Marcos Alonso has called on his Chelsea team-mates to use the first win under Thomas Tuchel’s charge as a springboard to propel themselves up the Premier League table.
The 30-year-old was one of two Spanish defenders to find the back of the net in our Sunday lunchtime victory over Burnley, his sensational effort late on securing the points following Cesar Azpilicueta’s first-half opener.
Alonso was back in the side for the first time since mid-September, operating at left wing-back in a 3-4-3 system, a role he has previously excelled in for the Blues, most notably in our 2016/17 title-winning campaign.
His goal was majestically taken as control on the chest and then the knee was followed by a thumping volley into the far corner. Afterwards, he admitted that the team’s shape helped him get into those advanced positions in the box from where he could cause problems to the Clarets.
‘I have more freedom to attack because we are better covered for defending but it’s not about the system,’ Alonso explained. ‘When we play more organised, all together, knowing what to do and where to be on the pitch then this team has great potential to achieve big things.
‘We have a long way until the end of the season to show that and prove we deserve a better position in the table than where we are now but we have to fight for it.’
On the goal itself, Alonso wasn’t sure if it was outright the best of his career but he undoubtedly enjoyed it regardless.
‘I haven’t even watched it on TV yet,’ he said. ‘It was good to help the team with a goal but I’m just delighted for the three points and very happy for the team. We need to get back to the top, or as close to the top as possible, and today was a good start.’
After completing his first 90 minutes since our opening home game of the season 19 weeks previously, the defender could be forgiven for feeling a bit leggy in the final exchanges but showed no signs of flagging fitness levels as he fired in our second of the afternoon.
His place in the team instead of Ben Chilwell was explained by Tuchel as a decision made to combat Burnley’s physical and aerial threats, while his overall performance was the perfect response to answer anybody doubting his ability to contribute.
‘We knew it would be dangerous against this team with the long balls and set-pieces so I was there to help,’ he added. ‘It’s been a while since I played but I’ve been working hard and I’m just happy that I was ready for today.
‘A lot of things have been said out there but I like to work, be quiet and talk on the pitch so that was for the fans. It’s good to get the reward and hopefully there will be more to come.’