Regroup and rethink

Following Chelsea’s fantastic performance against Atletico Madrid last week, Stamford Bridge was surrounded by an optimistic buzz on Saturday evening as we all piled in.

Within five minutes the new Bakayoko and Kante chant was blaring out of the Matthew Harding stand, following N’Golo’s delivery to Morata in the box, which was headed over. However, unfortunately, we wouldn’t see many more Chelsea chances during the remaining 85 minutes.

As the clocked ticked on through the first half, City looked stronger and took a real hold of the game. Morata had to be substituted due to a problem with his hamstring, and from then on, we were certainly second best. We were a little flat and sluggish and were making unnecessary errors all over the pitch. City continued to press and were rewarded with a left-footed strike from former Chelsea man, Kevin de Bruyne. You can’t argue that they didn’t deserve it.

Saturday just wasn’t our day. Perhaps this game came that bit too soon after our visit to Atletico on Wednesday - it was our second big test in only four days. We had one less day to prepare than our opponents, who played Shakhtar Donetsk at home on Tuesday, and it showed.

There were some positives to take from this game, though. I thought the performance of Andreas Christensen, who replaced the suspended David Luiz in defence, was worthy of praise and applause. Christensen was calm and assured throughout, and maturely dealt with the vast majority that City threw at him.

After the game, Conte confirmed that Morata’s injury was nothing serious, and his substitution was more of a precautionary move to prevent any further risk to his hamstring. We hope to see him return against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in two weeks’ time.

We go into the international break fourth in the table, and we now have a chance to regroup and rethink, before we pick ourselves up and go again. We are only seven games into this season, having won four, drawn one and lost two. In those seven games, we have already met Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham, and have certainly had a tougher run of starting fixtures than some others. Just a reminder that it was about this time last season that we lost to Liverpool and Arsenal on consecutive weekends - and look what happened after that…

By Hannah Kurzawski, Chelsea fan.