In the aftermath of José Mourinho’s firing, Chelsea has shown some life. The Blues haven’t approached their championship form of a season ago, but they’ve certainly looked better than they did in the 2015 portion of the season. Nevertheless, their latest result was another reminder that this is an utterly lost season for Chelsea (notwithstanding a Champions League miracle). And for that reason, now seems like a good time to look back on the team’s five biggest disasters in this EPL campaign thus far.
5. February 3 – Watford 0-0 Chelsea
We’ll start with the most recent failure by the Blues to come out on top in a winnable match, because this was a sobering reminder that the season can’t be salvaged. Watford’s tense draw, which we recapped here, denied Diego Costa the moment he’s seemingly been waiting for (he nearly had a winner late in the contest). It also seemingly stopped any momentum the Blues gained in recent weeks. After a strong 1-0 win over Arsenal at The Emirates and a resounding 5-1 victory in the fourth round of the FA Cup, Chelsea looked to be in something of a rhythm—until travelling to Watford.
4. December 28 – Man Utd. 0-0 Chelsea
By this point, the season was already lost and then some for the Blues, and many in the football world were calling for Mourinho’s sacking. But it was still a nice opportunity to end 2015 on a high note by stealing three points at Old Trafford. Furthermore, as this Gambling.com preview aptly pointed out in advance of the match, Man Utd. had shown some “worrying weaknesses” heading into the contest. Specifically, Man Utd. was on a three-match losing streak in EPL play and hadn’t won a game in any competition since November 21. The stage was set, and Chelsea just couldn’t take advantage of opportunity.
3. September 12 – Everton 3-1 Chelsea
Chelsea’s collapse this season was so bizarre that it seemed simultaneously sudden and drawn out, and for that reason it’s difficult to pick out a certain point at which it became clear there was a real problem. This lopsided defeat to Everton may have been the result that showed us the depth of the problem. After losing by a goal to Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge, the Blues had two weeks to shake off an extremely poor start and earn their first win against a middling club. Yet, they couldn’t pull it off, and their first league win didn’t come until September 19.
2. December 5 – Chelsea 0-1 Bournemouth
If the Everton loss was the signal that there was a genuine, deep issue with this Chelsea club, a home loss to bottom-dwelling Bournemouth was probably the point of no return. As this Daily Mail recap put it, the loss to Bournemouth put talk of Mourinho’s sacking back on the agenda in London. The Blues were booed by their home fans and the football world was left genuinely stunned at how such a talented group of players had fallen to such a depth.
1. August 16 – Man City 3-0 Chelsea
Perhaps this was the match that started it all. Chelsea had already started the season in dubious form, dropping one-goal matches to Arsenal (in the Community Shield) and Fiorentina before league play opened. But a 2-2 draw with Swansea City to start the campaign was no disaster and could have easily been brushed off as nothing but a slow start. Getting shellacked 3-0 at Manchester City the following week, however, was nothing short of disheartening to the Chelsea faithful. Results like this can occasionally happen when top clubs meet, but in this case Chelsea just never righted the ship.