Chelsea’s Marc Cucurella didn’t want to defend, says Jamie Carragher following his role in Manchester City winner | Football News

Jamie Carragher hit out at Chelsea defender Marc Cucurella for his second-half display in the Blues’ 1-0 loss to Manchester City – claiming the Spanish full-back “doesn’t want to defend”.

City struck the winner when Riyad Mahrez got ahead of Cucurella at the far post to tap home Jack Grealish’s cross as City cut the gap to Premier League leaders Arsenal to five points.

Carragher was not impressed with the £60m summer signing’s defensive capabilities. “I wasn’t happy with Cucurella right throughout that second half until he came off,” he told Sky Sports. “When we talk about the price tag…

Marc Cucurella watches on as Riyad Mahrez gets the better of him to score for City

“If someone doesn’t want to defend, it’s actually worse. It looked to me like he didn’t want to defend in one-vs-one situations.

“When I see defenders diving in constantly all the time and the fella keeps going past him, it makes me think they don’t want to defend. Get low and be twisting and turning and get those legs burning.

“Sometimes you think ‘I can win the ball and I can go and get it’ but when that’s your plan against every winger that comes up against you, that can’t be right.”

Former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink disagreed with Carragher’s verdict on Cucurella and insisted the 24-year-old does want to defend – but had a poor performance against the Premier League champions.

“I don’t agree, I think that he wants to defend, but I think he just struggled today. Man City targeted him,” Hasselbaink argued.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s win against Chelsea in the Premier League.

“His defending is bad but a lot of the time he was overloaded as well. He didn’t get the help that he should get.

“He wants to defend. I just think he had a really bad game and Man City acknowledged that. Their attacks on that right-hand side was 50 per cent. That’s targeting him.

“He had a really bad game, he is just not a good defender.”

Grealish: I thought Kepa was going to stop my cross

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Jack Grealish reflects on Man City’s 1-0 win over Chelsea and gives an honest assessment over his City career so far and how difficult he’s found it compared to his time at Aston Villa.

Another Chelsea player whose role in the goal could be questioned is goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who watched the cross come across the six-yard box before Mahrez tapped it in.

Upon watching it back with the Sky Sports punditry team, City winger Grealish felt the Spaniard was capable of stopping the initial cross to Mahrez.

“Do you know what? It was weird because I was just speaking to Riyad in there and he said to me he thought the keeper was going to get it at one point. And so did I,” Grealish told Sky Sports.

Man City’s Riyad Mahrez celebrates in front of Kepa Arrizabalaga

“I felt like the goalkeeper was going to get it at one point. I don’t know, I want praise for my cross!

“The first time I looked at it I thought: ‘I’ve played that too close to him.'”

Hasselbaink agreed with Grealish, saying the Chelsea goalkeeper was just as culpable for letting the goal in as Cucurella.

“For me, the keeper can do better,” he said. “The starting position of the goalkeeper is very good but he can get this and if Cucurella is in the right position and the goalkeeper misses it as it does, then he can kick it away with his right foot.”

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