Hakim Ziyech’s creativity was on display as Chelsea breezed past Sheffield United to earn their fourth win of the campaign. Although the Blues conceded an early goal, they exerted complete control on the game to score four goals past Sheffield United who remain at the bottom of the table.
Frank Lampard made one change to the side that defeated Rennes by replacing Jorginho with Mateo Kovacic. Chris Wilder made three changes to the team with Oliver Norwood, John Lundstram and David McGoldrick replacing Oli McBurnie, Ben Osborn and Ethan Ampadu.
The visitors were on the attack in the first minute as Chelsea’s defence were put under pressure by Sheffield United players, and required a vital interception by Kovacic to clear the danger. Ramsdale was called into action with Chelsea’s first attack of the game as Reece James’s low cross was met by Chilwell at the back post, whose fierce shot was saved at the near post by the goalkeeper. The Blades took the lead in the 9th minute after Chelsea switched off from a Sheffield United short corner, allowing Berge to fire a low shot across the box which was flicked by McGoldrick into the net with Mendy wrong footed. Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham had a couple of tame shots on target as Chelsea started to dominate possession.
Chelsea equalised in the 23rd minute through Tammy Abraham after Kovacic’s pull back found the striker in acres of space, whose mistimed shot hit the ground and nestled into the left hand corner. The Blues started to push men forward as Sheffield United found it difficult to step out of their half. Chelsea almost scored their second when Ziyech’s cross from a set piece eluded everyone and had the goalkeeper parry it to the feet of Werner, whose fierce shot hit the underside of the bar. The Blues took the lead in the 34th minute after Ziyech’s cross at the back post hit Chilwell and went it, with the goalkeeper at fault of coming out and missing the ball completely. Egan was booked for a cynical tug on Werner as Chelsea started to dominate the game. Ramsdale had to be alert to push away Chilwell’s shot from the six yard box following a set piece. At the other end, Mendy was called into action in the stoppage time to claim Lundstram’s shot at the near post, as the Blues held on to their lead at the break.
Chelsea continued their dominance in the opening minutes as Basham’s last ditch tackle saved Sheffield United from being three goals down. Ziyech started dictating the play as the Blades found it very difficult to stay in the game. Chris Wilder made a double change by bringing on McBurnie and Osborn in place of Brewster and Norwood, as the Blades tried to find the equaliser.
Chelsea scored their third goal through Thiago Silva, who met Ziyech’s cross from a set piece to nod home his first goal for the club. Timo Werner missed a glorious chance to score Chelsea’s fourth after Ziyech’s impeccable first time pass found him one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but the German international’s chip went inches wide of the right hand post. Werner didn’t miss the next opportunity after Lowe’s clearance fell to him as he ran through on goal and lashed home to score Chelsea’s fourth and his eighth in all competitions. Sheffield United looked down and tired as Mason Mount drew a save from Ramsdale in the final minutes of the game.
Hakim Ziyech, who was the man of the match said “We played a good game. We started a little sloppy but after 0-1 we controlled the game. We did well and created a lot of chances. I feel comfortable here with the team and the squad and I’m really happy.“
Frank Lampard admitted his team are progressing well and said “Sheffield United are a really strong team. They’re very good at taking momentum in games, but once the goal goes in, our reaction was important, and the team was spot on. It’s a work in progress but I saw a lot of it today, great signs, but we need to keep it going. For Ziyech to hit the ground running is a great sign. We have competition and now we’re seeing some of the work and it was encouraging to see those signs. The season is long and I will keep my feet on the ground as every game is challenging.“
Chris Wilder said his team conceded poor goals and added “Poor goals from our point of view. The second goal and fourth are avoidable. We gave away poor goals to world class players and world-class players will punish you. There was an obvious block for the third goal and with the level of scrutiny these days you’d think somebody would have seen that. The second is a mistake by Aaron, it’s a scruffy goal. The quick succession of three and four was disappointing. We talked about gambling late on, I keep talking about staying in the game, it’s 2-1 and we had a bit of the ball but it was disappointing and the game quickly went away from us. We have to get on with it. Our fate will not be decided by Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, it’ll be decided in the lead-up to Christmas, the ten games. You have to quickly clear your head. We have to work our way through it, and we’re sure we will.“