Analysis

Ruben Loftus-Cheek on the search for magic and the race for the top four

Ruben Loftus-Cheek recognised a good defensive performance by Wolves that limited us to a point yesterday and said the way they set up was a compliment to our creative abilities.

From the first whistle massed ranks of gold shirts got behind the ball as we struggled to find space in the final third. Maurizio Sarri said after the game that Loftus-Cheek’s introduction with just over half-an-hour to play was to add more physicality to his team against a strong and determined Wolves rearguard.

Reflecting on our first draw since 2 January when Southampton held us at the Bridge, Loftus-Cheek pointed out areas where we could have done better, as well as acknowledging it was not easy to play against such well-drilled opponents.

‘We knew Wolves would come here and set up like that,’ the 23-year-old said.

‘It shows teams are threatened by our creativity and want to sit back and get us on the counter. We switched off and conceded.

‘We had all the possession but couldn’t break them down. Credit to Wolves, they were really compact and hard to break down. We needed to move the ball faster and find something different, some magic to open up the defence because it was tight in there. So credit to them but we needed something more.

‘We tried to throw everything forward and got a good goal from Eden in the last minute. We saved a loss but we wanted the win, and really it feels like two points lost. We’re disappointed.’

Despite that the race for the top four remains incredibly tight with two of our competitors, Tottenham and Manchester United, both losing at the weekend.

Four points separate the four teams now, though we do have a game in hand on those above us.

‘It’s still all to play for,’ Loftus-Cheek stressed.

‘It’s been up and down for us but we will keep going, keep working hard in training. The points gap is not too big, so we keep going and try to get these wins.’
 

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