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Inside FutbolInside Futbol

06 October 2018

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26 August 2018


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12/03/2019 - 12:13 BST

Take Leaf Out of Man City’s Book – Chelsea Legend Issues Advice To Blues


Chelsea legend Pat Nevin has insisted the Blues must learn from Manchester City when it comes to how to hurt teams that sit deep inside their own half and put bodies behind the ball.

The Blues failed to capitalise on slip-ups from Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Wolves at Stamford Bridge on Sunday in the Premier League.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s men adopted a backs to the wall approach against Chelsea and perfectly executed their game plan after scoring through Raul Jimenez on the break.

The visitors made life difficult for Chelsea and almost pulled off a league double over the Blues, before Eden Hazard’s stoppage time equaliser salvaged a point for the hosts.

And in the wake of their disappointing result on Sunday, Nevin has admitted that Chelsea must find a way to break down teams that sit deep in their own half and make life difficult for them.

The former Chelsea winger insisted the Blues must learn from Manchester City to cope with such an approach from opponents and try to get their creative players on the ball further up the pitch.  

“We need to find ways round this problem [of teams sitting behind the ball] more often if we are going to make the top four and the fans are just as frustrated as the players at it being so close yet so far because of this”, Nevin wrote in his column for the club’s official website.

“One of the ways is obviously to do what Man City do in the same circumstances, continually get their creative players on the ball in the last 30 yards of the pitch.

“Eden Hazard getting the ball on the halfway line with 10 players between him and the goal is suboptimal.

“He obviously wants to get involved and he can glide past two or three players with ease, but by then he hasn’t even got close to their back line and he has usually been fouled half a pitch away from the goal.”

Nevin also added that players like Pedro, Willian and Callum Hudson-Odoi prefer to be on the ball to hurt teams higher up the pitch and stressed that Chelsea must find a way to move the ball quickly to answer the conundrum.

“Pedro, Willian and the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi are the same. They have to get possession where they can hurt the opposition more quickly”, he continued.

“This means moving the ball far more quickly when the opportunity arises. Maurizio Sarri says as much after each disappointment. Clearly it is easier said than done but City do it expertly every week.

“It is not a dig at the players mentioned, or their team-mates or the coaching staff, but it is imperative to find an answer to this conundrum between them all.”

Chelsea will next face Dynamo Kyiv away from home in the second leg of their Europa League round of 16 clash on Thursday night.