For the fourth September in a row, a Chelsea player has scored a hat-trick.
Kai Havertz joins Michy Batshuayi, Álvaro Morata (both 2017), Eden Hazard (2018), and Tammy Abraham (2019) in achieving that feat in a September game. In fact, of the last nine hat-tricks scored by the club, five have come in September (and only one in the League Cup, so that’s not the reason). Not sure what’s in the air, but whatever it is, it’s working.
Jan 2016 — Oscar: 3 vs. MK Dons (a) 5-1 — FA Cup
Sep 2017 — Batshuayi: 3 vs. Nottingham Forest (h) 5-1 — League Cup
Sep 2017 — Morata: 3 vs. Stoke City (a) 4-0 — Premier League
Sep 2018 — Hazard: 3 vs. Cardiff City (h) 4-1 — Premier League
Oct 2018 — Loftus-Cheek: 3 vs. BATE (h) 3-1 — Europa League
Mar 2019 — Giroud: 3 vs. Dynamo Kiev (a) 5-0 — Europa League
Sep 2019 — Abraham: 3 vs. Wolves (a) 5-2 — Premier League
Oct 2019 — Pulisic: 3 vs. Burnley (a) 4-2 — Premier League
Sep 2020 — Havertz: 3 vs. Barnsley (h) 6-0 — League Cup
Statistical oddities aside, Havertz’s three-goal outburst, his first in senior professional football, came at a perfect time, just as the overreactions began in earnest to his adequate though hardly extraordinary first two games in a Blue shirt.
Granted, Barnsley aren’t exactly top class opposition, and left plenty of room to operate for Chelsea in the final third, but the Blues also ruthlessly punished any mistake at the back, with Havertz often the ring-leader of the pressing operation.
Head coach Frank Lampard happily pointed out Havertz’s contributions off the ball in the post-match press conference. We can all see the hat-trick, the 151st in club history from the 80th different player, but it’s the overall work that made the 21-year-old’s night truly outstanding.
“I am delighted with Kai with everything I wanted the night to be with him. I said it in the last two games that Kai has had no pre-season and in signing for the club, I think it took a few days out as well. We had to play him because we have had a few injuries and tonight was as great exercise and another game for him to see how we work off the ball, to be part of that.
“He makes the recovery tackle for Ross’s goal, but then to also just have some freedom on the ball in central areas roaming behind Tammy. The combinations he had with Tammy, the way he grew into the game and had confidence and the three goals. It was a great night for Kai and the first of many for him.”
-Frank Lampard, Source: Football.London
Kai Havertz's game by numbers vs. Barnsley:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 23, 2020
◎ 100% shot accuracy
◎ 88% pass accuracy
◉ 5 tackles made (most)
◎ 4 take-ons completed
◉ 4 shots (most)
◉ 3 goals (most, of course)
◎ 2 chances created
The first match ball of his senior career. pic.twitter.com/NXjXi0F4Qr
We’re still just getting to know the kid of course, including in his mannerisms and attitudes, which made his relative lack of emotional reaction(s) to scoring noteworthy. Granted, celebrating like a maniac isn’t cool either, and his post-match interview with Sky Sports, Havertz made it clear that he was indeed quite happy — obviously.
“I’m very happy to score three goals but of course it’s my beginning here at the club and I want to score more goals, more goals. This is my goal and I’ll try to do my best and I’m very happy to score three goals today and I hope to continue like that.”
Lampard touched on this as well, but Havertz’s burgeoning relationship with Tammy Abraham was great to see and see develop right in front of our eyes. Kai’s first goal was aided by a brilliant dummy from Tammy, sure to make the end of season highlights. Kai’s second goal was directly assisted by Tammy, picking out the vintage late run into the box that would make Lampard proud.
“I think he’s a very very good striker and I think our partnership on the pitch was very good. It was our first game together but I like him very much as a striker. For me as a No.10, it’s very good to play with him.”
-Kai Havertz, Source: Sky Sports
With three matches into the new season, Havertz has already produced a performance sure to quell the vocal minority questioning Havertz’s impact. Sky is the limit with the young German in the squad! Just think how good he and the team will be once the whole squad is healthy!