An Erratic European Performance
By Gary Watton
October 19 2017
Fresh from their ritual humiliation at Crystal Palace, Chelsea failed to win at home to AS Roma, in spite of opening a two-goal lead. The faltering hosts then conceded three goals, before a rare headed goal from Eden Hazard rescued a point. Fortunately Atletico Madrid drew a blank in the scoreless fare in Quarabag. However, Chelsea's defending is so fragile that their hopes of finishing top of the group are not so straightforward as previously expected. The English champions will be seeking a share of the spoils when they do battle with Roma again in two weeks' time.
At least it was good to see Hazard open his goals account for the season, with a double. Earlier David Luiz had fired home a peach of a long-range strike. The Brazilian ace played in midfield, but he and fellow midfielder Bakayoko are an awful lot more erratic than the fine partnership of Kante and Matic.
All the Blues really needed to do was to hold out with a two-goal lead until half time. However they couldn't even manage that, so the visitors were buoyed by Kolarov's strike, and another Manchester City reject, Edin Dzeko capitalised upon the momentum with a second half double that included a sweetly struck volley.
Still, Conte will have to soldier on avec a depleted squad, burdened by two matches per week. This season is not proving to be anywhere near as plain sailing as last year was for the manager. It's time for Antonio to really 'manage' or cope and to earn his inflated wages.
CHELSEA 3 AS Roma 3; half time: 2-1
CHELSEA goal scorers: Luiz; Hazard (two)
CHELSEA: Courtois; Cahill; Azpilicueta; Alonso; Luiz; Christensen; Zappacosta; Bakayoko; Morata; Fabregas; Hazard. Used substitutes: Pedro; Rudiger; Willian
CHELSEA leading scorers:
Pedro twopqs: qs:
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