The rules were simple: 5 bloggers, 4 rounds, Courtois snake draft. Peezy picked first, followed by yours truly, then Graham, André, and Rohaan. 20 goals in total.
All goals eligible except Didier Drogba’s equalizer in the 2012 Champions League final. Too obvious.
In reverse order, these are our favorite, greatest, bestest (however each of us interpreted the rules) Chelsea goals. You will probably disagree, but you’re probably wrong.
André Schürrle vs. Burnley, 2014
Football is the beautiful game.
We need to remind ourselves of this, as we navigate a world deprived of football (mostly). Back in the days of yore, we would over-analyze and critique 90 minutes into minutiae. Perhaps too caught up in the emotion, we forget that the game is rather simple. According to Gary Lineker: “Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.”
World Cup-winner André Schürrle, who gave the assist for Germany’s winning goal in the final just a month prior, would deliver the winning goal that broke the 1-1 deadlock in the very first match of the 2014-15 season. It was a goal worthy of all the accolades, including BBC’s Match of the Day goal of the month for August and an in-depth breakdown of the intricate buildup to goal from our very own Graham MacAree.
The match against Burnley in mid-August 2014 marked the debuts for Cesc Fàbregas and Diego Costa from Barcelona and Atlético Madrid, respectively. It was also the first match of what would be the only title-winning season during Mourinho’s second stint at the helm.
Both Fàbregas and Costa represented the level of quality previously lacking to push Chelsea to the very top. Mourinho had previously likened his team to little horses that “need milk and need to learn how to jump” as Chelsea finished third in the previous season. Fàbregas, in particular, put on a spectacular display providing two assists in the first game, including this very goal we are celebrating.
I love a quality team goal. A team goal embodies everything that makes this game so special. Players individually move with and without the ball throughout the game, ideally all working towards the common goal of putting that round object in the opponent’s net.
At the speed with which the game is played in the Premier League, sometimes verbal communication is not enough. That leaves non-verbal cues as the only way to stay in sync with one another.
For me, the beauty of the team goal is how the ball can ping between teammates as both ball and players move with an almost telepathic grace. Schürrle’s goal had just about everything that defined the good of Chelsea during Mourinho 2.0:
- A mazy run by Eden Hazard through the heart of the oppositions midfield, which caused multiple opposing players to collapse and lose their defensive shape
- A Branislav Ivanović cross that actually made it beyond the first defender and to the intended recipient
- A brilliant pass by Fàbregas wherein he changes his mind from hitting Ivanović’s cross to chipping a ridiculously precise ball into the path of Schürrle
- A fantastic bit of movement by Schürrle and an unerring finish (ed.note: his 10th goal for the club though unfortunately he’d be on his way out of the club six months later)
At its essence, football is simple. Just score more goals than your opponent. The beauty is in the movement, the pass, and the goal.
It also helps to have a player like Schürrle making runs that noticed by special players like Fàbregas.
It’s all about the run. Make a good run, I’ll find you. If you don’t, no goal. https://t.co/ttt7DugYOh— Cesc Fàbregas Soler (@cesc4official) January 7, 2020
WAGNH’s Best and Most Beautifulest Chelsea Goals Draft 2020:
No.19: André Schürrle vs. Burnley, 2014
No.20: Alex vs. Liverpool, 2009