Saturday’s game was the highly anticipated replay of the Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City, the first time the two sides have met since that night in Porto back in May.
With both sides being considered as favourites for this season’s Premier League title, there was a sense that this game was already a championship winning six pointer, despite it only being matchday six in the league calendar.
A second half strike from Gabriel Jesus was enough to inflict a first defeat of the season for the Blues but, even though it was a disappointing defeat, there is no reason for Chelsea to panic.
Thomas Tuchel expressed his disappointment after the game, as he said: “We were so unprecise, our decision making wasn’t good enough, we lacked confidence. They are the most intensive team but there are ways to escape the pressure
We weren’t at our highest level. You need to take risks and accept risks that wasn’t the case today.”Tuchel’s arrival at the club in January saw the revival of a squad that look disjointed and lacking ideas.
The German’s appointment sparked a change in formation, and eventually inspired the the Blues to their second Champions League title in their history.
European glory, as well as a top four finish in the league, cemented Tuchel as one of the best in the business, and now many believe that he is the right man to take the club forward.
However, this season’s strong start has been overshadowed by Saturday’s defeat. The Blues were favourites to win heading into the fixture but struggled against City’s constant press.
The hosts had little in response going forward and despite a late flurry of chances, the three points were taken back to Manchester.
If anything, the result was a wake up call. Even though the three previous meetings between the two were all Chelsea victories, no one can be taken for granted in the Premier League.
At this stage of the season though, panic is simply unnecessary.The Blues’ beginning to the 21/22 campaign has been successful overall.
They earned their first piece of silverware, a Super Cup victory against Villarreal on penal.Since then, a total of 13 points out of a possible 18 have been secured in the league, as well as wins in the Champions League and Carabao Cup.
Given the opposition that they have already faced, one loss in nine games is highly respectable.
When you include Saturday’s game against City, Chelsea have already faced four of the other five members of the Big Six, with contests against Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool already past fixtures.
On paper, the Blues’ upcoming run of fixtures towards the end of November is very favourable, with six league fixtures coming against teams at the bottom end of the table.
If Chelsea are to really cement a title challenge this season, then it is essential they do their best to earn maximum points across this forthcoming period of the campaign.
They should also be able to qualify from their Champions League group without any complications.
The weekend’s disappointment is merely a blip. A change of formation saw a lack of threat and creativity up front and despite resolute defending, zero points were gained.
However the Blues are just at the start of what could be a very long campaign, and they are still more than capable of achieving more silverware come the end of May.