Chelsea climbed to the second spot in the league table by registering a huge 4-0 win over Burnley this afternoon. The Blues terrorized the Burnley defence throughout the course of the game as Alvaro Morata opened the scoring early in the game before three second-half goals from Ross Barkley, Willian and Ruben Loftus-Cheek helped them to an easy win over the Clarets.
Here are three key talking points from Chelsea’s astounding win over the Lancashire outfit.
Willian – a different player on the left flank
Prior to the game, there was a layer of uncertainty with key player Eden Hazard missing out for the first time this season. The Belgian international was replaced by Pedro, whose preference on the right side of the pitch, forced Willian to feature on the left flank.
While Pedro failed to make an impact on the proceedings, ultimately leaving the pitch after suffering a knock within the half-hour mark, it was Willian who stood up to the plate and looked better than ever on the left side of the pitch. The Brazilian was a constant threat down the flanks, often making mazy runs into the Burnley defence. Simply put, he looked like a different player featuring as the left winger this afternoon.
Indeed, playing on the left meant that the right-footed attacker had the whole pitch opened up to him, as it became easier for him to cut inside as well as combining with teammates in the central areas of the pitch. And that he did – hitting the post in the first half before finding the back of the net in the 62nd minute.
So there definitely raises a question as to whether or not should Willian feature on the left more often although Eden Hazard generally prefers to play on the left rather than playing on the right. Therefore, it will be interesting to see how things pan out when the Belgian returns to full fitness.
Midfield has been the strongest asset for Chelsea this season
Chelsea’s midfield trio of Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Ross Barkley played a valuable role behind their success over Burnley. Barkley’s performance, in particular, was indicative of Chelsea’s depth in midfield given the fact that Mateo Kovacic was also an option for Sarri prior to the game.
However, he opted for the services of the former Everton midfielder, who was excellent, to say the least. He wreaked havoc in the opposing defence and created most of Chelsea’s chances in the final third before getting on to the scoresheet with a stunning long-range effort. This wasn’t a one-off, however, as Barkley has also impressed in his earlier games this season.
Therefore, Sarri has the privilege of choosing from an array of options in midfield including the likes of Kante, Jorginho, Kovacic as well as Cesc Fabregas and the in-form Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who netted Chelsea’s fourth after initially scoring a hat-trick in midweek. And this depth in midfield could serve them well for the remainder of the campaign as they look to snatch the title this season.
Can Alvaro Morata regain his scoring form?
Alvaro Morata has been largely a disappointment since arriving from Real Madrid last summer. After a nervy debut campaign with the club, in which he scored eleven goals, nine of which came in the first half of the season, the Spaniard has yet again failed to deliver this season.
However, his promising display against Burnley could serve as a huge confidence booster as he looks to get a move on this season. The 26-year-old looked very energetic throughout the course of the game, making some clever runs while combining well with his teammates in the final third. His hold-up play was also promising and he took his chance quite well to break the deadlock early in the game.
Although he may not start in the midweek fixture against Derby County, it will be interesting to see how he fares in the next Premier League game against Crystal Palace the following weekend.