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Chelsea month in review: August

Shikharr
CONTRIBUTOR
11 Sep 2012, 17:35 IST

Results 

  1. Chelsea vs Manchester City (Community Shield): 2-3
  2. Wigan vs Chelsea: 0-2
  3. Chelsea vs Reading : 4-2
  4. Chelsea vs Newcastle: 2-0
  5. Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid (UEFA Super Cup): 1-4

List of Goal scorers and Assists

Torres: 3 Goals/1 assist

Ivanovic: 2 Goals

Lampard: 2 Goals/1 assist

Cahill: 2 Goals

Bertrand: 1 Goal

Hazard : 1 Goal/6 assists

Sturridge: 1 Assist

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Ramires: 1 Assist

Cole: 1 Assist

5 Talking points from this month:

Chelsea v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Super Cup

MONACO – AUGUST 31: Eden Hazard of Chelsea in action with Arda Turan of Atletico Madrid during the UEFA Super Cup match between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid at Louis II Stadium on August 31, 2012 in Monaco, Monaco. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

1. One man army 

Stats don’t lie. Eden Hazard has by far been the most influential player for Chelsea this season. Last season there was a lot of pressure on Mata as he was the only player at Chelsea making those runs between the defenders and providing those perfect through balls, but now with Hazard’s arrival the pressure on the Spaniard has reduced.

The season started off with a very embarrassing back heel blunder, which gave the opposition fans something to laugh at. Though this did not stop Hazard from stamping his authority in the Premier League. His 2 assists in the 2-0 win over Wigan was followed by another wonderful display against Reading, where he managed to better his performance with 3 assists. Hazard got his 1st goal in the Premier League against Newcastle after converting a spot kick.

The young Belgian was brought in to make an immediate impact, and he has certainly lived upto his potential. Looking at the stats in WhoScored.com he has been among the leading players in the league, when it comes to key passes per game and dribbles per game. Though these are early days, but if Hazard can continue his wonderful run of form, Chelsea could be in for some real treat.

Chelsea v Newcastle United - Premier League

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 25: Fernando Torres of Chelsea looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on August 25, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

2. Can he handle the pressure?

Once Drogba left Chelsea last season there were talks of whether Torres could fill in this huge gap. The 50m pound striker has not lived upto his expectation and there were rumors that Chelsea were in the market for another striker (Edison Cavani, Jovetic and Falcao the rumored targets).

Fernando kicked off this season with a goal against League champions Manchester City, but the following performance against Wigan and Reading were rather disappointing, though he did manage to find the net against Reading, but the overall display in the two games were far from quality. Torres’s best game of the season and arguably his best performance in a Chelsea shirt came against Newcastle. The Spaniard managed to win a penalty after he was brought down by Anita and then followed it with a wonderful finish past Tim Krul.

With Chelsea not signing a new striker in this window and Daniel Sturridge being the only genuine CF alongside Torres, a  moajority of the goal scoring responsibility fall on Torres. If Nando can find his goal scoring boots, we could be in for some real treat.

Chelsea v Atletico Madrid - UEFA Super Cup

MONACO – AUGUST 31: Victor Moses of Chelsea looks on during the UEFA Super Cup match between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid at Louis II Stadium on August 31, 2012 in Monaco, Monaco. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

3. Victor Moses and Cesar Azpilicueta 

Right before the Newcastle game Chelsea unveiled their 2 new signings Victor Moses (Winger) and Cesar Azpilicueta (Full back ). We all know a bit about Victor Moses so let’s start with the introduction of Cesar Azpilicueta.

Cesar Azpilicueta: Chelsea finally ended their search for a Right Back after completing the signing of Azpilicueta. Mainly seen as a replacement for Jose Bosingwa, Azpilicueta certainly has the potential to challenge Branislav Ivanovic for the #1 RB spot.  He made 41 appearances for Marseille last season, including eight in the Champions League, and scored one goal. Azpilicueta’s strengths include his short passes, his ability to cross the ball not surprising, considering he is Spanish. Coming to the defensive side of the game Azpilicueta is not the strongest player on the pitch, but his tackling ability is one of his key strengths. Azpilicueta’s ability to play in the midfield makes him an amazing squad player.

Victor Moses: This player needs no introduction. The young Nigerian has been one of the most sought after players in the Premier League and his consistent performances for Wigan in the past few season has certainly helped his case. Moses’s amazing ability to run with the ball and dribble past defenders are few of his strengths that make him an excellent winger. His ability to play the #10 role and sometimes as CF (not too sure about that) makes him a very versatile player to have on the pitch.

4. Curious case of Florent Malouda

 Last season Alex and Nico Anelka were asked to train with the U-21s and park their cars in the reserve parking lot. This season it is Florent Malouda’s turn. Things haven’t gone according to plan for the French winger since his heroics in the 09/10 season. With Chelsea signing so many young, talented creative MF’s chances were always going to be hard to come by for Malouda and his failure to leave the club in the summer after rumoured interest from Santos and Lyon meant Malouda was still a Chelsea player for the next 4 months. It is an unhappy chapter in a trophy-laden Chelsea career for Malouda, who since his arrival in 2007, has won the Champions League, the Premier League title and three FA Cups and was the club’s players’ player of the year in 2010. Is sending him to train with the U-21?s the best option?

5. Good Bye Meireles and maybe Essien

 When the English transfer window closed last month, you could sense that Chelsea had done a decent job in the transfer window but the happiness did not last long. Chelsea sold Raul Meireles to Turkish club Fenerbache on the deadline day of the Turkish transfer window. With Chelsea already short in the central-midfield department with Lampard, Mikel, Romeu the only players who can fill in and maybe Ramires, the decision to loan out Essien to Real Madrid and Meireles came as a surprise to many. Meireles was instrumental in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Newcastle a week before and many thought he could be a perfect replacement for Lampard in that role. Is this a good decision or a bad one we will soon find out.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH: EDEN HAZARD

GOAL OF THE MONTH: TORRES VS NEWCASTLE

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