Chelsea 1-0 MOL Vidi: 5 Talking Points
Chelsea labored to an unimpressive 1-0 victory over minnows MOL Vidi at the Stamford Bridge in the Europa League, though it pulled them to the top of group L with 6 points. Beleaguered striker Alvaro Morata broke his duck to score on the night and prove to be the difference-maker for his team.
The Blues were touted to run riot against the Hungarian outfit, who are making only their second ever appearance in the competition. But it was anything but, as manager Mauricio Sarri had also rested a host of first-teamers for the nickel-and-dime affair.
Videoton held its own in the first-half by crowding the area and keeping their mighty rivals at arm's length, but their resistance was finally broken in the 70th minute when Morata delicately chipped over the goalkeeper to break the deadlock.
Chelsea took another step towards the round of 16, but the fans certainly wouldn't have been convinced with the scoreline. All the major talking points:
#1 Run amok, Alvaro Morata gets a goal!
The sheer respite on his face after scoring said it all. He even shed a tear after that, but Alvaro Morata was a man with a breather. Finally. With a grand total of zero goals in the last 16 games, he was walking on eggshells with his future increasingly coming under scrutiny. But a goal today would do a world of good for the hard-pressed player.
Things were not supposedly breaking for him even today, when he blasted a shot in the side post after going one-on-one with Tomas Tujvel early in the first-half. He then missed two more half-chances, but his persistence finally paid off when he was able to latch on to Willian's back-header pass with a fine finish from close range. Technically its a tap-in, but any goal scored by Morata today would make headlines. Such has been the plunge in his career this year: Only 5 goals in 32 appearances in 2018.
And for him, the frosting on the cake was that it also turned out to be the winner as Chelsea couldn't find another one in the final 20 minutes. So that's double the reward. Stop crying now, Alvaro. You deserved it.