The Chelsea supporters have been feeling relatively downbeat in the Transfer Tavern this week after their side were unable to turn a positive performance into a positive result against Barcelona at the Nou Camp on Wednesday evening.
Antonio Conte’s side were in impressive form against the Spanish giants in the Champions League earlier this week, but they lacked a clinical edge in-front of goal which the Catalan giants have in abundance, and they paid the ultimate price for their shortcomings in the final-third as they suffered a 3-0 defeat. The result ensured Barcelona’s progression to the quarter-finals of the competition as 4-1 winners, but on another night the result could have turned out differently.
Chelsea found themselves behind in the early stages of the match thanks to that man Lionel Messi before they conceded a second goal after just 20 minutes. It was the worst possible start, but the two goals gave The Blues the motivation they needed to push forward for a route back into the game, and they had plenty of chances from which to do so.
One of Chelsea’s biggest chances of the first-half fell to Marcos Alonso (valued at £27 million by Transfermarkt), but he placed his shot into a nice area for Ter Stegen to make a comfortable save. However, Alonso’s biggest moment arrived in the second half when he turned inside the area and found himself one on one with Ter Stegen. It looked certain that he would slam the ball home and get Chelsea back into the match at 2-1, but he threw himself to the floor after Pique pulled ever so slightly on his shoulder.
The penalty Alonso was looking for wasn’t given, and Chelsea were eventually eliminated from the competition. In that moment, Alonso bottled the responsibility of taking the shot himself when he found himself in a glorious position. There was absolutely no way he could justify going to ground in that situation, so he must learn his lesson this afternoon against Leicester if he finds himself in a similar position.
Chelsea are facing arguably their biggest match of the season today, as the FA Cup is the last remaining trophy that the club can win this season. If they wish to progress to the semi-final at Wembley then every player will need to be more clinical than they were against Barcelona on Wednesday night, especially Alonso who was culpable of missing a couple of glorious opportunities.