Ross Barkley revealed Chelsea players held up their hands and confessed they were not good enough after failing to win again at the Bridge.
This transitional season was always going to be testing with a transfer ban and a rookie head coach.
But Chelsea have struggled after selling star man Eden Hazard and have been held at home by Leicesterand now Sheffield United – matches the Europa League winners would have won last season with the Belgian.
There was no X factor from a team too slow and predictable on the ball and too sloppy at the back. It took 45 minutes – and a rollocking from manager Chris Wilder – for the Blades to realise the hosts were vulnerable.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, who is still waiting his first home win, appealed for patience after the youngest side the Blues have ever fielded in the Premier League failed to hold on to a two-goal lead.
And patience will be needed on the evidence of this display against last season’s Championship runners-up.
Barkley said: “There’s loads of talent in there in the changing room. The players we’ve got are unbelievable but today we weren’t at the level we should be. We didn’t perform well.
“You’ve just got to try and make things happen and we didn’t create enough chances, didn’t hit the target as much as we should have.
“But we all know. We all spoke in the changing room after the game and we all held our hands up. Tammy scored two goals but he can’t win the game on his own.”