Chelsea 3-3 Roma: Who was Chelsea's Man of the Match?
It was not the game that Antonio Conte would have wanted following his side’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace, with the Italian probably more inclined to a 1-0 win where Chelsea took their chances and defended solidly for the entirety of the 90 minutes. However, Conte was forced to settle for a 3-3 draw that was as gripping as it was error-strewn.
David Luiz curled in a sumptuous finish from outside of the box to open the scoring before Eden Hazard made it two. The visitors then scored three on the bounce as Aleksandar Kolarov’s deflected strike was followed by two Edin Dzeko goals, the first of which was a sublime first-time volley that flew past Thibaut Courtois and left the Bridge stunned. Hazard scored again late on the level the scores and that is how the game ended, with poor defending aiding the forwards of both teams.
From the game, who deserved to be crowned Man of the Match?
3. David Luiz
Utilised in defensive-midfield in the absence of N’Golo Kante, David Luiz put in his usual all-action display. Indeed, he seemed to be everywhere on the pitch as one moment he was clattering into a man to get the ball, and the next he was one of Chelsea’s most advanced players. Conte seems to like the versatility that Luiz gives him and, honestly, the Brazilian could probably play pretty much anywhere on the pitch due to his pace, power, creativity and footballing intelligence. He capped his performance off with a sublime goal from the edge of the area which he curled into the bottom corner, and he displayed that fiery passion that he has become known for as he seemed very agitated at being substituted.
2. Alvaro Morata
It was not one of the displays the fans will look back on and say that Alvaro Morata was able to show off his outstanding scoring talent, but nonetheless, Morata was a very important cog in Chelsea’s gameplan. Isolated for so much of the game, he chased down every long ball, closed down the Roma defenders and was able to hold the ball up, allowing his teammates to run off him into more advanced positions. He only had a handful of chances on the night as he did struggle to break free of what was a compact Roma defence, but he was the key man in Eden Hazard’s first goal as he assisted the Belgian, while he would often take two defenders out of the game from crosses as they were clearly petrified of his presence.
1. Eden Hazard
What can you say about Hazard that hasn’t already been said? He scores goals, he creates, he is outstanding on the ball and he is Chelsea’s best player. It is an incredible stat that his two goals against Roma was the first time he has hit the back of the net this season. His pace scared the Roma defence, while his close dribbling and accurate passing set Chelsea on a number of counter-attacks. His first goal was superb opportunism as he profited from a deflected cross to tap home, while his glancing-header was perfectly directed as it found the bottom corner. With most other players struggling to bypass a Roma side that dominated the ball, it was a masterclass in clinical finishing from Hazard, who looks to be getting back to his best.