Goals from Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Timo Werner take Chelsea third in Premier League; Hakim Ziyech registers two assists in man-of-the-match performance; winless Sheffield United remain bottom
Saturday 7 November 2020 19:56, UK
Chelsea continued their improvement with a fourth straight win as they fought back from a goal down to beat struggling Sheffield United 4-1 at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea conceded for the first time in five games through David McGoldrick’s clever flick from a Sander Berge strike (9), but Tammy Abraham levelled as his weak effort into the ground beat Aaron Ramsdale (23).
And Chelsea completed the turnaround as Ben Chilwell bundled home Ziyech’s deep cross at the far post (34), though both Ramsdale and Max Lowe should have done more to keep the defender out.
Man-of-the-match Ziyech assisted Chelsea’s third as Thiago Silva nodded in ahead of Ramsdale from a free-kick (77), before Timo Werner got in on the act, smashing home as the ball broke into his path (80).
The result takes Chelsea third in the Premier League, just a point behind leaders Liverpool, while Sheffield United remain bottom having taken just one point from a possible 33 since beating Chelsea 3-0 on July 11.
Chelsea: Mendy (6), James (7), Thiago Silva (8), Zouma (7), Chilwell (7), Kante (7), Kovacic (8), Mount (7), Ziyech (9), Werner (7), Abraham (7)
Subs: Jorginho (6), Giroud (NA)
Sheff Utd: Ramsdale (4), Baldock (5), Basham (6), Egan (5), Stevens (5), Lowe (4), Berge (6), Norwood (5), Lundstram (5), McGoldrick (6), Brewster (4)
Subs: Osborn (5), McBurnie (5)
Man of the match: Hakim Ziyech
How Chelsea reacted to sweep Blades aside
Ziyech, impressive in recent weeks after his long-awaited Chelsea debut, was the key to unlocking Sheffield United on Saturday, but only after the hosts were given a fright early on as their previously watertight defence burst open.
Chelsea fell asleep at a corner, allowing Norwood and George Baldock to exchange passes on the right as the latter found space to cut back for Berge, and his low effort was flicked into the far corner brilliantly by McGoldrick from close range.
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United had previously only led for 28 minutes this season – at Anfield of all places – but they could only add 14 to that tally as Chelsea levelled midway through the half.
Ziyech triggered the attack, getting out the pitching wedge to find Kovacic on the right of the box as United were caught slightly high, and Kovacic’s cut-back was struck into the ground by Abraham from 12 yards, bouncing into the far corner past Ramsdale.
Werner then hit the bar from an acute angle as Chelsea moved through the gears, and their second was just around the corner. Ziyech was found short from a Mason Mount corner, and his wicked ball from deep created havoc as Ramsdale decided to stay, allowing Chilwell to ghost in ahead of Max Lowe and touch home from a yard.
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A more commanding Ramsdale, and switched-on Lowe would have avoided a goal that Chilwell almost seemed embarrassed to score, but Ziyech’s left-foot, described as “devastating” by Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher, was causing problems.
Chelsea constricted United in the second half simply by keeping the ball – they had 71 per cent of it after the break – but after half-chances for Ziyech and Abraham, they didn’t get their two-goal cushion until 13 minutes from time.
Another wonderful Ziyech delivery was the catalyst, seeing his right-wing free-kick glanced home by Thiago Silva, as both Lowe and Ramsdale failed to react to again.
Ziyech’s brilliant through-ball was then lifted wide by Werner, but the German would be through on goal again moments later, smashing beyond Ramsdale as it fell kindly to him after bouncing off Kante in a tackle with Lowe.
Chelsea made just one change from the 3-0 win over Burnley in the Premier League last Saturday as Kai Havertz, who tested positive for Covid-19, was replaced by Mateo Kovacic.
There was also only one change from the midweek win over Rennes, where Jorginho played instead of Havertz, meaning both Tammy Abraham and Timo Werner started for the third straight game.
Kepa Arrizabalaga did not even make the matchday squad for the hosts.
For Sheffield United, Oliver Norwood replaced the ineligible Ethan Ampadu, while Oli McBurnie and Ben Osborn were replaced by David McGoldrick and John Lundstram.
Chelsea, who have hit 14 goals in four games, once again looked impressive as Lampard’s side look towards the summit rather than the mid-table swamp in the Premier League, but it was mistakes rather than effort that cost Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United side again.
- Chelsea (11 games without defeat) are enjoying their longest unbeaten run in all competitions since November 2018 (a run of 18), whilst Sheffield United’s 12 game winless run is the longest the Blades have gone without a victory in all competitions since October 2013 (a run of 13).
- David McGoldrick’s opener for Sheffield United was just the second goal Edouard Mendy has conceded for Chelsea in all competitions and first since his debut against Tottenham in September, having kept six consecutive clean sheets prior to today.
- Only against Wolves (6) and Nottingham Forest (5) has Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham scored more goals in English league football than he has against Sheffield United (4 in 4 appearances).
- After failing to score or assist a goal in any of his first four Premier League appearances, Chelsea’s Timo Werner has been involved in five goals in his last four games in the competition (4 goals, 1 assist).
Chelsea return to action after the international break with a trip to Newcastle United on Saturday November 21 at 12.30pm, while Sheffield United host West Ham on Sunday November 22, live on Sky Sports Premier League at 2pm.
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