Willian won the game for Chelsea (scoring his 50th and 51st goals for the club), draped a protective arm around Hudson-Odoi (who may not get his way this month when it comes to Bayern Munich), then talked up both Olivier Giroud (who’s contemplating what the future may hold) and Gonzalo Higuaín (who chose to forgo the pressure of a debut penalty kick in favor of a more organic first score in Chelsea blue).
All-in-all, it was a performance worthy of Willian’s status as one of the most experienced veterans on the team, one of its longest serving members, and one of its pillars, for better or worse, for the past six seasons.
We may no longer have an Old Guard, but we’ve got a few heroes still. Sometimes. And Willian’s ready to do something heroic for the second half of the season, supported by all of his teammates of course, including Olivier Giroud.
“We want to win titles and we have opportunities to do that, we can still win the Premier League as well. In football, you never know what can happen, even the teams who are there can lose one or two games.
”Giroud is a very important player for us — it is difficult for the manager to think about all the players because only 11 players can play. But we have a lot of games and the same 11 players cannot play every game so we do need to change and rest some players.”
Giroud sees the writing on the wall, but just like with the Hudson-Odoi situation, Willian is happy to substitute a happy-er reality. In this version, not only does Hudson-Odoi stay (and play), but both Giroud and Higuaín get on the scoresheet with alarming regularity.
“I wanted to give [Higuaín] the opportunity to score his first goal [with the penalty, but] maybe he wanted to score a beautiful goal instead!
”I think he can do the same as he did at Napoli, Juventus and Madrid — score a lot of goals with his intelligent movement. He is a quality player.”
-Willian; Source: Sky
Next up for Chelsea in the FA Cup will be Manchester United in the fifth round, in a rematch from last year’s final, which Willian celebrated with multiple trophies, one raised over his head, the others draped over Antonio Conte’s picture. At least Big Willi Style seems a bit happier now, so we’ve got that going for us, which is ... nice?