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Chelsea's defence is a massive problem, says Jamie Carragher

"Chelsea will go no further unless they change the goalkeeper," said Jamie Carragher during Liverpool's 5-3 win over Frank Lampard's side. But the Sky Sports pundit believes Chelsea's defensive problems run deeper than that and the stats prove his point...

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's win over Chelsea

Perhaps it was fitting that Chelsea should become the first visiting team this season to score three Premier League goals in a game at Anfield – and still trudge from the pitch having been well beaten.

Liverpool's 5-3 victory on Wednesday night ensured there was a party atmosphere on the night that Jurgen Klopp's side were presented with the Premier League trophy.

For Frank Lampard, the point that they needed to guarantee Champions League football next season eluded them as their defensive weaknesses were laid bare once more.

The five goals conceded at Anfield mean Chelsea have now let in 54 this season. That is more than any other top-half team. More even than Crystal Palace and Brighton.

If Wolves find the net at Stamford Bridge on Sunday - a game in which Chelsea may now need a result to finish in the top four - it will equal their worst ever defensive record in the Premier League era. It is already their worst record of Roman Abramovich's long reign.

Kepa Arrizabalaga was afforded very little protection against Liverpool. There were far bigger issues on the night. But the suspicion remains that Chelsea require an upgrade in the goalkeeping department if they are to achieve their ambitions.

That is certainly the view of Jamie Carragher, on co-commentary for Sky Sports at Anfield.

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Chelsea will go no further unless they change the goalkeeper.
Jamie Carragher

"Chelsea will go no further unless they change the goalkeeper," said Carragher.

"I know they keep buying a lot of attackers but you see how many goals they have conceded. I think a lot of that is down to the goalkeeper, if I am being totally honest.

"It is an area that - if they want to compete with Liverpool and Manchester City - they will have to rectify in the summer."

Kepa's underlying numbers this season have been alarming and compare unfavourably with his peers.

The expected-goals data suggests that he should have conceded around 34 goals this season based on the post-shot analysis of the efforts that he has faced.

Instead, he has conceded 47 goals.

That indicates that he has let in perhaps 13 more goals this season than the average goalkeeper. No other top-half goalkeeper in the Premier League is down on the average by even four goals let alone 13.

It is a dismal record that has cost Chelsea points.

But the lesson of Anfield is that Lampard could sign any goalkeeper in the world and still have problems if the deficiencies so apparent in front of Kepa are not addressed.

Liverpool's third goal showcased another glaring flaw. Chelsea are unable to deal with corners into their penalty box. Georginio Wijnaldum had far too much time to find the net.

"It is another shocking goal for Chelsea to give away," said Carragher. "They don't deal with the first ball and they don't react to the second one.

"They are the worst team in the Premier League that I have seen defending corners.

"They have changed system at various times - man-marking and zonal. Whatever they have tried does not seem to work."

The numbers support the argument. Chelsea have now conceded 10 goals from corners in the Premier League this season.

Only bottom club Norwich have conceded more.

However, as Carragher explained, that is not the whole story.

"Maybe they don't have the worst record in terms of conceding goals but the top teams don't concede as many corners as the teams down the bottom, so their actual ratio of goals conceded to corners conceded is horrific," he added.

Again, the numbers underline his point.

While Norwich have conceded 257 corners this season, more than any other team in the Premier League, Chelsea have had to face far fewer.

In fact, Chelsea have conceded only 131 corners. That is fewer than every other team in the Premier League with the exception of Manchester City.

As a result, the ratio of goals conceded to corners faced is damning.

These statistics show that Chelsea have conceded a goal from every 13th corner. Unlucky for some? This is not bad luck, this is a team that is not defending well enough. Every other Premier League team averages at least 20 corners faced for each goal conceded.

Such goals are usually considered cheap but there is nothing cheap about Chelsea's attempts to improve their fortunes ahead of the forthcoming season. The high-profile signings of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner have already been confirmed.

But Carragher believes that the defensive fundamentals must also improve.

Without that, just as was the case against Liverpool at Anfield, all the effort and ingenuity on display at the other end of the pitch will continue to be undermined.

"This is a massive problem for Chelsea," said Carragher.

"They have got to sort this out. Yes, Werner is coming in. Ziyech from Ajax. There is talk of Kai Havertz as well, an attacking player. It gets supporters excited but it means nothing if you do not sort out that back four - that back three and certainly that goalkeeper."

Sunday July 26: The final day fixtures in the Premier League

Arsenal vs Watford - 4pm kick-off, Live on Sky Sports Premier League

Burnley vs Brighton - 4pm kick-off, Live on Sky Sports Arena

Chelsea vs Wolves - 4pm kick-off, Live on Sky Sports Football

Crystal Palace vs Tottenham - 4pm kick-off, Live on Sky Sports Action

Everton vs Bournemouth - 4pm kick-off, Live on Sky Sports Golf

Leicester vs Man Utd - 4pm kick-off, Live on Sky Sports Main Event

Man City vs Norwich - 4pm kick-off, Live on Sky Sports Pick and Sky One

Newcastle vs Liverpool - 4pm kick-off, Full Time highlights live on Sky Sports Digital

Southampton vs Sheffield United - 4pm kick-off, Live on Sky Sports Mix

West Ham vs Aston Villa - 4pm kick-off, Full Time highlights live on Sky Sports Digital

Super 6: Who makes play-offs? Who goes down?
Super 6: Who makes play-offs? Who goes down?

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