As the above video shows, Marcos Alonso is capable of scoring not just free kick goals, though it’s those that stand out in his repertoire of attacking contributions, which have been plentiful (and often underrated) since his arrival on transfer deadline day 18 months ago. In fact, with 10 goals and 4 assists, no other defender has made as great of an impact on the scoreboard as Alonso during that time.
Whether or not Conte & Co expected this impact from the former Fiorentina man is debatable. After all, he now has as many goals for Chelsea in a year and a half as he had for Bolton and Fiorentina combined in six years. Credit to the system that relies so much on wing-backs, perhaps, though as Thibaut Courtois says, Alonso’s impressive ability (both physical and technical) to handle that flank all by himself during that time should not be overlooked. (But should probably be helped out eventually by bringing in a proper backup and cover in case of injury.)
“Marcos plays so many games on that wing and I don't think people can imagine how hard that job is, because it's always attacking-defending, attacking-defending. You don't stop, you're running a lot, and he's playing almost every three days. He does very well for us and he's improved very much throughout last season and this season as well.
“His quality of free-kicks is amazing and those situations in football nowadays are so important, so if you can score from that it's very good.”
-Thibaut Courtois; source: Chelsea FC
While Alonso was happy to score, he was even happier with the way the team played and continuing to show good form in the Premier League. The title may be out of reach, but we will need all the points we can get to finish in the top four.
“We knew after this game it was going to be even harder for us [against Southampton] so great character and it was a very good performance. We had control of the game through the 90 minutes. We tried to score the second to finish the game but the ball didn’t want to go in. However 1-0 was enough. We had to stay together and defend well and it was a very good game.
“It was a very good minute to score and I am happy to help the team get the three points. I had another couple of chances and I was a bit unlucky. The ball came to my right foot which is not my stronger one.
“We have to do what is in our hands and win our games. It was very disappointing the defeat against West Ham but the response this week was good and this is the way to follow in our next few games. Big teams have to do this and we did it this week. It is still a long way to go and we have to win every game now.”
-Marcos Alonso; source: Chelsea FC
So say we all.