Diego Costa Is Having A Reverse Season
In his first campaign in English football, Diego Costa flew out of the blocks and quickly became recognised as a forward who was tailor-made for the Premier League, but then as the season carried on and Chelsea strolled towards the title his performance levels dropped.
This season we could be experiencing a reverse.
Costa returned for pre-season underprepared and, by his own admission, overweight, but now he looks back to his best and able to cause every defence he plays against multiple problems.
Despite the mask, he quickly scored his eighth goal in his last 10 appearances, but arguably it was his assist for Willian to put his side 3-0 up which was even more impressive.
His return to form has come too late for his club to make any sort of impact in the Premier League, but it might just be perfectly timed for the Champions League.
Chelsea Are Ready For Paris Saint-Germain
Of course there will now be a worry over the injured John Terry, especially with Kurt Zouma also out, but regardless of that Chelsea look to be in perfect shape for their meeting with Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday.
The Parisians – miles ahead in their league – drew 0-0 at home to Lille on Saturday, a far contrast to this coast from a Chelsea outfit who almost seem to have been conserving energy for the Champions League all along.
Now free of the choking influence of Jose Mourinho the Blues look brighter and better, with the form of the excellent Pedro surely emphasising that, and the two sides will perhaps be better matched than many realised on Tuesday.
Eden Hazard Is Still Largely Anonymous
Despite the free-flowing nature of Chelsea’s start and the sheer awfulness of their opponents, it was still difficult to pick out anything that Eden Hazard did, bar his late miss.
The Belgian – who was admittedly hampered by a firm first-half challenge from Daryl Janmaat – was again anonymous as goalscorers Costa, Pedro and Willian played around him, with camp set up on the fringes of the match from the very first minute.
Unlike at the start of the season, there are at least other players pitching in and carrying him through matches at the moment, but right now he looks to be a man with his mind elsewhere.
Newcastle’s Start Was Worrying
Like him or loathe him, Steve McClaren is an experienced manager who has been around the block a bit, and so he would have known what qualities his side needed to show in the opening few minutes of the game at Stamford Bridge.
The fact that they showed absolutely none of them will worry the Magpies manager, who saw his men fail to compete for the 50/50 balls – the clichéd minimum that you can expect from your team – as they were completely overrun by opponents who wouldn’t have faced many easier tasks all season.
As they dropped into the relegation zone, this was a genuinely worrying performance.
Steven Taylor Should Be Nowhere Near The Premier League
This was only Steven Taylor’s fourth appearance of the season due to defensive injuries in the Newcastle squad, and quite frankly he was awful.
The club stalwart perhaps likes to see himself as Newcastle’s version of John Terry given his fierce devotion to the cause, and you have to wonder whether it is only the fact that he is a Geordie which has kept him in the squad.
He had a nightmare here, and looks out of his depth in this company.
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