Football News

Paul Scholes identifies ‘weak link’ in Chelsea’s defence after Man Utd defeat

By Chris Smith

Published: 15:41, 13 August 2019

Paul Scholes believes Kurt Zouma was Chelsea’s “weak link” during their 4-0 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.

The Blues suffered their worst-ever Premier League defeat to the Red Devils in Frank Lampard’s debut as manager and although Cesar Azpilicueta didn’t cover himself in glory, Scholes believes it was Zouma who was most at fault for the visitors.

Zouma’s Old Trafford nightmare: Five key things to know…

  • Zouma enjoyed a positive loan spell at Everton last season.
  • Lampard resisted offers from the Toffees this summer and started the Frenchman at Old Trafford.
  • However, Zouma brought down Marcus Rashford to concede a first-half penalty.
  • Scholes highlighted Zouma as Chelsea’s clear “weak link” in the centre of defence.
  • The Blues have Antonio Rudiger out injured and sold David Luiz to Arsenal last week.

The French defender spent a season on loan at Stoke City in 2017/18, suffering relegation, before enjoying a fine loan spell at Everton last season.

It was thought that Marco Silva was keen to bring Zouma back to Goodison Park over the summer but Chelsea’s transfer ban, coupled with the sale of David Luiz, meant Lampard was unwilling to part ways with the 24-year-old.

Zouma’s poor challenge on Rashford early in the first half on Sunday allowed the England international to open the scoring and United never looked back from there, punishing the visitors on the counter attack.

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And Scholes believes that kind of error is the very reason Zouma has been loaned out in recent years, saying: “He looks a weak link. He’s been out on loan for a reason, looking at the way he played in that first-half.”

Scholes: Martial could be the next Henry

Meanwhile, Anthony Martial, wearing his new No.9 shirt, grabbed the second goal in what was a memorable afternoon for the United forward.

Scholes was full of praise for the France international’s performance cutting in from the left flank, even going as far as to compare him to Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.

He told Optus Sport: “If they sit in and defend like [Harry] Maguire can do, [Aaron] Wan-Bissaka [is a] great defender and just keep those two, Martial and Rashford towards the left-hand side most of the time and get the ball to those two I think they can hurt anybody.

Anthony Martial Man Utd

“I don’t think it’s a bad thing that Martial keeps coming out to the left-hand side.

“Remember Thierry Henry, he started games at centre-forward, always ended up on the left side somehow. So I don’t think it’s a bad thing, if he [Martial] can be anything like Henry, we’d take that now!”

Man Utd travel to Wolves on Monday night in their next match and will be hopeful they can record back-to-back wins to keep pace with current leaders Manchester City.