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Chelsea bid for third straight league title stuttering due to defensive frailties

Chelsea bid for third straight league title stuttering due to defensive frailties

No John Terry, Petr Cech or Joe Cole and four points behind leader Manchester United in the Premier League title race _ no wonder Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho has the blues.
Despite having the most expensively assembled squad in Europe, Mourinho needs to buy in the January transfer window to bolster the Blues' faltering bid to win a third consecutive league title.
Widely rated as the world's No. 1 goalkeeper, Cech has been out since October with a fractured skull, while Terry's back injury has made him miss the last four games in which Chelsea has given up six goals.
Cech is back in training and might play in a month, but Cole, who has been missing for most of the season with leg injuries, and Terry could need to undergo surgery.
"At this moment I have no idea if he (Terry) will have surgery," Mourinho said Wednesday. "There is an option of another kind of treatment, so whether he is out for three days, three week or three months, I don't know. It is the same with Joe Cole. I have no idea if the option is surgery or not."
Chelsea needed a late goal from Arjen Robben to beat Wigan 3-2 Saturday, but Michael Essien scored an own goal in a 2-2 draw with Reading on Tuesday for the Blues to be four points behind Man United.
"To lose Petr and John at the same time is a very difficult problem to solve, especially in a squad without more central defenders," Mourinho said. "We sold William Gallas and Robert Huth in the summer. We don't have enough cover so at this moment in time we are having problems.
Mourinho paired Ricardo Carvalho with right back Paulo Ferreira in central defense against Reading, leaving out Khalid Boulahrouz who had replaced Terry for the previous three matches.
"I am expecting us to buy a defender in the transfer window as JT's back problem seems serious _ but who do we buy?" Mourinho said. "For us to win matches right now we need to score three times. Sometimes we'll do it, sometimes we won't."
To make matters worse, Robben was hurt in training and will miss Saturday's game against Fulham.
"Normally if you lose Joe Cole, you still have Robben," Mourinho said. "To lose the two you have a different problem."
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, who had significant injury worries last season, said the sport could be cruel.
"It is an unexpected lead we have now," Ferguson said. "I did not expect Chelsea to draw, but that is the nature of football. It just reminds you football can knock you on the head. It turns the tables on you all the time."


Updated : 2021-07-24 01:11 GMT+08:00