Chelsea hero Frank Leboeuf names two stars frustrated with team-mates after Middlesbrough defeat | Football

Chelsea defender Thiago Silva cut a frustrated figure at Middlesbrough (Picture: Getty)

Frank Leboeuf has labelled Chelsea ‘predictable’ in the wake of their 1-0 Carabao Cup semi-final first leg defeat at the hands of Middlesbrough and believes Thiago Silva and Axel Disasi will be growing exasperated with a lack of creativity in the side.

After an inauspicious start to the campaign under Mauricio Pochettino, the Blues appeared to have turned a corner, winning three games on the bounce in all competitions ahead of their trip to the Riverside Stadium.

An emphatic FA Cup victory at home to Preston North End at the weekend will have instilled hope amongst the Stamford Bridge faithful that another triumph over Championship opposition would come to fruition on Tuesday evening.

But Hayden Hackney’s 37th-minute strike from close range handed Michael Carrick’s Boro the advantage ahead of what promises to be an intriguing return leg later this month and the visitors were punished for wasting a host of chances on the road.

Summer signing Cole Palmer – so often Chelsea’s shining light this season – was guilty of spurning three inviting opportunities, with the misfiring Premier League outfit managing just five shots on target from a total of 18 efforts across the match.

Veteran centre-back Silva was seen arguing with Chelsea’s away support shortly after the final whistle and ex-Blues defender Leboeuf felt it was no surprise the Brazilian cut such a frustrated figure.

‘You try to be positive but there is nothing we can say,’ the Frenchman told ESPN.

Middlesbrough star Hayden Hackney celebrates his goal against Chelsea

Boro midfielder Hackney scored the only goal of the game shortly before half-time (Picture: Getty)

‘If I were Thiago Silva or Disasi at the back, I will go the coach and say, “When we have the ball, what can we do? We know they are going to lose it and we are not going to score any goals”.

‘We cannot create anything, we don’t have anyone up front who can do something different.

‘In the middle of the park, we don’t have someone who can change something and outnumber the opponent.

‘There is nothing I can see that can improve Chelsea playing that way.’

Leboeuf, a League Cup winner with Chelsea back in 1998, fears the West London giants may ‘struggle’ for years unless Pochettino is given the chance to overhaul his squad to compete with the best and return to their former glory.

‘They have to change everything and change many players and that is not possible,’ he added.

‘So they are going to struggle for years because of the way they built the team.

‘Everything is easy to read, it is predictable. You have nothing to surprise the opponent.’

Leboeuf was distinctly unimpressed with Chelsea’s display at the Riverside (Picture: Getty)

A visibly disappointed Pochettino urged his players to ‘keep pushing’ after failing to breach a resilient Boro defence at the Riverside – the sixth time they have fired a blank this season.

‘It is difficult to talk about our performance,’ the former Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain boss told BBC Sport.

‘We created some chances, but we were not clinical enough.

‘This first half of the season, we have created some chances, but we have not won because we were not clinical enough – we must keep pushing.’

Chelsea will look to bounce back from their latest setback at home to neighbours Fulham when they return to Premier League action on Saturday before the second leg with Middlesbrough on January 23.

Liverpool play host to Fulham in the first leg of the other Carabao Cup semi-final this evening, with this year’s final to be staged at Wembley on February 25.


MORE : ‘Absolutely appalling’ – Frank Leboeuf blasts Chelsea star following Carabao Cup defeat to Middlesbrough


MORE : Mauricio Pochettino explains Thiago Silva’s confrontation with Chelsea fans after Middlesbrough defeat

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