Hakim Ziyech stole the show as Chelsea came from a goal down to take all three points against bottom of the league Sheffield United.
Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Timo Werner all got onto the scoresheet after David McGoldrick’s shock opener gave the away side the perfect start.
Lampard made one change from the midweek victory over Rennes, with Mateo Kovacic coming in for Jorginho to freshen things up in the midfield.
Sheffield United began strong and on the front foot, earning a couple of set pieces early on. Just eight minutes into the game they were rewarded for their bright start as David McGoldrick found the net with a clever flick, giving Mendy no chance. It was a well worked goal from the set piece, however Lampard will be disappointed with the ease in which United played through the defence.
The goal ended a run of five consecutive clean sheets in all competitions, one which stretched back to the Southampton game last month. It was intriguing to see how Chelsea would respond to the setback and if results last season was anything to go by, we as fans had every right to be concerned.
However, it was a good response as Chelsea quickly got a foothold on the game and started to dominate. Just fifteen minutes after the opener, we found an equaliser courtesy of Tammy Abraham, who scored his second goal of the week. Hakim Ziyech found Kovacic in the box with a perfectly weighted pass, who then picked out Abraham at the edge of the box. It wasn’t the cleanest of strikes from him but he did enough to beat the keeper and find the bottom left corner.
We weren’t level for long as ten minutes later Ben Chilwell grabbed Chelsea’s second goal to complete the turnaround. It was also the second of his short Chelsea career adding to his fine start in a blue shirt. He didn’t know too much about it however, as the short corner was worked out to Ziyech who curled in a wonderful pass to the back post and the ball just hit Chilwell and found the back of the net. Perhaps a bit of good fortune and poor defending but nevertheless he will take it.
Looking to start the second half much better than they did the first, Chelsea were on it straight away, eager to get the third and kill the game off. Kovacic went through on goal soon after the restart following a mistake from the defender, however his attempted pass was blocked and went for a corner. Multiple opportunities came and went as they looked to get that elusive third goal.
Despite being comfortable on the pitch, a one goal lead is always a risky lead no matter the opposition, something we know about more than most considering the late collapse against Southampton a few weeks ago.
Although the longer the game went on, the more likely Chelsea looked like scoring another. This is exactly what happened as with fifteen minutes to go Thiago Silva got on the end of an exquisite free kick from Ziyech to score his first for the club. He made a brilliant run and flicked the ball in past a hapless Ramsdale effectively killing the game once and for all. A well-deserved goal for a brilliant player, he’s brought a lot of quality and leadership that we have sorely missed, and you could see how much it meant to him in his celebrations.
With the game done and dusted, we were able to relax and wanted to finish the game in style. Timo Werner, playing from the wing, got in behind and was found by another outstanding pass from Ziyech however his lofted attempt just missed the post. Moments later he got his goal as a lucky ricochet led the ball into his path and this time he made no mistake as he emphatically finished past Ramsdale to finish the scoring. A relatively quiet game for the German, but he adds to his very impressive early season stats.
After the game, Frank Lampard rated this game as ‘our best performance of the season in complete terms’ and it would be difficult to argue against that claim despite a dodgy first ten minutes. Even without the likes of Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic available, Chelsea still blew away a team that, although sit bottom, are a tough team to play against. Beating Sheffield United with four goals is no mean feat, it is the first time they have conceded that many since their promotion to the Premier League almost 18 months ago. This season, they haven’t conceded more than two in one game, and gave Man City and Liverpool difficult games, so they are still a stern test for any side.
Now the top scorers in the whole division and sitting in third (temporarily at least), we are still building and will only get better as we begin to fire on all cylinders. As all the players get more and more used to the way each other play, it’s exciting to see how much this team is going to grow in the next few months.
We go into the international break on a high and unbeaten in eleven. Once the players return, we face a trip to Newcastle, looking to continue our fine run of form.
Man of the Match – Hakim Ziyech
What a signing. Every single player played very well, but Hakim Ziyech stole the show with a brilliant performance creating six chances and recording two assists. His bargain price tag and injuries might not have got him as much media attention as our other big signings, but they will certainly sit up and take notice now as he is starting to show the quality that has got Chelsea fans so excited. After a standout performance at Burnley last week, he followed that up with an even better one this weekend. He’s developed a very good relationship with Reece James on the right hand side, a duo which is already proving to be deadly. With James providing the width and Ziyech cutting inside, it will be very difficult for anyone to stop them. His link up play with Kovacic was also interesting, as the two combined very well for the first goal. What’s even more scary is that this isn’t even Ziyech at his best, he will only get better. There was understandably some doubts about how he would adapt to the Premier League from the Eredivisie, but, although it is still very early, the signs are that we have a very special player on our hands.