Chelsea limply rolled over in a 3-1 defeat away to Arsenal on Tuesday night.
Frank Lampard has now lost his first six matches back at the helm of the Blues but the rot runs far deeper than the former midfielder’s interim reign.
Granit Xhaka and Martin Odegaard combined for Arsenal’s first two goals, waltzing between the accommodating blue shirts with alarming ease. Gabriel Jesus nabbed a third for Arsenal before the interval, effectively consigning the Blues to defeat before Todd Boehly could even think about bowling into the dressing room for any rousing words of encouragement.
Chelsea finished the game as the stronger team, taking twice as many shots as Arsenal in the final 25 minutes and finding the net through Noni Madueke. Yet, Lampard’s side scarcely looked like emerging from the Emirates with anything other than defeat.
It was Chelsea’s 20th loss of the season across all competitions, the club’s highest tally in a single campaign since 1987/88.
Here are the standout performances – for reasons good and bad – from Chelsea’s latest reverse.
Noni Madueke: 6/10
There was not a great deal of stiff competition for this honour from those in blue. The headband-heavy winger added thrust and energy when carrying the ball forward and was on the end of Chelsea’s clearest chances.
Madueke didn’t cleanly connect with his effort when he did bypass Aaron Ramsdale but at least opened his Chelsea account after his January arrival. It may not have been the desired result, but a goal against Arsenal will have been sweet for the former Tottenham youth team player.
Ben Chilwell: 6/10
Who knows what could have happened had Ben Chilwell picked out the top corner 25 minutes into Tuesday’s match. With Chelsea only trailing by one goal, Chilwell rode a tackle from Bukayo Saka before watching his goal-bound effort get pawed away by Ramsdale.
Chelsea’s intermittently buccaneering fullback offered the second-most consistent threat after Madueke and ensured that Saka wasn’t Arsenal’s chief protagonist at the other end.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 1/10
The last two starts the former Arsenal captain has made for Chelsea have both come against his former employers.
Across both games, he has managed a combined 17 touches, completed nine passes, taken one shot and earned as many yellow cards. Aubameyang’s return to the Emirates on Tuesday was even grimmer than his lacklustre outing at Stamford Bridge as it ended at half-time – although, at least there was less of it to suffer through.
Wesley Fofana: 3/10
Wesley Fofana was not alone in being unable to contain Gabriel Jesus – the entire Chelsea backline failed with that brief – but the young Frenchman had the misfortune of getting matched up with the insatiable striker on a number of occasions, coming away from almost every duel without a sniff of the ball.
While Thiago Silva could point to a silky goal-line clearance in the second half, Fofana’s display didn’t have the same redeeming action.