Pat Nevin says Chelsea player 'looked like a different person' in Tottenham win

Pat Nevin and Gus Poyet were full of praise for Hakim Ziyech’s goalscoring performance in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

The 28-year-old stole the limelight at Stamford Bridge, and it was not just because of his outstanding goal.

His work rate, build-up play, playmaking — it was a complete package.

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It is safe to say that Nevin did not expect such performance from the Morocco international.

“That was brilliant, really,” the former Blues winger told Chelsea’s post-match Matchday Live programme.

“That’s his best game for us without a shadow of a doubt.

“He just looked like a different person out there. The confidence — that was a 17-yard ball…

“Honestly, he was a joy to watch.”

Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

Poyet, on the other hand, believes that Ziyech had initially avoided making risky play before he eventually became more confident.

“I think he [Ziyech[ respects Tuchel [so much] that he did not want to do anything wrong,” he explained.

“By [avoiding] doing anything wrong, sometimes he plays [too cautiously].

“But when he gets that extra confidence, after the goal, it was incredible, the change in his attitude.

“That’s what you want from him.”

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Ziyech thrives in wider role for Chelsea

While confidence certainly played a part, playing in a wider role in what looked like a 4-1-4-1 formation also helped Ziyech rediscover his form.

A more conventional winger role gives Ziyech the option to either drift wide or cut inside, which makes him more unpredictable.

In a 3-4-3 system, however, these wider areas are occupied by the wing-backs.

While Mason Mount, who is naturally a box-to-box midfielder, is comfortable playing more centrally, it does not seem to be the case for wingers such as Ziyech, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Christian Pulisic.

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A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.