Inside Blue Wed 27 Dec 2017
Chelsea’s Spanish contingent have been in fine form this season and they played crucial roles once again as the Blues recorded a sixth consecutive Premier League victory at Stamford Bridge with a 2-0 win over Brighton on Boxing Day.
Those two strikes mean that 20 of our 34 league goals this season have been netted by our Spanish quintet, which also includes Pedro, who was an unused substitute against Brighton. They have also chipped in with 17 league assists as well as making important contributions to our progress in the Champions League and Carabao Cup.
Chelsea’s record signing proved his worth as he bagged his 10th Premier League goal of the season against Brighton, rising above the visitors’ defence to head in Azpilicueta’s inviting cross less than a minute into the second half. The 25-year-old former Real Madrid striker has settled well into life in west London since his summer switch from the Bernabeu to the Bridge, netting 12 goals in all competitions for the Blues as well as providing four assists, including the set-up for Eden Hazard’s winner at Bournemouth in October.
Beloved by Chelsea fans for his dependability at the back, Azpilicueta has added another dimension to his game since the arrival of Morata with our opening goal on Boxing Day marking the sixth time he had set up his fellow countryman this season. The vice-captain is now our leading assist man in the league with six, a total bettered only by the Manchester City trio of Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane and David Silva. He also bagged two goals including our decisive third in the 4-2 win over Watford.
After being utilised mainly as an impact substitute by Antonio Conte last season, Fabregas has been much more involved in this campaign, starting 22 matches and appearing in all but two of our games. The man with the magic hat has got goals against Everton and Qarabag and continues to be a key provider for the Blues with his four Premier League assists raising his all-time tally to 111. He also provided assists in all three of our Carabao Cup games to help us reach the semi-finals for the first time since 2014/15.
While he hasn’t started as regularly for the Blues as he did in our title-winning campaign last season, Pedro remains an important contributor to the Chelsea cause with his tireless running and shooting ability with both feet. The diminutive winger has netted four fine finishes for the Blues this season against Qarabag, Stoke, Watford and Huddersfield, as well as chipping in with four assists including the cross for Hazard to equalise in our 3-3 draw against Roma at the Bridge.
After scoring twice in our 2-1 win at Tottenham Hotspur in August and converting a brilliant free-kick in our 1-0 victory over Southampton earlier this month, Alonso continued his fine scoring form by deftly glancing in Fabregas’ corner to seal victory against Brighton. It was an early birthday gift for the left wing-back, who turns 27 on 28 December, and is the top-scoring defender in the Premier League this season with five goals. He has 10 goals in total in 2017 and also set up Michy Batshuayi’s winner in our memorable 2-1 victory at Atletico Madrid in September.