An ex-Arsenal star has hit out at Chelsea’s attack, labelling it a problem as the Blues were lucky to walk out of Stamford Bridge with a draw against Man United on Saturday. Despite the Red Devils bagging a last-minute equalizer, they will be disappointed to not come away from the fixture with all three points.
Man United were the more dominant force in the clash, posing a much bigger attacking threat than their opposition. The Red Devils registered more than double the amount of shots than Chelsea, firing off 13 efforts at goal to the Blues’ 6.
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Chelsea were handed a slice of luck when Scott McTominay brought down Armando Broja in the box, following a corner in the 87th minute. A penalty was awarded and converted by Jorginho, but the West Londoners couldn’t hold on as Casemiro headed home his first United goal to snatch a point right at the death.
The Red Devils are bound to have felt hard done by the result, given the authority asserted in their play as well as being the more pragmatic of the two sides, much to the delight of boss Erik Ten Hag.
“That was a good part in the game [the first half, where United had 19 shots] and it’s part of our philosophy to dominate big games,” said Ten Hag on the Man United website.
“Especially when you can do it against a team like Chelsea with one of the best teams in the Premier League, that gives a good feeling and so now we are to do it over 90 minutes.”
However, Chelsea’s lack of potency in attack had been highlighted once again during Saturday’s tie, after a few weeks of improved efficiency in front of goal.
The initial spike in goals could have been a result of Potter’s appointment, with the “new manager bounce” proving to be as effective as ever, as depicted by upturns in form of various Premier League sides following a new arrival in the dugout.
But ex-Arsenal star Stewart Robson believes Chelsea’s attack is still a problem, and slated two of the Blues’ new signings for not having an impact in recent games.
“It’s a problem,” said Robson to ESPN FC. “When you see how Sterling played for Chelsea [on Saturday], I thought he was really poor.
“He got himself in some good positions, but his final decisions and actual control weren’t particularly good. He wasn’t making the right runs.
“Aubameyang, he’s the player I saw at Arsenal in the last couple of years where he’s not that really effective.
“Unless he [Potter] can get somebody to play in that centre-forward position, he’s got to do a lot of tinkering in midfield to create more chances, so at some point, they will score a goal.”
Former Chelsea star Tony Cascarino echoed Robson’s sentiments, expressing his disappointment in the Blues’ attack and signaling out the same players for the lack of potency in attack.
“He [Potter] is going to be bothered by the ability of his forward line to get goals,” Cascarino said on talkSPORT.
“Aubameyang has not really got going, yes he has had his couple of moments. He was totally off the pace yesterday [Saturday]. Sterling is not playing particularly well, where he is running into defenders more often than not.
“Again these are top players, these are players that you expect so much more from. Apart from Mason Mount’s double last week at Villa Park, they don’t look like they have got goals in their side. They have lost Reece James, which is a big outlet on the right-hand side for them, but generally they don’t look [like] a side that’s going to have a load of goals in them.”
Potter was questioned post-game about the pair’s lack of form, particularly Sterling. He responded by stating the issues aren’t all down to one player, and tried to divert attention away from the former Man City winger.
“It’s not something we have to zoom in to one person,” Potter told reporters (via The Evening Standard). “As a team, we can do better, and if we do better as a team, then individuals will benefit from that, so that’s where the work is.”
The Blues face a trip to Austria on Tuesday to face RB Salzburg in the UEFA Champions League in what is a fixture of vital importance for qualification to the next round.