With two top-quality signings, much was expected from the defending Premier League champions in their face-off with Liverpool at home.
But what the West Londoners delivered was a poor performance and uninspiring display of football. Many may argue that Chelsea were denied penalties and free-kicks over the game. But those excuses cannot cover for the pathetic display that Carlo Ancelotti's boys showed at Stamford Bridge.
The first half was a picture of missed passes and poor finishing. Fernando Torres, who had proclaimed he would score a goal against his former club, was a shadow of his promised self. Except two chances that he was unable to convert, Torres never really looked that sharp. He was missing in action and failed to be in the right places at the right time. His average display forced Ancelotti to sub him with Salomon Kalou.
Except Bosingwa and Terry, who performed impressively, the other players never looked to be confident or inspired enough to win. They were complacent and there was serious lack of coordination among the goalie and the defenders. Cech and Ivanovic's on-field spat regarding who should have cleared the ball was the sign of the discordance. In the end, that misunderstanding led to the Blues' being handed their second defeat to Liverpool this season.
A mere cross into the box by Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was converted into the winning goal by the superb Raul Meireles, perhaps Roy Hodgson's only success in Liverpool. Cech and Ivanovic looked on lamely as the ball moved past them without either of them trying to make a save. That one mistake cost Chelsea to capitalise on their chance to lessen the lead at the top and, in all probability, their title hopes.
Can Chelsea turn back and defend the title?
Though I am a diehard fan of the Blues, I have little hope of seeing Chelsea lift the EPL trophy this season.
Ancelotti should really look into the problems dogging his defense. It has been a very worrying issue for the Blues all season through. Moreover, the lack of creativity in Chelsea's attack was evident. The defending champions failed to penetrate through Dalgish's well-planned defensive tactics. Maybe the introduction of Ramires or the promising Josh McEachran would have made a difference.
Lampard, too, was very lazy and it seems Chelsea needs to start preparing a permanent substitute for the midfielder. But the best part was Jose Bosingwa, who made Glen Johnson look like a fool all through the game. The Portuguese player was at his best and was instrumental in creating many chances for the Blues.
New signing David Luiz did not get much playing time, though he impressed everyone within that short time. His timing, reflexes, anticipation and technique were brilliant at the back. At times it felt the youngster should have made his debut earlier in the game. It might have saved Chelsea the blushes. Except for a few stray passes, the young Brazilian was a picture of confidence and inspiration.
With Chelsea's title hopes becoming slimmer after their seventh loss this season, Ancelotti should start to think of how to improve his defense and add creativity into the midfield if Chelsea are to compete for European honour. If similar displays are continued, then there will be no hope of lifting any silverware this season.