EPL preview: We need to be clinical, says Marcos Alonso

Updated: 26 December, 2017 10:30 IST | A correspondent | London

Marcos Alonso urges third-placed Chelsea to put up a dominating show against Brighton today

Marcos Alonso has called for Chelsea to be more clinical as they look to bounce back from their goalless draw with Everton. The champions dominated Saturday's Premier League clash at Goodison Park but failed to make the most of their opportunities against Sam Allardyce's diligent side. Chelsea will take on Brighton today. Antonio Conte's side are 16 points adrift of top spot with half the season gone.

Chelseas Marcos Alonso (left) and Alvaro Morata, who returns to action from his one-match suspension, will aim to make the most of their Boxing Day clash against Brighton. PIC/Getty Images
Chelsea's Marcos Alonso (left) and Alvaro Morata, who returns to action from his one-match suspension, will aim to make the most of their Boxing Day clash against Brighton. PIC/Getty Images

'Very disappointing'
Alonso acknowledged it was a "very disappointing" result and has urged his teammates to be more ruthless against Brighton and Hove Albion on Boxing Day. "We were very unlucky not to win after controlling the whole game and having a lot of chances," he said, as quoted by the club's official website. "But we take one point, it is what it is, very disappointing. "We knew it was going to be tough and as the game was passing it was getting harder because they were defending closer to their goal. The performance wasn't bad, we just need to be more clinical."

Morata returns
Meanwhile, Chelsea will have top scorer Alvaro Morata back against Brighton after the Spaniard served a one-game ban having accrued five yellow cards.

Here's How the top teams stack up at EPL half-way mark

Manchester City 
When City's Abu Dhabi-based owners hired Pep Guardiola last year, they dreamed of the Spaniard delivering bountiful success in swaggering style. A trophy-less first season in England was a huge disappointment, but the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss has worked his magic this term. Playing such dazzling football, City have reeled off a record 17 successive league wins to move 13 points clear at the top.

Manchester United 
When Romelu Lukaku sprinted clear to notch his first league goal for United on the opening weekend of the season against West Ham United, it seemed Jose Mourinho had found the powerful attacking talisman that all his best teams have employed. Lukaku, a close-season signing from Everton, hit 11 goals in his first 10 games as United matched free-scoring City blow for blow, but suddenly the goals dried up for the Belgian.

The champions hadn't even started their title defence when Blues boss Antonio Conte gave an ominous warning about their prospects. Frustrated by Chelsea's failure to land his top transfer targets, Conte was already convinced his squad lacked the depth to compete for the title and challenge in the Champions League. The Italian has been spot on as Chelsea languish 16 points behind leaders Manchester City.

Last Friday's scintillating 3-3 draw at Arsenal showcased everything good about Jurgen Klopp's commitment to an eye-catching style of play — but just as significantly it emphasised the problems with the German's team as currently constructed. After a two-goal lead, the Reds conceded three goals in five minutes. Sloppy defending and weak goalkeeping have been a recurring motif of Klopp's reign.

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First Published: 26 December, 2017 07:57 IST

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