Chelsea continued their miserable run of form under new boss Graham Potter after suffering a 1-0 defeat at home to champions Manchester City on Thursday evening, with the Blues having now won just one of their last eight Premier League games.
This latest loss saw a second-half strike from substitute Riyad Mahrez ultimately prove the difference for the visitors, with the Stamford Bridge outfit also suffering the frustration of losing both Christian Pulisic and Raheem Sterling to injury early on, after already having seen Mason Mount ruled out for the clash.
On what was a truly disappointing evening for the west Londoners after a commendable first-half display, one notable villain was that of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, with the summer signing having suffered the ignominy of being substituted after earlier entering the fray off the bench.
The former Arsenal and Barcelona man – who has just a solitary top-flight goal to his name this season – had replaced the aforementioned Sterling after just five minutes, although was then hooked in favour of promising youngster Omari Hutchinson just after the hour mark, having made only 14 touches.
The veteran marksman may have epitomised the club’s woes against Pep Guardiola’s men, although the 33-year-old was not the only figure to have distinctly underwhelmed, with fellow summer addition, Marc Cucurella, having also been something of a “defensive liability“, according to journalist Okon Nya.
The £60m recruit was somewhat culpable for the away side’s winner after failing to prevent that man Mahrez from turning home at the back post, with that potential lack of concentration ultimately proving costly for Potter and co.
One of the notable “passengers” for the home side in the second half – in the words of journalist Joe Krishnan – the Spaniard was only able to win five of his ten ground duels in total, while also having been dribbled past a staggering five times in his left-back berth.
The 61-touch dud was also found wanting when in possession after losing the ball on 12 occasions in his 68-minute outing, ensuring he achieved a rather meagre pass accuracy rate of just 78%.
That miserable performance also saw the 24-year-old record a match rating of only 6.4, as per Sofascore, with that figure the worst of any player for either side, further encapsulating just what a ‘liability’ he was.
To make matters worse for the Brighton and Hove Albion man, his replacement – Lewis Hall – went on to catch the eye after coming on for the closing stages, with the promising teenager having won four of his six total duels and registered one key pass in his lively cameo.
The 18-year-old almost capped that fine introduction to proceedings with a goal at the death, although the Englishman could only fire over as his side were ultimately left empty-handed.
Despite that missed chance, Hall could well have staked his claim for a regular role moving forward, ensuring that Cucurella could find himself out of the side as Chelsea travel to the Etihad in the FA Cup on Sunday.