Inside Blue Tue 30 Jan 2018
Marcos Alonso demonstrated the fallacy of giving away a free-kick against Chelsea on the edge of the box with another well-executed strike to seal our 3-0 victory over Newcastle in the FA Cup last weekend.
After hitting the crossbar last season with his efforts against Crystal Palace and Stoke City, the Spanish wing-back has since zeroed in on the target with his trusty left foot. He found the net against Bournemouth, Tottenham and Southampton, before his sensational goal against the Magpies, which left goalkeeper Karl Darlow clutching at air, as it curled past his outstretched palms into the top corner.
However, as good as a goal as it was, Alonso still has plenty of competition when it comes to selecting Chelsea’s best free-kicks of the past decade.
Liverpool, Champions League, April 2009
Our epic 4-4 Champions League quarter-final draw with Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in 2009 was lit up by a powerful free-kick by Alex that packed such venom that it nearly tore the net out of its moorings. As the Brazilian struck with his right foot from 25 yards, Ricardo Carvalho, standing on the end of the Liverpool wall, wisely dropped to the ground as the ball came in head-high in his direction, before it swerved viciously past a leaping Pepe Reina to make it 2-2 on the night and 5-3 on aggregate for the Blues
Portsmouth, FA Cup, May 2010
There were plenty of great free-kicks amongst Didier Drogba’s 164 goals for Chelsea but none more important than the one against Portsmouth in the 2010 FA Cup final which sealed our first-ever Double. The Blues hit the woodwork five times and missed a penalty at Wembley but we got the goal we deserved after 59 minutes when Drogba’s side-footed effort from 25 yards dipped over the Pompey wall and found the narrowest of gaps between goalkeeper David James and his far post.
Tottenham Hostpur, FA Cup, April 2012
While there was little doubt about Frank Lampard’s ability to strike a free-kick from range, few would have expected what was to happen when he lined up the ball 30 yards from goal in our FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham in 2012. Ramires had just made it 3-1 to the Blues and any hopes of a Spurs comeback were ended when Super Frank smashed his right-footed effort over the wall and past the outstretched glove of his former team-mate Carlo Cudicini into the far bottom corner of the net.
Stoke City, FA Cup, January 2014
A free-kick to the right of the opposition box would normally call for a left-footer like Marcos Alonso to give it a go, but Oscar showed what a right-footer could do from that position in our FA Cup fourth-round tie against Stoke City at Stamford Bridge in 2013/14. Future Blues ‘keeper, Asmir Begovic, looked to have his far post covered but the Brazilian found just enough of a gap to smack a fine curling effort over the wall and into the top left corner of the Stoke net for the only goal of the game.
Southampton, Premier League, October 2015
Willian’s ability with the dead ball saw the Brazilian score six of his 11 goals during the 2015/16 season directly from free-kicks, with the pick of the bunch coming in our Premier League match against Southampton. With the Saints anticipating a cross from far out on the left flank, Willian went directly for the far post instead with a perfectly-weighted effort that flew past the tall frame of goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg and found the net via the angle of crossbar and post.
Liverpool, Premier League, January 2017
David Luiz’s first goal in his second spell with the Blues owed much to the element of surprise as he caught out the Liverpool defence and goalkeeper Simon Mignolet with a quickly-taken free-kick at Anfield. Mignolet was still lining up his wall when the Brazilian called on Willian to move out of his path and blasted a 30-yard effort which flew past the stunned Reds players and struck the inside of the near post on its way into the net. Such was the precision of the shot that Mignolet may not have been able to stop it even if he had been ready.