Chelsea suffer as star goalkeeper, Kepa misses the penalty that could’ve altered the result altogether, had it found the net
The weekend ended horribly for Chelsea as they lose their grip on the silverware in a brutal face-off with Liverpool. The decisive moment was thrown away as Chelsea’s experienced and one of the highest-paid goalkeepers in the world, Kepa misses the penalty, handing the win over to the rivals, Liverpool.
The competition went on neck-to-neck with both teams earning significant goal scoring opportunities. However, none were proved conclusive enough to declare a winner team even after a ruthless 120-minute showdown.
Thomas Tuchel was forced into a tactical reshuffle given Kepa’s reputation in front of the net. This strategic gamble came back to haunt Tuchel as the switch was no less than a plot-twist.
Prior to the penalty shootout, both teams created glorious chances for themselves yet failed to convert them.
Kepa Arrizabalaga was introduced in the hopes of providing the team with a much-needed defensive security. It however backfired as the keeper’s attempt was largely miscalculated, resulting in a penalty miss, in an interesting turn of events.
Prior to his introduction, Edouard Mendy, Chelsea’s first choice, had been in control of the net. Mendy was spectacular in last night’s Carabao cup final. The Senegalese goalkeeper had made quite a few supernatural saves to deny the opponents some crucial goals from a close range.
Every managerial decision in the football world is laced with at least some amount of risk. Coaches have to take tough calls on the basis of their experiences with the players. At times, football, just like any other game in the world, is also a game of luck. The form is never promised. But despite the let-down, Kepa has his chin up. Even The Blues Boss, Thomas Tuchel, has no words of blame for the keeper.
“It was a bit harsh that he was the guy to miss the one and only penalty but there is no blame”.
Said Thomas Tuchel.
WATCH: Chelsea’s out-of-favour striker Romelu Lukaku scores twice in action-packed second half 🔥
Romelu Lukaku scores twice v Wolves: Chelsea welcomed Wolverhampton Wanderers to Stamford Bridge tonight in a contest where they were hopeful of reversing their poor run of form to guarantee themselves a Champions League berth.
Despite the Blues receiving two goal scoring opportunities in the first-half of the game, it still ended in a stalemate. However, as the second-half commenced, Romelu Lukaku stepped up to strike twice in quick succession to put Chelsea on a trajectory toward what appeared to be a deserved victory at that time.
Lukaku’s goal tally for Chelsea this season has totalled up to 14 now, causing him to become the highest goal scorer for the Blues, just a goal ahead of Kai Havertz. His performance tonight underlines his renewed confidence as he looks to be approaching the sort of form that had deserted him for most of the season.
Romelu Lukaku hadn’t scored in the Premier League since December 29th.
129 days later and he's got a brace in 3 minutes ⚽⚽ pic.twitter.com/FzZx49vvHw
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 7, 2022
Watch how Romelu Lukaku scores twice in quick succession to give Chelsea’s scoreline an uplift:
The first goal came in response to a VAR call for a foul committed by Saiss on Romelu Lukaku as both players were caught up in a tangle on the edge of the penalty area.
Watch Lukaku’s left-footed penalty here:
The second goal was a Pulisic interception that found Lukaku who then completed the play with an emphatic low finish from the edge of the box with his weaker right foot.
Romelu Lukaku gets his brace with an assist from Christian Pulisic!
— Chelsea FC USA (@ChelseaFCinUSA) May 7, 2022
Lukaku wasn’t able to register himself on the scoresheet for Chelsea ever since the start of year 2022 – a daunting prospect for such an expensive striker – however, that record has been laid to rest today as his goals v Wolves have certainly managed to make a statement of his intent.
It’s a shame that a subpar defensive performance from his side overshadowed his monumental return to form. Chelsea were stripped to bone with comeback goals from Wolves that added misery to Chelsea’s hopes of securing a victory. The game ended in an unanticipated 2-2 draw.
After racking up underwhelming results from their recent run-ins, Chelsea are looking a lot less comfortable in the rough and tumble of Premier League’s top-four now. With the fourth-placed Arsenal and fifth-placed Tottenham breathing down Chelsea’s neck, their margin for error has now decreased to just two points, especially after having picked up only 5 points from a possible 15.
WATCH: Marcos Alonso pings a volley past David De Gea, giving Chelsea breakthrough on the hour mark🔥
Marcos Alonso pings a volley v Manchester United:
Chelsea’s bid to overturn their nine-year winless record at Old Trafford ends in a stalemate yet again as the Blues fail to clinch a win over a struggling Manchester United side.
It took three first-half misses for Chelsea to finally wake up and produce a moment of brilliance through Marcos Alonso. It was a Kai Havertz cross that found the feet of an unmarked Marcos Alonso inside the United penalty area, who eventually fired a low-effort pass past David de Gea, giving Chelsea the lead on the hour mark.
Chelsea started the game with real intent as was evident in their performance throughout the game – having earned a few goal scoring opportunities – however all of their chances went off-target, leading to a goalless first-half.
The Blues’ woes didn’t continue for much longer as Marcos Alonso’s left-footed strike in the first quarter of the second-half gave them the edge over a depleted Manchester United side.
Marcos Alonso has been directly involved in three goals in his last four Premier League appearances.
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) April 28, 2022
Among the Chelsea supporters, Alonso is often touted as ‘a complete forward who happens to be a defender’ and ‘Chelsea’s secret striker’, because of his unanticipated goal scoring abilities, despite starting from the back. On the surface, such a statement would read like a joke laden in sarcasm but one must be cautious to assume a player like Alonso, though inconsistent, is not as valuable or less important on the pitch than Chelsea’s other players. His performance during Chelsea’s recent run-ins, proves how influential he has been for the club.
Watch how Marcos Alonso pings a volley past David De Gea to put the blues ahead v Manchester United here:
𝘼𝙇𝙊𝙉𝙎𝙊 𝙎𝙏𝙍𝙄𝙆𝙀𝙎! 🚀
It's fair to say it's been coming and it's Marcos Alonso who fires Chelsea into the lead at Old Trafford 💥 pic.twitter.com/6jkAFJFLCU
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 28, 2022
Chelsea boss, Thomas Tuchel was all praise for Alonso as well;
Thomas Tuchel on Marcos Alonso:
"He is one of these players who are precise in finishing so we hope it finds its way to his left foot."
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) April 28, 2022
Despite such a dominant performance, Chelsea weren’t able to hold the lead as Cristiano Ronaldo canceled out Alonso’s opener just two minutes later, changing the trajectory of the game. The match ended in shared points, though Chelsea were by far the better team.
WATCH: Christian Pulisic’s late heroics put the Chelsea v West Ham game to bed 💫
Losing 3 out of their last 4 home matches prior to hosting West Ham, had resigned Chelsea to one of their worst home runs in the league in 29 years but the blues were finally spared a home defeat in yesterday’s game, thanks to Christian Pulisic’s late heroics which almost guaranteed them a top-four finish.
Christian Pulisic called GAME 🥶
— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 24, 2022
Chelsea hosted their London Rivals, West Ham at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon looking to overturn their disappointing home form. Just as a draw seemed inevitable, Christian Pulisic stepped up and undoubtedly proved to be a stimulus to help push Chelsea over the line in the dying moments of the game.
Coming off the bench in the 76th minute as part of a triple sub, he certainly was symbolic of a changing tide as his last-minute strike changed the course of an otherwise scoreless game. His 90th minute-turnaround has ensured Chelsea top-four security, as they remain in third-place, five points clear of fourth-placed Arsenal.
"As far as the moment, last minute or close to the end, scoring the game-winner felt really good, especially here at home, so it was definitely up there [with one of my most important goals for #Chelsea]."
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) April 25, 2022
It was Marcos Alonso’s low cross that pierced through the West Ham defense, finding the feet of Christian Pulisic, who patiently timed his run to perfection to fire home a precise left-footed strike in the final minute, securing a 1-0 win for Chelsea.
Watch the goal here:
Heading into the match, Chelsea’s record at Stamford Bridge had been standing up to scrutiny given their astonishingly worrying home form. On top of that, the blues boss, Thomas Tuchel was handed a cluster of injury concerns to iron out. But thanks to Christian Pulisic’s late heroics, the game that seemed largely uneventful, concluded with a definite winner, despite the crippling challenges.
Chelsea travel to Old Trafford to meet Manchester United in their next Premier League fixture.