Chelsea still plagued by inconsistency as defensive woes continue in last-gasp Sheffield United draw

Chelsea still plagued by inconsistency as defensive woes continue in last-gasp Sheffield United draw

Chelsea thought they had put their 2-2 tie at home to 10-man Burnley firmly to bed, but switched off and drew by the same scoreline against Sheffield United, the Premier League’s bottom club.

It was a disappointing end to a flat performance, as Noni Madueke thought he had won it with a stunning second-half strike in challenging circumstances.

Chelsea continue to lack consistency, which is hampering their challenge to qualify for the Europa League after beating Manchester United in a 4-3 thriller on Thursday.

They remain in the race but time is running out with United, Newcastle and West Ham all above them in the table with eight games left to play.

Here are three main Chelsea talking points from Standard Sport’s Nizaar Kinsella at Bramall Lane.

Marvellous Madueke’s time to shine

Madueke’s stunning wing play and finish against Sheffield United lifted Chelsea during a poor second-half spell.

The 22-year-old showed that it isn’t just Cole Palmer capable of providing moments of magic when Chelsea really need it.

Of course, Madueke earned his start ahead of Mykhailo Mudryk or Raheem Sterling by winning a crucial last-minute penalty in the 4-3 thriller against Manchester United on Thursday.

It could prove the turning point for Madueke, who has often found himself on the bench this season.

Defensives struggles continue

Benoit Badiashile was at fault for the last-minute equaliser as the icing on the cake for a bad defensive performance overall from Chelsea.

The Blues have become very poor at the back in recent weeks, and that trend continued in South Yorkshire. It began when Thiago Silva’s sloppy pass gave Ben Brereton Diaz his side’s first chance of the match.

That mistake lifted previously poor Sheffield United, who began to create chances and deserved their equaliser through Jayden Bogle.

All four of Chelsea’s backline, Silva, Axel Disasi, Marc Cucurella and Trevoh Chalobah, were poor.

Chelsea have now conceded two or more goals in all competitions for the last seven matches.

Chukwuemeka’s late impact

Another positive for Chelsea was Carney Chukwuemeka’s late impact in midfield. He got his foot on the ball and brought control to an otherwise poor second-half display.

His size and physicality helped Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo, who struggled against Ollie Arblaster and Gustavo Hamer.

Hamer was the creative force behind Sheffield United’s hard-earned point.