Poor defence caused Chelsea loss: Former England captain Shearer

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London, Aug 17 (IANS)Former England football captain Alan Shearer has blamed Chelsea’s defence frailties for the 0-3 thrashing in Sunday’s Premier League game at Manchester City.

According to Shearer, the fact that the defending English Premier League (EPL) champions have conceded five goals in the last two games is surprising since a strong performance by the defenders played a crucial role in their title triumph last season.

“I was shocked to see how open Chelsea were in the first half of their defeat by Manchester City on Sunday. For a team whose title success was built from the back last season, I had been surprised at how poor the Blues were defensively in their opening day draw with Swansea,” Shearer was quoted as saying by BBC.

“I was expecting a big improvement from them at Etihad Stadium but, if anything, in terms of the protection they offered their back-four and the back-four itself, they were actually even worse,” he added.

The former Newcastle striker also felt that the poor form of Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabrigas played a big part in the London club’s defeat.

“When these two teams last met, at Stamford Bridge in January, Blues boss Jose Mourinho played Ramires in defensive midfield alongside Nemanja Matic and successfully killed the game. But that went out of the window after about 20 seconds when David Silva played in Sergio Aguero and cut Chelsea wide open,” Shearer said. “It kept happening in the first 45 minutes, and part of the problem was that Cesc Fabregas was alongside Matic, not Ramires.”

“Fabregas did not look like he knew whether he was meant to be an attacking midfielder or a defensive one. He ended up being neither. Too many times City went at Chelsea straight down the middle through David Silva or Sergio Aguero and it was too easy for them,” he added.

“On top of not offering his defenders any protection, Fabregas did not do anything of note going forward either. He was not playing any dangerous balls up to Diego Costa and Chelsea’s other forwards, and was not particularly effective when he got up the pitch to join them.”

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho had labelled the 3-0 score as a ‘fake result’. But Shearer – who has scored a record 260 goals in the EPL – felt that the final score was a fair reflection since City were clearly the better team.

“Chelsea came back into the game a little bit in the second half, and the biggest reason was that Mourinho got all of his attacking players to move about 10 yards further forward. Yes, the champions improved but they still did not have their first shot on target until the 70th minute – when Joe Hart denied Hazard,” he said.

“So I really don’t see how Chelsea can argue that they did not deserve to lose.

“City were better going forward and better defensively, and I thought 3-0 was a fair result. It was a very disappointing day for Chelsea all round.”

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