Chelsea were unable to keep a clean sheet once again yesterday when they took on Bournemouth, but there was no denying that the return of Antonio Rudiger made a difference to the team’s solidity.
It was a horrible goal to concede, but for the rest of the game Frank Lampard’s team were notably more composed at the back than in previous games.
Rudiger himself was good, and Kurt Zouma always looks significantly better when paired with a senior defensive partner.
In the upcoming games, we except Cesar Azpilicueta – who was also good – to slide to the left hand side, allowing Reece James’ pace and quality on the ball to come in on the right.
That four will hopefully allow now be able to play consistently, at least until Fikayo Tomori returns from his injury to compete with Zouma for the spot alongside Rudiger.
Playing the same back line together, now they’re all fit and ready, will add some much needed stability, and hopefully help us keep our first clean sheet since the start of November. That will also take the pressure off the struggling Kepa.
A solid defence won’t solve all out problems, but it’s a vital start.