While Victor Moses won’t equal last season’s 34 appearances in the Premier League (40 total), he’s going to come fairly close. Last night was his 25th of the season (33 in all competitions), and he firmly remains Antonio Conte’s first choice at right wing-back. Since missing a month with a hamstring injury in October, he’s appeared in all but three of Chelsea’s Premier League and Champions League matches, starting 19 of those 22. He may have his critics — (Ed.note: familiarity breeds contempt, as the saying goes) — but yesterday he reminded us why his coach believes in him, with a Man of the Match performance at Turf Moor.
Just as with his appearance numbers, Moses’s overall performance this season has not quite equaled last season’s feel-good breakout story, but on Thursday, he was the catalyst for Chelsea’s first goal, tidily gathering a long ball from Gary Cahill and punching in a cross that flummoxed Nick Pope and Kevin Long into the putting the ball into their own net.
Then, in the second half, with the match in the balance and more lost points looming ominously on the horizon, Moses found the near post for Chelsea’s winner. It was his fourth goal of the season, equaling last season’s totals, and third since the start of the new calendar year.
In the tunnel interview afterwards, the typically modest Moses deflected attention away from himself and towards the team.
“We deserved the points from the start, showed great character at a place where it isn’t easy to win. Take each game as it comes and do as well as we can. We can’t write ourselves off, take each game as it comes and finish strongly.
”We believe in our players but the important thing was the three points and to take momentum into Sunday.”
-Victor Moses; source: Sky
Take each game as it comes, apparently.
Sunday is the FA Cup semifinal against Southampton, the competition with which Victor managed to end last season’s league championship campaign on a very sour note, getting sent off against Arsenal in the final and then watching the Gunners lift the FA Cup trophy instead.
Moses could conceivably not be picked to start against Saints, but with regular left wing-back Alonso already out, we wouldn’t bet on Conte trusting both of his flanks to the two newcomers from the Serie A, Zappacosta and Emerson. More likely one of those two will play left and Moses, as usual, will slot in on the right. Hopefully the fitness and motivation levels will be on point for Chelsea to book a place in the final, with Moses especially ready to set things right.