The focus turns to two of our left-backs in our series reviewing Chelsea players’ 2020/21 campaigns, including Euro 2020 finalist Emerson…
It was a season of two halves for Marcos Alonso, who fell out of favour under Frank Lampard but then, following Thomas Tuchel’s arrival, established himself as a crucial option at left wing-back. By the end of the campaign he had added Champions League glory to the Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League successes already achieved during his five years at the Bridge.
Alonso started our first two games of the season, against Brighton and Liverpool, but was one of many below par in the third at West Brom and was taken off at half-time with the Blues 3-0 down.
It proved his final involvement until Tuchel’s second game in charge. The new boss’s preference for a 3-4-3 shape suited Alonso, who had thrived in a left wing-back role under Antonio Conte. He started against Burnley and capped an impressive performance with a superb goal to seal a 2-0 victory. After controlling a chipped Christian Pulisic pass on his chest and then thigh, he crashed a volley high into the net.
Alonso would feature in over half of our remaining league fixtures, as well as starting the FA Cup final and playing every minute of our impressive Champions League round of 16 victory over Atletico Madrid.
His major individual contribution at the back end of the season was pivotal in us reaching the top four. Just seconds remained when he forced home Timo Werner’s centre away to Manchester City, securing a 2-1 victory and providing further evidence of his happy knack of scoring at big moments against big teams.
The cup competitions offered Emerson most of his playing opportunities in 2020/21, and also his undoubted individual season highlight.
The Italian international had only just come on the pitch in the dying stages of our Champions League last-16 home leg against Atletico Madrid when he burst onto Christian Pulisic’s pass as we broke and fired a precise shot into the far corner with his first touch. It sparked legendary scenes between Thiago Silva, Jorginho and Mason Mount watching on in the East Stand.
Restricted to two Premier League appearances, Emerson played in every round of the FA Cup before the final, and also featured in both Carabao Cup games.
In our victorious Champions League campaign he made six appearances, including that brief but brilliant cameo against Atleti. Despite his limited playing time, Emerson remained a regular in the Italy set-up, and he has the chance to become a European champion with Italy as well as Chelsea on Sunday.
Marcos Alonso 2020/21 Chelsea stats
Unused sub: 20
Minutes played: 1,336
Marcos Alonso Premier League appearances 2020/21
Marcos Alonso made 13 appearances in the Premier League this season, two of them as starts.
Marcos Alonso Champions League appearances 2020/21
Marcos Alonso played twice in the Champions League this season, both starts.
Marcos Alonso FA Cup appearances 2020/21
Marcos Alonso also played two games in the FA Cup this season, again from the start.
Marcos Alonso Carabao Cup appearances 2020/21
Marcos Alonso did not feature in the Carabao Cup this season.
Marcos Alonso goals 2020/21
Marcos Alonso scored two goals this season, at home to Burnley and away to Manchester City in the league.
Emerson 2020/21 Chelsea stats
Unused sub: 27
Minutes played: 849
Emerson Premier League appearances 2020/21
Emerson made two appearances in the Premier League this season, both of them coming off the bench.
Emerson Champions League appearances 2020/21
Emerson played six games in the Champions League this season, two of them starts.
Emerson FA Cup appearances 2020/21
Emerson played five of Chelsea's six games in the FA Cup this season, four from the start.
Emerson Carabao Cup appearances 2020/21
Emerson made one start and one sub appearance in the Carabao Cup this season.
Emerson goals 2020/21
Emerson's one goal this season was the one at home to Atletico Madrid