does not need to do this as much in the middle.
The Belgian can also drop deep to collect the ball in more space than he finds out wide. Defenders have to go with him which creates space for the inside forwards and full backs.
Both Willian and Pedro can play in their best positions of left and right wing respectively while we do not have to see Alvaro Morata toil and Olivier Giroud can be used when needed.
2. This was a game for Loftus-Cheek
I am a big fan of Mateo Kovacic but he is not needed for games like this. Against opposition such as Manchester City he is vital in his ability to press, regain possession and link play between the midfield and the forwards.
However, the Croat does not offer much in games like the Brighton one. He does not have any end product and that is exactly what the team needs to make games safe against lesser opposition. Only Pedro and Eden Hazard provide much end product.
Loftus-Cheek gives this threat from midfield that is absolutely essential for these matches. Sarri needs to realize this.
3. Alonso again
We are into broken record territory but Sarri needs to play Emerson over Alonso. It is not even that the Brazilian is an excellent left back. He is not. But he he is better than Alonso.
The Spaniard was dreadful again. The great long range shot he had or the occasional goal he scores does not win a team titles. His height at set pieces is a bonus but he is a liability who teams are exploiting.
Brighton’s goal came as a result of his failure to close down the cross through lack of speed. This slow pace means he is often caught out of line with his defensive line. He also gives the ball away a lot which leaves his team wide open for counter attacks. Enough is enough.