December 7, 2021

‘Chelsea play too nice!’ – Blues must learn how to win ‘dirty’, says Leboeuf

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A former Stamford Bridge favourite was not impressed by his old club’s latest performance against Everton

Chelsea have been guilty of trying to “play too nice” this season, according to Frank Leboeuf, who says the Blues must learn how to win “dirty”.

Everton handed Chelsea their second Premier League defeat of the season at Goodison Park on Saturday night.

Gylfi Sigurdsson’s first-half penalty was enough to give the Toffees a 1-0 victory as Frank Lampard’s side struggled to create any clear-cut openings.

The result saw the Blues slip to fifth in the table, three points behind current leaders Tottenham, with a tough clash away at Wolves up next on Tuesday.

Leboeuf was disappointed by a perceived lack of fight from his old club against Everton, and has also criticised Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy for their failure to prevent Dominic Calvert-Lewin from stealing in and winning the game’s decisive penalty.

“I was upset because that game reminded me where Chelsea was full of international foreign players and not capable of fighting with the real ‘English fighting spirit’,” the former Chelsea defender told ESPN .

“It’s what happened on [Saturday]. You have to be a warrior, you have to sometimes be dirty and half of the team is not capable of doing that.

“The team is young, they have maybe no experience and you have to find a way to win.

“Don’t make mistakes at the back – like we saw the hesitation between Thiago Silva and Mendy – you have to make sure you score goals and steal a result in a way by winning 1-0.

“Chelsea tries to play too nice football, nice in the middle of the park but not effective on [Saturday], especially up front and at the back.”

The Blues have already been dubbed serious title contenders after a strong start to the season, but Lampard played down any talk of a run to domestic glory ahead of his team’s trip to Molineux.

“That’s just where we’re at this season, you’ve seen the results,” he told a pre-match press conference. “We felt it first-hand at the weekend at Everton. They’ve got good players; they invested in the squad, are well organised and made it difficult for us.

“We feel that we’ve already lost some points that we maybe shouldn’t have. Everyone will feel that in their own mind and I think the level of points will be less. I think we have to try and make sure we maintain our levels to keep improving.”