Two losses in 4 days has stalled Chelsea’s serene progress within the Premier League, turning the highlight onto its expensively assembled assault that is still a piece in progress.
Two drab attracts for Manchester Metropolis in the identical interval is elevating much more questions — notably, what has occurred to what was as soon as probably the most entertaining group in England?
It was a night to overlook for 2 of the league’s supposed title contenders on Tuesday, with Chelsea’s 2-1 loss at Wolverhampton — sealed by a successful purpose in stoppage time — adopted by Metropolis’s 1-1 draw at residence to West Bromwich Albion, one of many favorites for relegation this season.
Chelsea missed the prospect to climb into first place, at the very least for one night time, whereas Metropolis squandered a chance to maneuver within reach of the highest two within the division, Tottenham and Liverpool.
Chelsea’s setback at Molineux adopted a 1-Zero loss at Everton on Saturday and each defeats have highlighted the significance of playmaker Hakim Ziyech, who missed them by means of harm.
Olivier Giroud, who started the season as Chelsea’s third-choice striker however is now beginning often, opened the scoring within the 49th minute. Wolves roared again and equalized by means of Daniel Podence within the 66th earlier than his fellow Portugal worldwide, Pedro Neto, broke ahead on the counterattack and drove residence the winner within the fifth minute of stoppage time.
Chelsea supervisor Frank Lampard transformed his assault as a part of an offseason spending spree, however Timo Werner is now and not using a purpose in eight video games, Kai Havertz has underwhelmed, and one other of the brand new signings, Ziyech, has had spells out injured.
In the meantime, U.S. winger Christian Pulisic is feeling his method again to match sharpness after a run of accidents.
Lampard has lots to ponder.
As does Pep Guardiola, with Metropolis languishing in sixth place after a tepid show in opposition to West Brom, which grabbed some extent due to an unlucky own-goal by Metropolis defender Ruben Dias within the 43rd.
Metropolis had gone forward by means of Ilkay Gundogan within the 30th however struggled for creativeness in trying to interrupt down a deep-lying visiting protection. Guardiola’s group had comparable issues in assault in a Zero-Zero draw at Manchester United on Saturday.
With 18 targets, Metropolis is the bottom scorer of the league’s prime 9 groups. Guardiola has been taking part in two defensive midfielders because the offseason departure of long-time playmaker David Silva in an effort to present extra safety to his protection, however it’s robbing the group of creativity.
West Brom battled to a hard-fought level which could not be sufficient to save lots of its supervisor, Slaven Bilic, from getting fired. Widespread stories within the British media stated Bilic may lose his job on Wednesday, with West Brom in next-to-last place.
“I’m probably not that bothered what’s taking place behind the scenes and all that,” Bilic stated. “I don’t care.”
Tottenham visits Liverpool, which is second on purpose distinction, within the standout match of Wednesday’s six fixtures.
Chelsea has slipped to back-to-back defeats within the league for the primary time in additional than a 12 months, and Lampard stated his gamers may be feeling some tiredness amid a busy schedule that may solely get extra hectic round Christmas.
“There might be some fatigue,” Lampard stated. “I hate to say it after a defeat as a result of it seems like an excuse however even within the first 60 minutes after we have been the higher group, we didn’t have a zipper about us.
“We’ve traveled as much as Everton, got here again after which traveled to Wolves however everyone seems to be in the identical boat. We’ve a few accidents in areas which suggests I can’t make too many modifications.”
Giroud, at the very least, is taking his alternative after leapfrogging Tammy Abraham into the beginning lineup whereas Werner fills in out broad.
That is now seven targets in his final seven matches in all competitions for the France worldwide, whose newest strike was a fierce volley that Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio obtained in the way in which of however bundled over his personal line.
An indication of Guardiola’s frustration got here when the fourth official raised his board to indicate what number of minutes of stoppage time there could be.
Because the quantity “four” flashed up, Guardiola held out each palms and pleaded with the official for extra time, trying shocked at what he was seeing. He even touched the board at one stage.
It was solely actually in these additional minutes that Metropolis appeared harmful, with West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone making point-blank saves to disclaim Gundogan and Raheem Sterling. A late twist would have been harsh on the guests and flattered this efficiency by Metropolis, which had 77% possession whereas doing little with it.
“We’re in a position to management rather a lot, we’re conceding the minimal, nothing,” stated Guardiola, whose group had a run of six clear sheets earlier than Tuesday. “We have been higher in all departments, however we’re struggling to attain.”