Analysis

Ziyech pinpoints the secret behind his assists and reflects on a super start

In the aftermath of our victory over Sheffield United, Hakim Ziyech reflected on the three points and his role in three of the goals...

After claiming another two assists in our 4-1 victory over Sheffield United on Saturday evening, Ziyech offered an insight into the growing understanding he is nurturing with his new team-mates and claimed feeling comfortable within the group was the reason behind his impressive start to life as a Chelsea player.

The Moroccan’s left foot was the toast of west London after he delivered two teasing deliveries for Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva to net against the Blades, taking our tally of league goals from defenders to seven. Another raking pass forward almost saw Timo Werner add a fourth before the German did eventually net moments later.

After the game, Ziyech admitted the hosts were punished for a below-par start but, like his manager, he was pleased with the team’s response and felt the margin of victory could have been even greater.

‘We played a good game,’ he noted. ‘The first 10 minutes were a little difficult because we started a bit sloppy but after 1-0 we controlled the game. 

‘We could have scored more goals but we played well again.’

For the game’s opening goal, scored by David McGoldrick, who also found the back of the net twice against us at Bramall Lane last season, it was a short corner routine that proved our undoing.

Ziyech and N’Golo Kante went racing out to deal with the danger but were deceived, resulting in McGoldrick turning in Sander Berge’s strike from right in front of Edouard Mendy.

‘They had a few corner kicks early on and you think always they’re going to put it in the box but this time they took it short,’ Ziyech said of the goal. ‘That made it 1-0 but after that we did well, created a lot of chances and scored a lot of goals.’

No player on the pitch created more chances, put in more crosses or claimed as many assists as the Wizard, who revealed the secret behind his growing relationship with team-mates on the pitch.

‘I always look at them before I play the ball,’ he said. ‘Usually eye contact is enough and you could see it worked well two times.

‘You know they like it when we play the ball to feel so I saw [Mateo] Kovacic running into space and sometimes you have to give those balls because they don’t know what to do with them,’ continued the 27-year-old on our equalising goal, which saw him play a ball over the top for Kovacic, whose cross was fired in by Tammy Abraham.

‘It was the first time I tried it and we scored straightaway. I’m not afraid to give a pass. I feel comfortable here in the squad with all my team-mates. I’m really happy and I think that’s why I’ve started so well.’

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