Courtois urges Chelsea to show killer instinct


London (AFP) – Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has challenged his misfiring team-mates to rediscover their cutting edge in Saturday’s clash with Leicester.

Antonio Conte’s side were held to a frustrating goalless draw in the League Cup semi-final first leg against Arsenal on Wednesday despite creating a host of chances.

The Blues were also held to a scoreless draw by second tier Norwich in the FA Cup third round last weekend.

With only 41 Premier League goals this season, Chelsea have scored less than any of their top four rivals and lag 16 points behind leaders Manchester City.

Conte has called on his players to show a more ruthless instinct in front of goal and, with Leicester due at Stamford Bridge this weekend, Courtois echoed his manager’s words.

“Against Stoke we scored five goals but against other teams we have maybe missed too many chances,” Courtois said.

“Like 2-2 at the Emirates (on January 4) and 0-0 and at the weekend against Norwich, maybe we have to score more goals from the chances we create because I think we create enough danger, but we need to finish it as well.”

There was nothing wrong with Chelsea’s approach play as they carved open the Arsenal defence on several occasions, but Blues defender Antonio Rudiger knows that enterprising build-up counts for nothing without a goal the end of it.

“I think the last pass is missing, the final part to score the goal. There weren’t a lot of chances against Arsenal but some were there. We have to kill a match off,” he said.

Conte vowed to carry out an inquest into the problem on the training pitch.

– Confidence crisis –

But the Italian insisted it is not only the forwards who are culpable, pointing to two missed headed chances by defender Andreas Christensen against Arsenal.

“We are conceding less than last season, but we are not scoring like last season. We have to improve,” Conte said.

Despite Conte’s comments and his support for Alvaro Morata, it appears the Spain striker is feeling the burden of expectation.

Morata scored seven goals in his first eight appearances following his move from Real Madrid, as a replacement for Diego Costa, but he has since netted just five times in 21 outings.

Rudiger conceded Morata might be suffering from a loss of confidence.

“As a striker it’s normal that you want to score. Of course there are times when the head is down a little bit,” he said.

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