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Chelsea's away record against the top teams is abysmal

  /  autty

There is no escaping it. Chelsea have just not been up to scratch on their travels to the top teams this season.

Their record speaks for itself. How Chelsea can lose at Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal, Wolves and Everton, and still be within a shout of qualifying for the Champions League, can merely be described as good fortune.

If Maurizio Sarri has any genuine ambitions of competing for titles next season it is a problem that needs to be addressed and resolved sharpish.

Although this latest defeat at Anfield only exacerbates the issue, the Chelsea boss can feel somewhat hard done by.

After all, Chelsea played well. Ashley Cole put it simply. 'It’s the best I’ve seen them,' he said. 'But you can’t be losing games like this.'

They hadn't really put much of a foot wrong when Jordan Henderson delightfully chipped to the back post for Sadio Mane to head in from close early on in the second half.

But the Premier League operates in an unforgiving world. And no more was that personified than moments later when an unsympathetic Mohamed Salah stuck the nail in the coffin with a whack of his left boot. The ball hurled into the top corner and the Kop erupted.

Eden Hazard missed two gilt-edged chances later in the match. On another day he would have gobbled them up with no troubles. Perhaps, had they fallen to him at Stamford Bridge, where 11 of his 16 Premier League goals have come this season, it would have been a different story.

But that has been the all-to-familiar narrative of Chelsea's season. It has by no means been a idyllic campaign for Chelsea - some consider Sarri fortunate to still be in his job - but at home they have been strong.

Stamford Bridge has been somewhat of a fortress for them but when on foreign soil, Chelsea have looked vulnerable and the stronger teams in the league have punished them.

In their six defeats against Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal, Wolves and Everton, they have conceded 17 goals and only managed two in response. They were also thumped 4-0 at the Vitality Stadium by Bournemouth back in January.

There is cause for concern here, but the fragile manner in which they have fallen to defeat is unquestionably more alarming.

At Everton last month, they offered very little and were comfortably beaten. At City they were embarrassing. At Tottenham earlier in the season, they were swept aside.

And so Sunday's performance offers a wafer of consolation for Sarri. There were signs of improvements that he will look to build on, but at this stage of the season with Champions League football on the line, it doesn't really suffice.

The Chelsea boss will need to figure out the solution soon with trips to Manchester United and Leicester still to come - both of whom have already beaten them this season.

If Chelsea fail to secure a top-four spot at the end of the season, it will be no secret what cost them.

Related: ChelseaM. Sarri