After a resounding 4-0 victory against Sevilla in Spain, Chelsea ensured they finished top of the Champions League group with the help of star man Olivier Giroud. We take a look at who was a key factor of this and who didn’t quite make the impact they would’ve wanted to. Although when you win 4-0 against a team like Sevilla, there can’t really be many downsides!
1. Olivier Giroud shows his class
It was a huge night for the french striker against Sevilla as this looked like his chance to get back into the first team on a regular basis. Giroud certainly didn’t disappoint and was Man of the Match by a country mile. Four goals for the striker against a good Sevilla side, as we saw in the home tie, was outstanding from Giroud. His first goal came after Kai Havertz played him into the box before he switched the ball across from his right to his left and curled it past the keeper. The second came when the Frenchman was played in by Mateo Kovacic before chipping the keeper into the far post. The hat trick came from a N’Golo Kante cross which Giroud diverted into the top right corner. Giroud bagged his fourth and final goal of the game from the penalty spot which was also won by Oliver. A fantastic performance tonight and one that may play him in the starting XI against Leeds.
2. Pulisic hungry but no end product
The American winger returned to the side against Sevilla and looked raring to go from the off. Pulisic had a lot of chances in the first half, although he seemed almost too desperate to get on the scoresheet, being a little greedy at times. It’s not something as fans we should really be concerned about as it is his first start in a while, although we will have to see how quick he can get back to full sharpness, as we saw post lockdown last season how good he can be when he is on form. One positive to take form the game was that Pulisic looked very positive in his dribbling and often darted into dangerous areas, it’s just the final product that needs to be worked on in order to regain the best version of Pulisic.
3. Defensive structure has really been worked on
When the lineup was announced against Sevilla, it certainly didn’t look like it was going to be another clean sheet for the Blues. Both Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen started with Emerson and Captain Azpilcueta on either side of them. Rudiger and Christensen have often been allergic to a clean sheet for Chelsea but tonight the defensive work put in during training really showed, with the centre back partnership completely shutting out the Sevilla attack. It’s massive for Chelsea to have a rotational back four which was able to keep a clean sheet against a strong Sevilla side and it has also allowed Frank Lampard to rest his usual backline for the upcoming Winter matches. Frank will be proud of his coaching staff as we can see the huge improvement that has been made not just across the starting XI defence, but every defender at the club.
4. CHO and Havertz looked promising
A start for German midfielder Kai Havertz after his 2 weeks of isolation was a successful one, alongside Hudson-Odoi’s return to the side. Hudson-Odoi once again demonstrated his dribbling talent and his link-up play, often alongside Oliver Giroud. Callum created a couple of chances and overall had a very positive game, once again producing when given the chance. Havertz featured in the midfield three alongside N’golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic in the number eight role. Kai gained an assist for Oliver Giroud’s first goal after drifting with the ball from the halfway line to the edge of the box, before slipping it into the path of Giroud who finished it off. Havertz’s performance was one that could be key if he is to play a large part in the game against Leeds this weekend, although he may not play the whole game due to a smaller amount of rest.
5. An earned rest for the first team players (and Olivier Giroud gives food for thought)
In the game against Sevilla, there were nine changes from the team that started against Spurs, with Edouard Mendy, Mateo Kovacic, and N’Golo Kante as the only players to stay in the team. Players such as Timo Werner, Mason Mount, Reece James, and Thiago Silva all got an important rest, and Chelsea still managed to win the game 4-0. Not only does it look promising as our first team players are going to be fully fit, but it also shows the immense depth of this side, with essentially a second-rate team facing off against one of the best teams in Spain and coming out as victors.
We now head into the Leeds game with a fit and rested side, and also the chance for players such as Olivier Giroud, Kai Havertz, and Christian Pulisic coming into the team down to how well they played against Sevilla.
Written by Ben @Carefreecfc20
Edited by Jai Mcintosh @jjmcintosh5