On Sunday, Hakim Ziyech somehow managed to miss an empty net against Arsenal. Three days later, his aim was much more true, as he put Tottenham Hotspur to the sword twice, staking Chelsea to a two-goal lead.
If that sounds like a fun time, Ziyech’s here to tell you that it indeed was quite enjoyable.
“The second goal was a good combination and ended up in the net, and the first one I think they lost it and Timo made a good run and made space for me to shoot, so they were two good goals.
“It was a nice evening, from the beginning I enjoyed it, and I showed also in the performance that I was enjoying it.”
Ziyech’s first was the type of goal that we would like to see even more often from him, picking out a corner of the net from just outside the box. The second was another left-footed strike, and reward for some well-timed movement in the penalty area.
Unfortunately, Chelsea’s levels dropped in the second half. N’Golo Kanté’s half-time substitution was especially impactful. While no one would expect Tiémoué Bakayoko to provide the same sort of midfield security, the drop in quality of play (on and off the ball) was precipitous.
“With everything in the first half what we did was good. That is something we can look up for and try to get the same level during the whole 90 minutes, I think that was our biggest problem.
“When you have NG behind you, you know always he’s clearing everything that’s behind you and he’s covering all the problems that we have at the back so if he doesn’t play you’re straight feeling it.”
-Hakim Ziyech; source: Chelsea FC
Given that it was only preseason, we should not worry too much about the result, as much as we should want to beat Spurs any time and every time. The bigger worry here is our lack of cover for Kanté, this season but also in the long run — especially in the long run. We can’t expect Kanté to go on forever and a true heir must be found sooner rather than later.