Chelsea conceded early before flipping the switch and making Sheffield United regret it. What lessons can the Blues take from this win?
When Sheffield United took the early lead, there may have been a brief moment of “oh here we go again”. It didn’t last long. Chelsea did not wilt after conceding for the first time in nearly eight hours, they rose to the occasion. Before they half was done they were ahead. They then let Sheffield United tire out before piling on. What did the Blues learn from this rout?
1. The Premier League isn’t ready for Hakim Ziyech
Hakim Ziyech ran the show against Sheffield United. He was sharp from the word “go” and had an aura of confidence around him. Every time Ziyech got onto the ball, it looked like Chelsea would score. He kept unleashing belters from his left foot that could all become goals on a good day.
What is even more beautiful is that he seemed to have a deep connection with both fullbacks. Reece James often stretched wide as Ziyech cut inside, and whenever Ziyech got onto his left foot, Chilwell could be seen running deep into the box. It showed the character and the charisma that Ziyech carries. He knows that he is the boss on the field and lets everyone know. Moreover, he always carries a smile on his face and seems to be having fun all the time (similar to another Belgian magician that used to grace Stamford Bridge). Hakim Ziyech is ready to destroy the Premier League and Stamford Bridge will explode when fans will witness the magician.
2. Reece James and Ben Chilwell have a telepathic connection
Frank Lampard has often discussed the need for character and how connections are constantly developing on the training ground. One connection that seems to be almost telepathic is that of Reece James and Ben Chilwell. The two fullbacks seem to be at the heart of everything going on at Chelsea. Whenever the centerbacks or Kante got the ball against Sheffield, they tried to get it onto the wings through James or Chilwell. As the fullbacks progressed, Mason Mount and Kovacic dropped slightly back to cover the space created on either side. Now, as James went wide, Chilwell into the box on several occasions to connect with crosses. This showed that Chilwell and James understood each other’s game really well and have developed a clear strategy.
3. Frank Lampard’s Chelsea has truly arrived
After a very inconsistent start to the season, Frank Lampard’s Chelsea seems to be finally here. The defense looks sorted (despite the odd error) and the attack is well gelled. Despite the absence of key players like Christian Pulisic and Kai Havertz, Chelsea looked very comfortable and confident on the ball against the Blades.
Thiago Silva was rallying his troops at the back while Hakim Ziyech was dominating the Blades’ backline up front. Tammy Abraham has finally found his role in the side, and he looked solid against Sheffield as well. Moreover, his link up play was smooth and he was always threatening in the box. Frank Lampard’s work on the training ground is showing its effect in the matches.
In the seasons before, Chelsea would usually lose such a game after conceding a goal this early. There was often a lack of energy and motivation and the team couldn’t show character. However, this time around, things are different. This team has a sense of confidence and has belief. Against Sheffield, Chelsea increased their intensity and looked confident despite conceding a goal. Frank Lampard and his men have truly arrived, and things could get very interesting at the top of the table.
What lessons did you learn from this one? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter!