Chelsea and Mauricio Pochettino might’ve found their newest Antonio Rudiger, who left the club two seasons ago.
Chelsea supporters were left delighted as Mauricio Pochettino found his third straight win as Chelsea manager with a 4-1 win over newly-promoted Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday afternoon.
However, it was a horror start for the Blues as Wilson Odobert’s low effort snuck through past Marc Cucurella and Robert Sanchez to give the home side the lead after just 15 minutes. The Blues would go again though, continuing to press throughout the first half and were eventually rewarded just before half-time.
Raheem Sterling’s mazy run down the left-hand-side helped his cross into the box take a deflection off of Ameen Al-Dakhil and fly over the head of James Trafford to level the scores at 1-1. Just five minutes after the break, the England international would be brought down in the area leaving deadline day signing Cole Palmer with an opportunity to find his first goal for the Blues.
As he stepped up, he gave Trafford the eyes and sent him the wrong way, giving Chelsea the lead for the first time in the match. Fifteen minutes later, Moises Caicedo’s interception in the middle of the pitch handed the ball to Conor Gallagher who fired a pass into Sterling who rifled the ball across goal and into the bottom-right corner to make it 3-1.
The 28-year-old was once again involved in the setup for the Blues’ fourth, with his cross into the box being picked up by Palmer, whose calm pass into Nicolas Jackson was dispatched with a quick turn-and-shoot to wrap up the game. Following the game, Pochettino highlighted his side’s persistence for the result and now believes they can push on with the momentum.
He said: “Yes, of course [I’m seeing what I want from the team]. I was telling you when we lost some games against Nottingham Forest and West Ham that we are building something. We are a young group.
“We are a young team, it doesn’t mean we have signed young players or experienced players, we’re together and what happened in the summer, it’s about a matter of time. We were performing very well but of course players and individuals improve to add to the team, a bit of quality.
“That is only with time to know each other and to start to perform. We start to recover players now because we suffered too many injuries, also it’s going to help the team increase the level and the competition will be tough. Then it will be tough for me to select an XI but it is a thing I love to do and I hope it happens soon.”
But the man that hyped up the travelling Chelsea faithful the most did not even get on the scoresheet. Centre-back Axel Disasi’s arrival in the summer posed some questions as to whether he would be necessary throughout the season but he’s quickly proving to be a fan favourite.
After Palmer’s penalty, Disasi ran across the front of the away fans and pumped his fists in celebration with the crowd. Then he went into the huddle alongside his teammates who were surrounding Palmer before he turned back to the fans and roared, waving his arms and clapping his hands – something which Blues fans have pointed out Antonio Rudiger used to do.
One user said: “You can’t hate Disasi man! Proper Chels!” while another responded: “Disasi is underrated. He plays with everything… whoever scores he’ll ask the fans to support the scorer!!”
Others were in agreement, with one saying: “Disasi vibes on celebrations is top,” while another user said: “AXELLLLL!!!!!!! He just gets being Chels!” with a third claiming: “Give Disasi pace and we have replaced Rudiger.”
The French international has played all 90 minutes for the Blues in all eight of their league matches so far, and has been vital at the back under Pochettino. Now he’ll look to make it nine starts in a row when the Blues face London rivals Arsenal after the international break later this month..