Chelsea's Mudryk Scores, but Blues Still Struggle

Chelsea’s Mudryk Scores, but Blues Still Struggle

TORONO — It was evident on Monday that Chelsea’s terrible goalkeeping performance was starting to turn from a recurring storyline to a source of mockery as a Domino’s pizza truck pulled up beside Craven Cottage in the lead-up to the match.


In an obvious (but possibly true) PR ploy, Dominos put up a digital billboard that displayed the number of pizzas they had sold in the five weeks since Chelsea’s last Premier League goal. There were almost ten million at that point. Though it was amusing and perhaps a little schadenfreude for the opposition supporters, more conventional statistics regarding Chelsea’s goal drought made for more depressing reading.

Chelsea's Mudryk Scores, but Blues Still Struggle

Even though the Blues created opportunities, Chelsea had not won in the league since a 3-0 victory against struggling Premier League Luton in August, going into Monday’s home matchup with rivals Fulham. Only Burnley recorded fewer goals than Chelsea, who tied for second place in the Premier League with five goals. Chelsea’s shooting conversion rate of 5.5% was the lowest of any side, as they failed to score on their previous 49 shots on goal.

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Chelsea's Mudryk Scores, but Blues Still Struggle

Chelsea has continued to be a side that creates chances but rarely scores, much like the team played under Graham Potter, who was finally fired. They defeated Brighton in the EFL Cup last week, winning by a slim margin of 1-0. The main goal for Monday was to end the Premier League’s impasse.

Chelsea accomplished that at last on Monday, contributing to a much-needed 2-0 victory that will be greatly relieving. The fact that it originated from winger Mykhailo Mudryk will also be comforting.

Chelsea's Mudryk Scores, but Blues Still Struggle

In a transaction that may have cost up to €100 million, Mudryk joined Chelsea in January of last year as a symbol of their continued appeal.

However, during the course of his 23 subsequent appearances, he turned into the face of the high-profile type of pricey signing who fell short at Stamford Bridge.

Mauricio Pochettino,

the manager of Chelsea, recently attributed Mudryk’s mistakes to a psychological issue and a lack of confidence. To address this, he decided to play a game of crossbar challenge against his winger.

During a press conference following the game, Pochettino responded, “It is about maturity,” when asked why he kept selecting Mudryk despite his recent poor play. It requires time.

When he came, the team underwent a significant transition, and it is never easy to fit in when you are new to a group. When a team has too many young players, it is not cohesive.”

Chelsea's Mudryk Scores, but Blues Still Struggle

Pochettino continued, “He demonstrated in his training sessions that he deserved [the opportunity to play].”

On Monday, Mudryk’s turning point arrived after eighteen minutes. The Ukraine winger gave Chelsea’s custodian Bernd Leno a rare display of calm as he chested down a cross from defender Levi Colwill and finished calmly to score his first goal of the season.

“The key is to give the young guys a design and a strategy that will help them feel confident in themselves and at home,” stated Pochettino. “They must have a sense of belonging to this club, just like everyone else. It all comes down to finding the proper people who can assist and [giving them] time.”

Right after the goal,

Chelsea's Mudryk Scores, but Blues Still Struggle

everything got even better. Similar to the proverbial “You wait for ages and then two come at once” regarding buses in London, Chelsea scored another goal a few seconds later.

This time, Cole Palmer took advantage of a careless pass from Tim Ream of Fulham to slide a pass through to Armando Broja, who almost missed completing the quick-fire double. Though it wasn’t as attractive, the objective was still there.

“We are motivated;

even in the early part of the season, when we were losing and didn’t win, we maintained our composure and faith,” Pochettino continued. Although we have won two games in the past two days, we always aim to improve and increase our players’ confidence and belief because they must sense that.

Despite Monday’s triumph, Chelsea’s problems are far from over. They still have to put in more effort before they can say they’ve turned the corner.

Even with Broja missing an early chance after rounding Leno and Enzo Fernández missing a tempting one-on-one opportunity in the second half, Pochettino’s team was still lacking a bit of bite in front of goal. Despite his well-taken goal, Mudryk did not perform well on the left and was substituted at halftime due to a quad injury. The lack of flair and individuality required to deliver performances that are consistently good should also be a source of concern.

Chelsea's Mudryk Scores, but Blues Still Struggle

Not to mention the matter of the club’s league standing. They’re still only one point behind Manchester United in 11th position even after this victory, so Chelsea’s struggle will only become harder.

It may be said that Chelsea has squandered clear opportunities to gain points early in the season, losing on the road to West Ham and Nottingham Forest and drawing 0-0 with Bournemouth.

The schedule is going to get much more difficult: Chelsea will first have to travel to Burnley, after which they will have a difficult stretch of games at home against Brentford, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City, Newcastle, Brighton, and Manchester United.

“In football, you have to be prepared for everything at all times,”stated Pochettino. “The match this Saturday [against Burnley] will be difficult as well. After two wins, it’s crucial for the players to feel encouraged, but we’ll keep working.”

Chelsea's Mudryk Scores, but Blues Still Struggle

But such anxieties can all wait until another day. Chelsea ended their impasse on Monday, which stopped a concerning decline in the league. That is not something to be laughed at.


FAQ 1: What was Chelsea’s recent performance like before this victory?

Answer: Chelsea had been struggling to score goals in the Premier League and had not won in the league since August. Their goal drought was a source of concern, and they had the lowest shooting conversion rate in the league.

FAQ 2: Who scored the goals in Chelsea’s victory?

Answer: Mykhailo Mudryk scored Chelsea’s first goal, and Cole Palmer assisted Armando Broja for the second goal.

FAQ 3: Why was Mudryk’s performance under scrutiny, and how did the manager address it?

Answer: Mudryk had faced criticism for his performance since joining Chelsea for a high fee. The manager, Mauricio Pochettino, attributed his struggles to a psychological issue and a lack of confidence. He decided to work on Mudryk’s confidence through a “crossbar challenge.”

FAQ 4: What is Chelsea’s league standing after this victory?

Answer: Despite the victory, Chelsea is still in 11th position, one point behind Manchester United in the Premier League.

FAQ 5: What’s next for Chelsea in terms of their fixtures?

Answer: Chelsea will face a challenging schedule with upcoming games against Burnley, Brentford, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester City, Newcastle, Brighton, and Manchester United.

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