Nottingham Forest 1-1 Chelsea: 3 lessons learned

Graham Potter, Manager of Chelsea (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Graham Potter, Manager of Chelsea (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images) /
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Graham Potter, Manager of Chelsea (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images) /

Sunday. Having taken the lead early on in the game under fortuitous circumstances, Graham Potter’s side nonetheless struggled to impose themselves for large parts of the game. Forest’s period of domination in the second half would culminate in an equaliser from a corner poorly defended by the visitors as the match ended with the spoils shared. Here are the lessons learnt from NFFC 1-1 CFC.

Chelsea drop more points

Sixteen matchweeks into the 22/23 season and Chelsea find themselves languishing in 8th place, having won just one of their last seven matches. Apart from damaging losses to Arsenal, Brighton & Hove Albion and Newcastle United prior to the World Cup, the Blues also dropped points in draws with Manchester United, Brentford and now Forest. This is unacceptable form for a club harbouring Champions League ambitions. Sunday’s draw with Forest means that CFC are now already seven points adrift of 4th-placed Manchester United.

More concerning, however, would be the team’s inability to exercise any form of control over the game. Against Forest, Chelsea badly struggled against the physicality of their opponents. Having opened the scoring, Potter’s men slowly but surely lost all semblance of control as Forest, roared on by their home crowd, came close to scoring on several occasions. Poor marking from a corner in the 63rd minute would, though, present the home team with a well-deserved equaliser after Serge Aurier tapped the ball home from inside the six yard box.

Unable to muster up a response of any kind in the 30 minutes or so following the equaliser, the visitors limped pathetically across the finish line, perhaps even feeling relieved to have come away with a point against a side sitting 18th in the league standings. The former Brighton man is well within his rights to point out that he was once again missing several key members of his squad.

How reliant the CFC team have become on Reece James is revealing of the overall quality. The fullback’s absence was painfully obvious and perhaps explained the ease in which Forest bullied their visitors into dropping two more precious points. With 22 games to go, Chelsea and Potter have to find solutions to their on field issues fast, or risk being left far behind their competitors sooner rather than later.