“Sometimes we feel like we have to score three or four each game,” Cesar Azpilicueta said before this match, which is on the one hand a savage indictment of the standard of defending that he has been a part of this season, and on the other hand extremely encouraging for neutrals. So far this season Chelsea have scored 3, 0, 6, 3, 1, 4 and 3, and conceded 1, 2, 0, 3, 1, 0 and 3. According to official Premier League statistics 13 players have been guilty of errors that led directly to goals so far this season and Chelsea are responsible for nearly 25% of them, and a third of the goals thereby conceded, with Kai Havertz and Thiago Silva on one apiece and poor Kepa Arrizabalaga on three (the latter was expected to start this game, but word is that Edouard Mendy will be fit). “I wouldn’t say my DNA is to be a natural attacking manager,” says Frank Lampard, disappointingly, but then he’s also the man who decided he needed Werner, Havertz and Ziyech as well as Mount, Pulisic, Abraham and Giroud, so believe what you want.
Sevilla however are disconcertingly solid. They have scored 1, 3, 1, 1, 0 in their five games so far this season, and conceded 2, 1, 0, 1, 1. Their defeat at Granada on Saturday was their first in the league since February. Interesting fact: Sevilla’s first two matches against English teams in European competition came in the 2005-06 Uefa Cup, a relatively brief 15 years ago, and were against Bolton and Middlesbrough. Enjoy your team’s success while it lasts, kids (if your team is enjoying success, obviously).
Anyway, welcome. Team news should be through shortly. Send me funny emails. Thanks.