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26 Sep, 2020 18:11

'He was meant to improve the defense': New signing Thiago Silva savaged for disastrous debut howler in Chelsea horror show (VIDEO)

'He was meant to improve the defense': New signing Thiago Silva savaged for disastrous debut howler in Chelsea horror show (VIDEO)

Champions League finalist Thiago Silva was rounded on by viewers after committing a horrendous error minutes into his debut for Chelsea, captaining his club to a 3-0 half-time deficit in a Premier League nightmare at West Brom.

The hugely experienced defender was 25 minutes into a maiden match that Chelsea had been expected to win when he dawdled on the ball, gifting possession to forward Callum Robinson.

Chelsea had already been behind thanks to Robinson's fourth-minute opener before the forward gratefully accepted Thiago's invitation and raced through to double the lead.

After a dreadful defensive display last season when Chelsea shipped the most goals of any side in the top ten of the division, Thiago became one of a number of defensive signings that were expected to improve their dismal record of 54 goals conceded.

He was handed the captaincy against the Premier League newcomers but soon must have felt a long way from the heights of last month's Champions League final with former club Paris Saint-Germain.

Defender Kyle Bartley added to the scoresheet after 27 minutes as Chelsea yet again failed to secure their first clean sheet of the season and went in 3-0 down at the break.

Despairing Chelsea supporters and gloating rival fans noted that Thiago's slip bore similarities to the famous blunder made by Steven Gerrard in 2014, when the Liverpool captain made a mistake that contributed to his side failing to win the league in an incident that still haunts him to this day.

"It's one of those Steven Gerrard moments, isn't it?" chimed in former Liverpool and England midfielder Jamie Redknapp on Sky Sports.

"The ball goes under his foot. That goal sums them up. They have been so sloppy, so lethargic."

The error meant that Chelsea have made more mistakes than every other team combined just three matches into the season, including slip-ups by the hapless Kepa, signed by the club as the world's most expensive goalkeeper in 2018 but demoted to the bench for the match.

Any fears Chelsea coach Frank Lampard might have had over his 36-year-old defensive addition lacking sharpness were compounded by statistics showing that he was the first Premier League player to make a fatal error in two years.

One fan joked that Thiago had instantly proven himself worse than much-maligned Manchester United and England defender Harry Maguire.

"I heard Thiago Silva was going to show Maguire levels," they quipped. "Didn't know it was the levels of bad defending."

Thiago did have one apologist in an account dedicated to French football. His shortcomings last season, it said, were glossed over by his younger teammate and countryman, Marquinhos.

The account also argued that Thiago had been moved to the left of the position he was used to and was part of an unusually high defensive line, leaving Chelsea exposed by his lack of pace against the likes of Robinson.

He escaped the ignominy of being one of two substitutions made by Lampard at the break in an attempt to salvage a result from the wreckage of a dire first half.

Midfielders Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi pulled goals back for the Blues, but by then an ominous warning had been loudly sounded to Chelsea fans by Brazilian football expert Tim Vickery.

"I think Thiago Silva can do a job for Chelsea," he began.

"But, under pressure, expecting him to be captain and leader – forget about it."

The defender was substituted shortly after Chelsea's second goal to end a first appearance he will want to forget.

Also on rt.com Curtains for Kepa? Chelsea continue summer spending spree with arrival of $28 MILLION goalkeeper Edouard Mendy