Scoring their share

Willian and Gary Cahill are notching Premier League goals like never before...

For the second time this season Chelsea won an away league game without Eden Hazard in the team and it is proof of Willian’s importance to the squad that in this season of reduced game time for him compared with the two previous (13 league starts so far to 32 in 2015/16 and 28 in 2014/15), his strike yesterday took him to his best seasonal total for goals in the competition. And there are still two months to go. 

Gary Cahill has been an ever-present in league games this season and the defender is a man popping up with his share of goals too. His four in the Premier League this season doubles his previous personal best for the Blues, and six goals in all competitions is two more than before.

This weekend’s at Stoke was Cahill’s first winner of the season and as he tells Chelsea TV in the video below, he knew he was going to net it the moment the ball fell his way. He also explains his delight in doing so having been involved the incident giving Stoke their penalty earlier in the second half. 

GARY CAHILL: A massive three points

Willian, like Cahill, also hit the target in our New Year’s Eve win over the Potters at the Bridge – twice on that occasion – and he also scored against them in the April of his first season at Stamford Bridge, with a lovely shot from just outside of the area.

This Saturday it was a set-piece that took a leaf out of the David Luiz ‘catch ‘em unawares’ book.

"The goalkeeper did not expect this shot and it was a surprise for him and a nice goal. "

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It ensured Antonio Conte’s side continued to add to our total of games in which we have scored the opening goal, which is more times than any other Premier League team this season (22 games) and Cahill ensured 19 of those have been wins (the other three were draws).

In February 2005, on our way to a league title, Chelsea went to Blackburn and won what was another very stern physical test against a side also managed by Mark Hughes. Who could not be reminded of that by the scenes in front of the away end after the whistle at Stoke this Saturday?