Ian Wright has criticised Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta for his decision-making in the 4-2 defeat to Arsenal on Wednesday.
The Blues got off to a disastrous start as Eddie Nketiah gave Arsenal the lead with just 13 minutes gone. Timo Werner then popped up with his fourth goal in three matches to drag Chelsea level.
Emile Smith Rowe restored Arsenal’s advantage later on in the first half. However, they couldn’t maintain it as Azpilicueta sent a clever flick past Aaron Ramsdale in the 32nd minute.
Chelsea showed spirit in the first 45 minutes but the visitors got the better of them after the break. Nketiah got his brace to make it 3-2.
And Azpilicueta brought Bukayo Saka down in the penalty area while the Englishman attempted to reach a cross. Azpilicueta had all of his attention on Saka, rather than the ball, forcing the referee to point to the spot.
Saka stepped up and finished past Edouard Mendy, giving Chelsea no chance of a comeback in the London derby.
Thomas Tuchel’s side have lost two of their last three league matches and are in danger of being caught up by Arsenal and Tottenham if their form doesn’t improve.
Ian Wright shocked by Chelsea man’s defending
Reacting to the Spaniard’s foul, Wright said (via Metro): “Look at Azpilicueta there, experienced player, one player in the box and he’s given away a penalty like that.
“It deserved to be a penalty. He’s saying he’s holding him but he should be defending that.
“He should be the defensive side but he’s not even looking at the ball. What does he expect the referee to do?”
Incredibly, after the match Tuchel blamed the Stamford Bridge pitch for playing a part in his team’s defeat.
“To say that the pitch is difficult to play here maybe sounds like an excuse but it is a very, very difficult pitch that we have here,” the German said.
“It’s not to our favour and the ball bounces very, very awkwardly in front of Andreas when he wants to play this ball.”
Their next match is another London derby. West Ham visit the Blues on Sunday at 14:00.