The story this season has been all about Chelsea’s attack. The attack improved with Romelu Lukaku taking his place as the last piece of the blue puzzle and they have been formidable ever since.
On the contrary, in yesterday’s “Game Zero” clash with Tottenham, the main figures of the story was actually Chelsea’s defence. The attack struggled to knock on Tottenham’s door so the backline had to do all the talking.
Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen both put on magnificent performances, along with our fullbacks Cesar Azpilucueta and Marcos Alonso; however, the main man was Thiago Silva.
The 36-year-old not only kept Tottenham’s attack at bay, he also kept Chelsea’s attack in check. In a game of two different halves, Silva was the constant that kept Chelsea in the game and one of the catalysts in our inevitable victory.
There are some players in this world who age like fine wine – I’d like to think Thiago Silva is one of them. His leadership on the pitch prevailed as Tottenham pressed Chelsea from the offset. Where the Blues lacked in quality, Silva picked it up and took matters into his own hands.
Tottenham set the tone from the second the first whistle blew. Son and Lo Celso pressured our backline, hoping to force errors from the defence and almost came out victorious.
Throughout the first half, Tottenham pressed through our right side with Son and Lo Celso at the forefront. Their plans were cut short by Silva’s desire to win the ball back and build the momentum that the team in blue lacked. Despite being unable to match the speed of the two forwards, Silva’s decision making kept Chelsea in the game. He knew exactly when to commit and when to fall back in danger.
The story for Thiago Silva does not stop there. Tuchel’s men went in at halftime and came out eager to put their quality on show. They start the second half on the front foot this time. Much more positive and convincing performance for the Blues. The introduction of Ngolo Kante may have been the reignition of energy that Chelsea needed. He lifted the team in the most Kante way possible. His energy was infectious and helped in turning the game on its head.
Once Kante was introduced, Silva had more freedom in possession. He’d drive up the pitch, break lines and deliver crucial passes into the final third. His leadership and desire to get Chelsea on the front foot was to be rewarded with a sublime header from in the 49th Minute.
All three of Chelsea’s goals came from the best players on the pitch at the time. Thiago Silva, Ngolo Kante and Antonio Rudiger were a step above everyone else in a match where Chelsea could’ve netted 5 or 6 times.
Silva is proving to the world that he is still in top form at the tender age of 36. The man is 37 years old on Wednesday and he gave a performance that a 25-year-old John Terry would be proud of.
He times his interceptions to perfection and is rarely caught out on the break as his positioning is second to none. He is my man of the match and I’m almost certain that not many fans would disagree.
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Source by Football London