Morata's instant impact

It did not take long for Alvaro Morata to endear himself to his new home crowd.

The Spain striker's performance during his 35 minutes on the pitch epitomised the character and desire the Blues showed after the interval yesterday.

He was instantly involved after his introduction on the hour, trying his luck from range after expertly bringing the ball down. His pace and directness worried the visitors’ backline and he was the victim of a terrible tackle from Burnley’s Ben Mee, met only with a yellow card when it might well have been a different colour.

Nine minutes into his Chelsea league debut he found the net, glancing home Willian’s cross having timed his run perfectly. Alan Shearer, the Premier League’s all-time top scorer, described his movement for the goal as ‘brilliant’, adding it was a ‘fantastic header’. That’s serious praise from a man who certainly knows a thing or two about headed goals. 

The offside flag denied him a second goal soon after, but he had time to make another significant contribution.

A long pass in his direction from his compatriot Cesar Azpilicueta seemed relatively harmless but Morata made something of it, deftly flicking it on first time over Burnley’s centre-backs into the path of one of our own, David Luiz, who thumped his volley past Tom Heaton. It was a mercurial assist and further evidence of Morata’s heading ability as well as his awareness.

‘I think Alvaro has good space to improve, he’s working very well and working very hard to quickly find good fitness and adapt himself to our style of football,’ his manager Antonio Conte said afterwards.

‘For sure he played very well, he scored a goal and played a good game.’

Even if the final result didn’t go our way, Morata’s impact bodes well.