Monday Night Football analysis: Gary Neville says Chelsea need killer instinct
Sky Sports pundit spots change of attitude after going ahead in Manchester
Last Updated: 28/10/14 9:33am
Gary Neville says Chelsea have shown a lack of killer instinct by failing to win either of their games in Manchester this season.
Jose Mourinho’s side have enjoyed an unbeaten start to their Premier League campaign and have only dropped points in 1-1 draws at both the Etihad Stadium and Old Trafford, despite taking the lead in both matches.
Frank Lampard rescued a point for 10-man Manchester City in September, while Robin van Persie struck in injury time on Sunday for United and Neville feels Chelsea’s players paid the price for adopting a negative mentality on both occasions.
Speaking on Monday Night Football, he highlighted the likes of Didier Drogba and Oscar dropping deep after the opening goal and accused Eden Hazard of “slightly showboating”, as they allowed United back into the game.
“I was semi-critical of Chelsea a few weeks ago away at Manchester City because when City went down to 10 men I thought they let City off the hook,” Neville said.
“At 1-0 up, I think Chelsea let United off the hook, I really do. There was a mentality shift if you look at the average positions for the first 53 minutes of the match compared to the period from minute 54 to 67 when John Obi Mikel came on.
“It was not the manager changing it, but a mentality shift of the current players on the pitch who had worked themselves into a 1-0 position. They sat deeper.
“If you look at the possession against Manchester City, in the 10 minutes before the goal and the 10 minutes after the goal it’s staggering. They went from 55% possession in the 10 minutes before the goal to 26% possession in the 10 minutes after - and City had 10 men. That can’t be an instruction from the manager.
“Yesterday they went from 64% to 45%. They switch off. Something happens for them.”
The results contrast starkly to Mourinho’s first season in charge of Chelsea in 2004/05, when they only once failed to win a Premier League game in which they scored the first goal (a 2-2 draw with Bolton).
Neville says the current crop must now address their approach in the next few weeks – and the manager knows it.
“If a team is going to be playing for a 1-0 then you’d better see it out,” he added.
“When I saw Jose Mourinho two weeks ago he talked about the 2005 team and the team he had then compared to the team he has now. He said the killer instinct is missing.
“When I look at the statistics from all those years ago they are staggering statistics for the team he had first time around. They scored first 28 times and only dropped two points [in those games].
“This team, this season, even though they are at a really high level, have scored first seven times and dropped four points.
“If you’re moving up a level in the next few weeks – and we are demanding a lot here from what is a fantastic team – they have got to get to that next level.
“I think they let United off the hook in the 15 minutes after the goal yesterday.”