Michy Batshuayi was the hero for Chelsea on Saturday as they came from behind at Stamford Bridge to beat Watford in the English Premier League.
Trailing 2-1 well into the second half, Antonio Conte made the bold decision to substitute summer signing Alvaro Morata off the pitch and bring on Batshuayi, who had struggled for form in their last match against Crystal Palace.
The challenge was to show he can be a first team regular at the Blues and the youngster responded with the equalising goal, before finishing off an injury time effort to round off the 4-2 result. It was an exceptional contribution at a critical time for Chelsea, who had lost their previous two league games.
Batshuayi has now scored seven goals in 10 appearances for Conte’s side this season, although many of those appearances have been from off the bench, making him one of the more prolific strikers in the country so far this term.
Has he played his way into a starting position next time out?
Fans took to Twitter to share their thoughts on it all…
You've gotta hand it to Batshuayi. Treated awfully by Conte, his confidence must be shot to pieces but he's come on & changed the game #cfc
— Simon Ansell (@simonansell) 21 October 2017
— Sam Clarke (@ClarkeyCFC) 21 October 2017
Stunning substitute appearance by Batshuayi and awesome pair of goals to think we were writing he was not trusted by Antonio Conte #CFC
— Chelsea News (@chelseanews) 21 October 2017
— Drugba💉💉💉 (@didiermydrugba) 21 October 2017
One thing I love most about Chelsea is the ability of anyone to score! Batshuayi is no back up to Morata. He's a striker! Period. #CFC
— Big Papi Akho👑👑👑 (@AkhoElMejor94) 21 October 2017
Massive impact from Michy Batshuayi 😍 you little rascal ⚽️💙 #CFC
— Alisha Barker (@AlishaBarker_17) 21 October 2017
know you've gotten the sticks from me lately Batshuayi, but today I'm so proud of you son!
Conte was right and I was wrong.
Take a bow! #CFC
— #Thankful (@IfeyChukuneku) 21 October 2017
Gary Cahill completes amazing Chelsea milestone
Somewhere along the way, Gary Cahill has become a Chelsea institution.
Signed as a Christmas 2011 present towards the latter days of AVB’s tenure, mini-Mourinho didn’t rate him much and used him sparingly and only in desperation. But the former Bolton standout fit Roberto Di Matteo’s plans once the Chelsea Spring was underway, and a few months later Cahill found himself lifting the Champions League trophy in Munich. He has not looked back since, winning just about every significant trophy available to him at club level, including the Premier League twice while becoming one of Mourinho’s undroppables in 2014-15 and then rising from the dead last year — most expected him to be discarded alongside Branislav Ivanović and John Terry — reinvented as an unlikely regular in Conte’s three-man defence.
These days, Cahill is not only Chelsea’s oldest non-goalkeeper, he’s club captain and one of the leaders among active players in games played alongside Eden Hazard and César Azpilicueta, both summer 2012 arrivals. On Saturday, he joined the former and 53 others in Chelsea’s 250 club. (Azpi is next and very close as well.)
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) 21 October 2017
If you had asked me back in the winter of 2011-12 if Cahill was about to embark on such a career at Chelsea, winning every trophy and becoming the 55th player in our history to make 250 appearances, I would’ve undoubtedly laughed off the question. I wasn’t alone then, and it’s not like Cahill is universally adored even now. But that probably makes the accomplishment even more sweeter!
Ahead of yesterday’s game, Cahill maintained his belief of Chelsea’s ability to dig in and snap out of this funk. “People say cream rises to the top and eventually we will get it right and will get back to those levels,” said the captain, before he and the rest of the Blues dug in and eventually got it right against Watford. Rising to the top against all odds? Sounds like Cahill’s career in a nutshell, too.
With Cahill going on 32, and with just two years left on his contract, his time at Chelsea could be winding down sooner rather than later. Still time to appreciate our heroes.