Chelsea have Raheem Sterling problem for Pochettino to avoid after West Ham loss

West Ham United vs Chelsea in pictures

Mauricio Pochettino is still without a Premier League win as Chelsea manager following his side’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of the 10 men of West Ham on Sunday. The Blues were wasteful in the final third and ultimately paid the price, with David Moyes’ side clinical when opening up opportunities.

West Ham took the lead early in the first-half after a towering header from Naif Aguerd nestled into the back of the net following a James Ward-Prowse corner, but Chelsea hit back through a great goal from Carney Chukwuemeka. The equaliser from the ex-Aston Villa star changed the momentum of the tie, but ultimately the Blues were unable to capitalise – even after Aguerd was dismissed for two bookable offences.

Michail Antonio, who has been heavily linked with an exit from the London side, then put West Ham back in front in the 53rd minute when capitalising on a defensive mix-up to fire a fierce strike past Robert Sanchez and into the far corner. The Hammers then put the game to bed in extra time through Lucas Paqueta, who converted from the penalty spot following a foul from debutant Moises Caicedo – showing Enzo Fernandez how it is done, having missed hit spot kick in the first-half.

Pochettino will have plenty to ponder following his first defeat of the campaign, Express Sport takes a look at five things he will have learned from the performance…

System error

Chelsea looked frightening in pre-season when deploying Pochettino’s tried-and-tested 4-3-3, but the formation has gone missing. Instead, the ex-Tottenham manager has insisted on playing a 3-4-3 with his wing-backs almost in winger roles. The formation only highlighted Chelsea’s fragility at the back and suited a counter-attacking style, rather than possession-based.

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Transfer dilemma

Chelsea have been in the market for another right-winger this summer, being linked with Michael Olise and Mohammed Kudus, but they could be on the cusp of a dilemma in that department. Raheem Sterling has silenced his doubters over the past few weeks, with the England international rolling back the years against the Hammers with his direct running and runs in behind. Bringing in another forward for depth cannot be sniffed at, but acquisitions must be aware that they will need to bide their time and play second fiddle to Sterling as it stands.

Midfield plan promise

Pochettino made it his mission to rebuild his midfield and consequently release Enzo Fernandez of his defensive duties, and it is clear to see why. The Argentina international was given the licence to roam forward against West Ham and made a significant impact in the final third with his neat passing opening up opportunities. Once a partnership is formed with Caicedo, Fernandez will thrive.

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Chukwuemeka injury

Midfielder Chukwuemeka was starting to find his feet in the No 10 role against the Hammers before injury struck. The 19-year-old looked in significant pain as he hobbled off of the pitch late in the first half, and he may feel that he faces a hopeless task in regaining a spot in Pochettino’s starting eleven following the arrivals of Caicedo and Romeo Lavia.

Calamitous Caicedo

Having forked out £115million for his services earlier this week, Chelsea will want to see a significant amount of improvement from Caicedo. The ex-Brighton star struggled to settle into the match and gave away several sloppy fouls whilst his side needed to keep the ball in-play whilst chasing a goal. Caicedo’s clumsy foul in extra time was simply the icing on the cake for the Ecuador international in what was a debut to forget.

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