An article by Chelsea Harper.
The Euro 2020 qualifiers are over which can only mean one thing – come Saturday, we’ll be back to our normal selves, cheering on the Blues as they face their toughest game of the season so far. Chelsea are set to take on Manchester City at the Etihad on the weekend and with Pep Guardiola’s side fresh from their defeat against Liverpool, Frank will have a challenging game ahead as he takes on the reigning champions.
But before we get into that, what have the Chelsea lads been up to since they took on Crystal Palace at the Bridge and who’s been on great form during the international break?
Mason Mount (England)
The 20-year-old has had a pretty busy week whilst away with the England squad, starting in their 7-0 thrashing against Montenegro whilst coming on a substitute during their match in Kosovo, netting his first ever goal in an England shirt.
The attacking midfielder continues to show why he is a firm favourite under Frank Lampard and despite looking shakyamongst some of the bigger names on the field during the first England game, he was unlucky to not get on the scoresheet.
However, the three lions’ 4-0 victory against Kosovo will be the night that remains in the young lad’s memory. Replacing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 72nd minute, Mount was impressive since the moment he came on the pitch – and managed to score in the last few minutes of the game, finding space from Harry Kane’s assist with a left-footed finish. His constant need to get forward, the pressure he keeps on the defenders and his ability to get in the right places at the right time shows why he is becoming such a key member within the England team.
Chelsea’s next game against Manchester City will be a big test for the youngster – but hopefully with his persistency and determination he’s shown throughout the England games, he’ll be able to put on a great performance amongst his Chelsea teammates.
Whilst Italy have been sailing through Group J, Jorginho has been doing what Jorginho does best – taking penalties. During their 9-1 thrashing against Armenia on Monday evening, the 27-year-old got his own name on the scoresheet by netting a penalty in the second half with his classic hop and skip, continuing his impressive record from the spot.
The Brazilian-born midfielder also assisted one of NicoloZaniolo’s goals as the Italians completely humiliated their components, matched with a horrific display of goalkeeping and defending from Abraham Khashmanyan’s side. Jorginhocontrolled the midfield, as he does so well for Blues but a small error from the Chelsea man led to the only Armenian goal of the game – an absolute stunner from Edgar Babayan.
On return from helping his national team secure their 100%-win rate within the qualifiers, he’ll be in high spirits during Chelsea’s trip to Manchester.
Tammy Abraham (England)
Another man who’s been netting in goals for England over the past week is of course, Chelsea’s main striker Tammy Abraham. The 22-year-old also scored his first international goal for Gareth Southgate during their 7-0 victory against Montenegro, netting in the final goal after coming on as a substitute. The goal also saw a nice link of play between Abraham and fellow Englishman Jadon Sancho, conjuring up the transfer rumours of his possible move to Chelsea once more.
The forward didn’t feature in England’s 4-0 win against Kosovo, picking up some well-needed rest for Chelsea’s game this Saturday. However, for the short period of time he was on the pitch against Montenegro, he showed signs of a great attacking player as he got heavily involved within the final third.
With big names such as Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling, it was always going to be hard to make it into Southgate’s squad, yet the youngster has proven his worth as Chelsea’s number nine.
Oliver Giroud (France)
Despite failing to make it into the Chelsea side, Olivier Giroud is still netting in goals on the international scene – and a man who can score for France but fails to make it into Lampard’s starting XI just gives you an idea of how much depth the Chelsea team currently possess.
The 33-year-old scored the winning penalty in the French side’s 2-1 win against Moldova and started in both games during the international break, portraying his importance within the team. The Frenchman also got extremely close during their 3-0 win against Albania, with two impressive chances being denied by the keeper in the second half, before hitting the post with a curling attempt on the edge of the area.
N’Golo Kante was also called up to the French national squad, despite his constant struggles with fitness. However, the 28-year-old only featured in one match for Les Bleus.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (Spain)
There has been a lot of dispute regarding the number one choice for the Spanish national team’s keeper – and Roberto Moreno’s decision to select Kepa ahead of David De Gea on Monday night may have raised some eyebrows. However, the Spaniard did not disappoint, keeping a clean sheet in Spain’s 5-0 victory against Romania.
During the early stages of the game, the 25-year-old made a crucial save to deny George Pușcaș, following a defensive mistake from Iñigo Martínez. However, the Chelsea keeper wasn’t tested much after Romania’s first chance, and Spain ended the qualifiers at the top of Group F.
But Kepa’s form in the Premier League hasn’t exactly been perfect – conceding a worrying 17 goals whilst only keeping three clean sheets in the current season.