It was a night, Chelsea fans would opt to forget (in some ways), as the team failed to impress against a strong Sunderland side.
Individually and as a team, the Blues lacked the cutting-edge performances that were prominently noticed in all previous games in the Premier League particularly. The classic Chelsea display was indeed missing in yesterday’s game, and Sunderland hence became the first team to stop the Blues from scoring in an EPL game this season.
Nemanja Matic, like in any other league game this season, shone through. He was the best Chelsea player on the field. Here is analysing his game:
THE TALL AND THE AGILE
“Matic is a giant not for his size, but for the way he plays.” – Jose Mourinho
Nemanja Matic stands 1.95m tall, and is slowly becoming the heartbeat of the Chelsea midfield. The Serbian’s height makes him very effective in air, but he seems to show no problems whatsoever in being able to dribble his way effectively out of tough and pressurised situations created by the opposing defense.
His agility and pure ball-control last night enabled the whole of the Chelsea team to charge forward more quicker and his strong and powerful ways of displacing himself to attacking areas and travelling back into the center of midfield, created a balance in the game. The passes which followed once he got out of those tough situations were in fact, key passes and they helped create numerous chances for Chelsea. However, due to the Sunderland defense’s strong ability and dedication shown towards blocking all shots and passes that appear in and around the box, the Blues were restricted from scoring.
Matic is a true dictator when it comes to guiding the ball along the path he chooses and the movement he makes after landing a pass. He traditionally moves forward like any other defensive midfielder would, but he also holds his guard in the position given to him on paper in every game. He moved a lot last night and hence he dictated Chelsea’s play when it came to the areas of attacking midfield and also on flanks. He didn’t hesitate to take long shots; which was an aspect of the 26-year-old’s game we hadn’t gotten to see much in a Chelsea shirt.
Nemanja Matic in defensive mode, is pretty much like another centre-back for Chelsea. His ways of winning the ball and applying pressure to the opposing attackers is unlike any other defensive midfielder in the Premier League. Whenever mishaps occur in keeping possession and the opponents retrieve the ball, Matic travels back from a more attacking area of the field all the way towards the centre-back position, and helps out Captain JT and Gary Cahill in defence. Last night had been the best example of this brilliant attribute.
NEMANJA MATIC: CHELSEA’S BEST PLAYER AGAINST SUNDERLAND
Matic indeed was the best player for the Blues, and his terrific displays throughout the season is really proving to be invaluable for the young and evolving Chelsea Football Club. A goalless draw might not have been the result that a Chelsea supporter expected, but it just showed that things can end that way against strong opposition, especially in an away game in Premier League.
Hoping for The Blues to have a great week ahead.
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Edited By: Harshal Ahire