Chelsea beat Brighton on Wednesday evening in a convincing 3-0 victory, which in the end, was made to look very easy.
The line up Maurizio Sarri used refreshingly bought all Chelsea fans together for the first time in a while. There was a collective relief of ‘finally, THIS is the starting line up we wanted, our best current eleven’.
And boy wasn’t that the truth. Although the first half threatened to be the same old story, as Chelsea struggled to break down one of the biggest green buses I’ve ever seen! Brighton’s furthest player forward at times I swear was behind their own goalkeeper! That’s how deep they were.
But Chelsea kept probing, and it eventually paid off when Hudson-Odoi unlocked the key, and the game then looked very easy.
But the night was all about Cobham, and the three lads on display who had been made in Chelsea’s famous academy.
Andreas Christensen, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek all started, and all went through the same development process at Cobham. It was a delight to see them all start together, finally.
None of them disappointed and they all added that bit extra flair, mentality, and creativity that has been missing all season.
Hudson-Odoi was a real threat down the right all game. And Loftus-Cheek was just a beast, linking up well with Eden Hazard, and even copying him by scoring an identical goal!
It was a happy evening for Blues fans, who were like proud parents watching the boys do what we all know they will do, given the chance.
It appears the happiness was shared by them as well. After the match, Callum and Ruben were interviewed, both spoke intelligently and were visibly delighted, obviously.
First of all, let’s see what Sarri has to say on the trio..
They played very well. But I was sure about it. Callum is now ready to play in every match, also in the most difficult matches, because he improved a lot during the season.
“I was sure about his performance. He played very well. But I am really very happy with him because he defended really well. It’s important to have three offensive players able to defend, otherwise the balance of the team is a problem. So, tactically, now he is ready.
“Loftus-Cheek is without his back problem for the first time this season so could train every day for the last 20 days. He played very well and scored a wonderful goal. After 75 minutes he had a little problem with his hamstring, nothing serious, but tomorrow I want to be sure about the situation with his back.
“That’s the big problem, with his back. I have to say another thing. We are talking about Callum and Ruben, but on the pitch I was impressed by the performance of Christensen. I want to speak also about Christensen because, in the last period, he played five or six matches really very well.”
Asked by ESPN if the trio can put themselves at the heart of Chelsea’s future, Sarri replied: “I hope so. I think so, and I hope so, because they are, at the moment, very important players. But the potential is higher. So, in the future, they can become top players. So I think, for this team, the future could be good.”
Callum was also pleased..
“Sarri told me before the game to do what I normally do and express myself and be the best you can be. I feel comfortable and when you go through the game you feel more and more confident to get the ball and hopefully I did well.
“Eden switched the ball out to me and I had space (Giroud goal) I thought to myself it is a one v one and I love one v ones, so as soon as I got the ball I thought just get at him and try and get the ball in as soon as possible, because I saw Olly make the run so as soon as I got the ball, I played it to the front post.
“I am very happy for the win, we all did well, we worked very hard from the start and the mentality from everyone was very good.”
“It is what we have worked hard for all our lives, to come through the Academy with years of hard work to get the chance to start a Premier League game. It is good for the Academy and for us personally.”
” I knew I had space behind me so I opened up and the shot was on so I went for it, and luckily it went in the top corner.”
Sarri went on to to confirm that he joked with Callum after the match about missing an easier chance to score, and notes the selection headache he now has…
“Callum is on the left, the best of Hazard is on the left, the best of Willian is on the left, but I have only one left. I’m sorry, but… So two of the three can play, of course, but one has to adapt himself on the other side, as Callum did in this match for 80 minutes.
“He is happy, but I told him that he missed a very easy goal in the first half. He has to stay with his feet on the floor.
“He smiled. He’s a good boy. Of course, now, he can risk stopping to improve because he can risk thinking that he is a player at 100 percent, but that’s not true. It’s impossible to be at the top when you are 18.
“He needs to improve, he can improve, and I want him to improve. He can become one of the best players in Europe.”
Sarri, I have one message for you now – THIS is your best current eleven based on form and talent. Use this as your main starting line up for the rest of the season and you’ll be fine. Rotate for Europa and if players need rest. Go go go!
Up The Chels!