Carragher rips into Chelsea ace with verdict that should set alarm bells ringing

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Carragher rips into Chelsea ace with verdict that should set alarm bells ringing
Carragher rips into Chelsea ace with verdict that should set alarm bells ringing

Jamie Carragher has torn into Marc Cucurella and claimed that the Chelsea full-back "doesn't want to defend" following the Blues' 1-0 defeat against Manchester City.

Cucurella, 24, moved to Stamford Bridge back in the summer after the Londoners outbid City, who were also interested in acquiring the former Brighton ace. But Cucurella, who has endured a mixed start to his career with the Blues, struggled throughout Thursday night's match against the Premier League champions.

And he was even at fault for the decisive goal after allowing Riyad Mahrez to nip ahead of him at the far post - leaving the City man free to convert a teasing cross that Jack Grealish had fizzed across the box from the opposite flank.

Unsurprisingly, the Spaniard was singled out for criticism after the match from Carragher, with the Liverpool favourite stressing that he felt the full-back is simply incapable of defending properly.

"I was not happy with Cucurella right through that second half until he came off. When you’re talking about the price tag…he can’t defend," Carragher said on Sky Sports.

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"When you’re defending, and you don’t want to defend, you keep diving in. If you keep diving in and the fella goes past you, you’ve got to defend properly and move your feet. When I see defenders constantly diving in all the time, it makes me think that they don’t want to defend."

Former Chelsea forward Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who was also analysing the match, attempted to defend Cucurella by pointing out that he had been left outnumbered after being targeted by Manchester City on the flank.

Join the debate! Do you agree with Carragher's verdict on Cucurella? Let us know here.

Carragher rips into Chelsea ace with verdict that should set alarm bells ringingJamie Carragher tore into Chelsea full-back Marc Cucurella after the Blues' defeat against Manchester City (Mick Walker/CameraSport)

Interjecting, Hasselbaink said: "I don't agree. I think that he wants to [defend], I think he just struggled today. His defending is bad, but a lot of times he was overloaded and didn’t get the help he needed. He wants to defend, I just think he had a really bad game and Man City acknowledged that."

But Carragher was having none of it and insisted that Cucurella's penchant for diving into tackles indicates that the former Barcelona and Espanyol man's approach to defending simply 'isn't right'.

Carragher continued: "The reason I say that is because when I see defenders diving in constantly - sometimes you think ‘I can win the ball, go and get it’. But when that’s your plan against every wide player you come up against, that can’t be right."

Hasselbaink once again insisted that Cucurella's problems occurred because he was targeted by City, concluding: "I’m not trying to talk good [about him] because he didn’t have a good game at all. He was the weakest link. I think Chelsea played well, but the weakest link was Cucurella and Man City acknowledged that and it’s a problem."

Dan Marsh

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