Jamie Carragher has accused Chelsea’s players of “not working hard enough” for Jose Mourinho, and says he has “no sympathy” for their struggles as a result.
The deposed champions have endured a nightmare season so far, with Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Bournemouth their 10th loss in 23 competitive games this season.
Enduring the first defeat suffered by reigning champions against the previous season’s Championship winners in Premier League history was bad enough for Stamford Bridge fans.
But a deeper look at the match statistics, however, makes much grimmer reading for Mourinho and supporters of the club.
Carragher analysed the distances run by both sides during Saturday’s match on Monday Night Football and the points he raised make painful reading for Mourinho.
Not so long ago, Liverpool struggled under previous manager Brendan Rodgers but with Jurgen Klopp in charge now, their running figures are far better and results have consequently improved.
Chelsea, on the other hand, continue to toil and one factor is undoubtedly the extra drive opposing sides appear to be showing in games against them.
Carragher highlighted an incident in the closing seconds of the game which saw Bournemouth’s Dan Gosling surge forward and lose possession.
Rather than punish him for it, Chelsea’s laboured moves upfield as they sought an equaliser allowed Gosling to get back into position to stop their attack.
“Where I do not have sympathy for Chelsea is in injury time,” Carragher said on Monday Night Football. “Dan Gosling has made a run to try and keep the ball in the corner.
“He’s very unlucky (to lose the ball) but let’s not forget it’s the 92nd minute. He (Gosling) is thinking: ‘I’m getting blamed for maybe making a stupid run, doing something silly, losing the ball.’
“Chelsea need a goal and Willian, Pedro and (Eden) Hazard have got to be busting a gut to get into the box.
“In the last minute of the game, Chelsea had one man in the box as they tried to score and Gosling has run past the players highlighted before.
“They’ve got to be flying past him. They had a 20-yard head start on him and they needed a goal.”
In all, Bournemouth’s players ran nine more kilometres over the course of the match than Chelsea’s, a total which surprised Carragher.
While he expected them to chase the ball more given they had less of it, he did not expect to see only Nemanja Matic feature from Chelsea among the players who covered the most distance.
“Everyone’s putting out running stats on teams now on a weekly basis,” former Anfield defender Carragher added.
“But that was the biggest difference between the two teams. Nine kilometres at the top was the biggest difference of the weekend between any two teams.
“Also, you look at the top seven players. Now, Chelsea had 60 per cent of possession so you’d expect Bournemouth to cover more ground but certainly not that sort of difference.”