A closer look at Chelsea’s season-long struggles in front of goal

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Goal-shy Chelsea will equal their longest run of Premier League games without scoring if they fail to find the net at home to Brighton on Saturday.

The Blues have drawn a blank in each of their last three league matches, which is their worst sequence since September 2007.

Here, the PA news agency takes a closer look at Chelsea’s season-long struggles in front of goal.

No cutting edge

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

This is comfortably the lowest in their Premier League history, ahead of 1993-94 (1.17) when the Blues netted 49 times in 42 fixtures.

It is also in stark contrast to their efforts during the Roman Abramovich era, when they averaged 1.85 goals per game across 19 seasons between 2003-04 and 2021-22.

New owner Todd Boehly has seen Chelsea fail to score on 12 separate occasions under three different managers (Frank Lampard, Graham Potter and Thomas Tuchel).

With eight games still to play, this is already a club record for an entire Premier League campaign.

Meanwhile, they have netted three or more goals only twice this term – against Wolves in October and Leicester in February – having done so 13 times across the whole of last season.

Chopping and changing

Chelsea's Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling has started only 17 of 30 Premier League games for Chelsea this season (Mike Egerton/PA)

The Blues have scored 12 goals in 16 league games post Qatar, compared with 17 in 14 beforehand.

An array of available options has seen successive managers struggle to settle on a first-choice 11, with the forward line seeing plenty of rotation.

Chelsea have used 32 players so far this season, second only to Nottingham Forest (33), with Lampard, Potter and Tuchel making a combined 106 changes to the starting line-up at an average of 3.5 per game.

  • Kai Havertz – 7
  • Raheem Sterling – 4
  • Mason Mount – 3
  • Joao Felix – 2
  • Ben Chilwell – 2
  • Jorginho – 2
  • Kalidou Koulibaly – 2
  • Armando Broja – 1
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 1
  • Wesley Fofana – 1
  • Christian Pulisic – 1
  • Conor Gallagher – 1
  • Reece James – 1
  • Mateo Kovacic – 1

The German has benefitted from 26 starts out of a possible 30, the most of any player ahead of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga on 22.

Barren run

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho left Chelsea when they last went more than two Premier League matches without a goal in 2007-08 (Sean Dempsey/PA)

Their run of three Premier League games without scoring is one short of the club record, set on three previous occasions in 1993-94, 1997-98 and 2007-08.

The most recent sequence in September 2007 coincided with the end of Jose Mourinho’s first spell as manager.

The Portuguese oversaw a 2-0 loss at Villa Park and a goalless draw at home to Blackburn, before interim successor Avram Grant began his reign with an identical pair of results against Manchester United and Fulham respectively.

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