Chelsea gets a solid partnership of center-backs as Christensen displays solid performance against Manchester City.
After reinforcing the attack, the only area left for Chelsea to reinforce was their backline. Once their backline becomes solid, they are ready to challenge for the title once again. Antonio Rudiger was the center-back holding the Chelsea defense, without a proper complementing partner.
Rudiger was out for the second half of 2019 due to a groin injury which followed by knee surgery. Chelsea suffered defensively in the absence of the German defender. Chelsea lost 5 games out of 15 played without Rudiger, which included an opening day 4-0 hammering by Manchester United. Moreover, the Chelsea defense without Rudiger managed just 3 clean sheets in 15 games conceding 20 goals.
Defenders Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma, and Fikayo Tomori failed miserably to perform giving Frank Lampard no choices. Chelsea’s 3-0 loss at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League round of 16 show their defensive frailties. But it now seems that the good old days of Chelsea defense, like Antonio Conte’s three-man defense are back. Conte’s defense which seldom conceded goals consisted of 3 center-backs.
Andreas Christensen’s brilliant performance against Manchester City alongside Antonio Rudiger may have given Frank Lampard his center-back pairing. The Dane gave a strong performance against an attacking City team to hand Lampard a defensive boost.
Andreas Christensen Displays The Mettle Lampard Needed In Defense
Andreas Christensen showed Lampard that he can lead his defense along with Antonio Rudiger. Lampard has made it clear that his players will have to fight for their places in the starting eleven. Andreas Christensen has started working exactly towards what Lampard wants. The Dane was not upto the challenge when Lampard arrived. Antonio Conte’s last season in charge of Chelsea was also looking like the last one for Christensen.
But Christensen looked a completely different player against City. The 24-year-old showed intense maturity and concentration against City. It was these qualities that the defender was lacking last season. Christensen won all 4 tackles out of 4 attempted, which was bettered only by teammate Azpilicueta who won 5. The Danish defender contested 2 duels and won both of them and had 2 successful dribbles too. It seems Rudiger has found a perfect defensive partner who can relieve some pressure off him.
Chelsea Win Three Crucial Points Thanks To The Defensive Display
On a night where there were a lot of things at stake, the Blues came out as clear winners. Inflicting an eighth loss of the season on City, Chelsea handed Liverpool their first-ever Premier League title. The win also took Chelsea closer to secure a Champions League spot. The Blues are now just a point behind third-placed Leicester City and five clear of fifth-placed Manchester United.
The defensive pair of Rudiger and Christensen worked effortlessly to absorb the attacking pressure from City. Andreas Christensen was earlier criticized for his sloppy performances and was even tipped to leave the Londoners. But Frank Lampard’s confidence in the Denmark international finally paid off.
Another defender who has blossomed under Lampard is Fikayo Tomori. Tomori is also delivering the performances Chelsea expected from him. As evident, Lampard is doing a great job with the young talent in the Chelsea squad. And now he has the additions of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner to bolster them furthermore. Though Chelsea is almost out of the Champions League after losing 3-0 at home to Bayern Munich, they should grace themselves up for the future.