Chelsea 2-0 Sheffield United: 3 Blues lessons learned

Chelsea FC v Sheffield United - Premier League
Chelsea FC v Sheffield United - Premier League / Crystal Pix/MB Media/GettyImages

Chelsea secured a 2-0 victory over Sheffield United on Sunday, breaking 14 months without back-to-back home wins. The win carries importance as Chelsea readies to host Newcastle United in the EFL Cup quarterfinal on Tuesday. It should provide a positive shift for the team and inject a dose of confidence as they progress in the competition.

Here are three Blues lessons learned from the match.

1. Mauricio Pochettino's missed opportunities.

Despite having an opportune moment to introduce Christopher Nkunku in a low-pressure scenario during a match where the team was already leading, Pochettino chose not to, despite his earlier claim that the 26-year-old would be involved on Sunday. The Argentine coach ultimately opted to afford Nkunku a bit more rest before incorporating him into an official match for the Blues. Fans hoping for his debut will have to wait until at least Tuesday when the Magpies visit Stamford Bridge.

Despite being in a comfortable stage, Pochettino waited until the final few seconds to introduce both Ian Maatsen and Malo Gusto. It was another day of him sticking with center-backs as fullbacks. Malo Gusto was at least returning from an injury, so giving him just a few seconds is understandable. But Maatsen has not even had a decent run of minutes under him. So, it was another overlooked aspect from Chelsea's head coach.

2. Solid full debut for Djordje Petrovic.

The Serbian goalkeeper had his first action at Stamford Bridge, with his first full match for the West London side. The 19th-placed Sheffield United didn't pose much trouble for him; however, he showcased solidity with the ball and commendable distribution.

Fans have noticed Robert Sanchez inviting unnecessary pressure by holding onto the ball for extended periods. There have been many instances when he passed the ball back to the opposition or out for a throw, resulting in the loss of Chelsea's possession. Therefore, Petrovic's calm and composed debut, without engaging in any unnecessary risks, was a welcome change.

3. Overall performance was still poor, but the match proved how much goals can influence.

The scoreline might seem acceptable for those who missed the match. However, the first half showcased a typical Chelsea performance under Pochettino, characterized by a lack of intent or purpose. The players recycled the ball without putting pressure on Sheffield United's backline.

Nevertheless, they started the second half well. A good seven-minute spell was enough to secure a two-goal lead, which turned out to be the final result. The improved confidence displayed by players after the goals showed how much it can influence their mindset. They were creating more chances, and players like Nicolas Jackson, who scored the second goal, were seen enjoying their outing with a few tricks with the ball.