Chelsea’s victory over Burnley this afternoon saw Frank Lampard’s side finally begin to click into full gear, amid a couple of tactical tweaks on the part of the Blues boss.
Werner amongst the goals
Chelsea made the trip to Turf Moor a short time ago, for their latest Premier League outing.
The Londoners headed into proceedings with hopes of building on a much-needed, dominant victory during the week.
On the back of 3 straight draws across all competitions, Lampard’s men made the trip to Russia, for a Champions League meeting with Krasnodar.
When all was said and done, Chelsea got the job done, and in some style, putting 4 past their hosts to move top of the Group E table.
✅ First start
✅ First goal
Hakim Ziyech is already making moves at Chelsea 🔥 pic.twitter.com/g2vxNrc5cR
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 28, 2020
And, if their display at Turf Moor this afternoon is anything to go by, then it appears as though the Blues may finally be ready to showcase their true potential on a consistent basis over the weeks and months ahead.
Another fine all-round performance eventually saw the visitors depart Lancashire with a fully deserved 3 points, to climb back into the Premier League’s top-4.
Hakim Ziyech set Chelsea on their way with 26 minutes on the clock, linking up with Tammy Abraham in sleek fashion, before rifling home beyond the wrong-footed Nick Pope.
The dominance of the away side continued as proceedings wore on, as Burnley toiled in their efforts to establish any sort of foothold in proceedings.
As such, it came as little surprise when the Pensioners added their 2nd just past the hour mark.
A whipped Mason Mount corner from the right saw Kurt Zouma break free in the heart of the hosts’ box, to nod home in John Terry-esque fashion.
And it was 3-0 before long, with Timo Werner this time the man on target. A burst forward from right-back on the part of Reece James saw the English international slip the ball inside to Hakim Ziyech, who’s inch-perfect pass into the path of Werner was expertly slotted home by the former Leipzig man.
28 – Since the start of last season, only Robert Lewandowski (37) has scored more goals when excluding penalties in Europe’s big-five leagues than Timo Werner (28). Lethal. #BURCHE pic.twitter.com/9Fv2rOPEhc
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 31, 2020
This brought an end to the afternoon’s scoring, as Chelsea laid down a clear marker in the Premier League’s top-4 race.
Ziyech excelling/Deeper roles for attacking stars?
Evidently, based on the eventual scoreline, a number of the visitors’ stars impressed this afternoon.
The likes of Ben Chilwell, Reece James and N’Golo Kante all looked excellent throughout the 90 minutes at Turf Moor.
Some, though, stood out above all others.
One such individual was Hakim Ziyech.
Moroccan international Ziyech of course endured a difficult start to his Chelsea stint, after picking up a fitness problem during a pre-season meeting with Brighton.
The Blues’ last couple of outings, though, have seen the former Ajax man begin to showcase exactly why Lampard and co. pushed so hard for his signature in the first place.
Ziyech, above all others, provides a cutting edge.
Chelsea often played sleek, impressive football over the early weeks of the season. However, too often, a finished product would not be forthcoming at the end of such moves.
Ziyech addresses this issue. The north African possesses a wand of a left foot, enabling him to either unlock an opposing backline with a pinpoint delivery, or hammer home an effort from a unexpected spot – the 2nd trait of which was on full display in setting the visitors on their way this afternoon.
Yes, at times, he can of course be erratic, But, as things stand, the 27-year-old is exactly what is required to link the pieces of Chelsea’s gifted attacking puzzle together.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 31, 2020
The showings of two others which were also worth taking note of at Turf Moor, meanwhile, were Mason Mount and Kai Havertz.
Upon Frank Lampard’s initial XI being announced prior to kick-off, it was not immediately clear what formation the English tactician intended to make use of.
In the end, Mount and Havertz lined out in deeper roles than would generally be the case, making up a midfield-three on either side of the defensive-minded Kante.
And to say that both went on to impress in their unaccustomed berths would be putting it lightly.
The pair looked fully at home playing from deep, with Mount’s long-range passing, and Havertz’s ability to link defence with attack courtesy of fleet-footed short bursts particular highlights.
The latter also proved hugely difficult to track from a Burnley perspective, with one particular late arrival into the Clarets’ box having almost seen Havertz rewarded with a goal of his own late on.
It of course remains to be seen whether, during fixtures in which Chelsea have less of the ball than they did this afternoon, a Mount-Havertz midfield pairing is a viable option for Lampard.
But, if today’s evidence is anything to go by, then the signs certainly look positive from a Blues perspective.
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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