Chelsea won’t be competing for much silverware this season… not with Alvaro Morata leading the line

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YOU dread to think what Diego Costa would have done to this Derby defence.

Chelsea loanee Fiakyo Tomori was nervous enough playing against his parent club that he scored for them with a comedy own goal and centre-back partner Richard Keogh added a second OG inside 21 minutes.

Alvaro Morata missed a hatful of chances for Chelsea against Derby
Alvaro Morata missed a hatful of chances for Chelsea against Derby
Reuters

The occasion was too much for both central defenders but at least they were given a night off by £60million man Alvaro Morata.

Manager Maurizio Sarri, sensing his vulnerability, heaped praise on him in the match-day programme for the Europa League goal he scored – one of an unanswered four – against Burnley.

But his confidence looks shot no matter how much his ego is massaged.

Chelsea had plenty of the ball at Stamford Bridge, back in front of his adoring fans, Rams boss Frank Lampard controlled his side’s pressing and did not let the front three run themselves ragged.

Alvaro Morata wont be leading Chelsea to any silverware any time soon
Alvaro Morata won’t be leading Chelsea to any silverware any time soon
Getty
Davide Zappacosta was more of an attacking torment than Alvaro Morata
Davide Zappacosta was more of an attacking torment than Alvaro Morata
Reuters

That meant Gary Cahill and Andreas Christensen had plenty of time on the ball and the two midfielder ahead of then, Cesc Fabregas and Mateo Kovacic, are masters in threaded forward passes.

But you could count on one hand the amount of times Morata demanded the ball from his team-mates and grabbed the game by the scruff of its neck.

Clearly Morata is not Costa and maybe Chelsea and their board did not want another combustible, agricultural forward, Morata looks like an upgrade in technique and finesse.

Perhaps, like swapping the combative Jose Mourinho for more mild mannered Antonio Conte and now Sarri, Chelsea are a side keen to improve their image as well as their trophy haul.


Chelsea were grateful for a pair of Derby own goals on the night
Chelsea were grateful for a pair of Derby own goals on the night
Reuters

But there is playing the game with composure and race and there is letting your opponents have an easy night.

Elevn league goals last season was not good enough and the three he has so far is unlikely to install belief the the Blues can be a dominant force in the top four and perhaps take the title to the wire with Manchester City and Liverpool.

Even in the 73rd minute when no one needed blood and guts from the former Real Madrid man, just the nous to curve his run to earn a run one-on-one with Scott Carson, he strayed offside and foiled another chance to add to his weak record.

Even a Twitter search of ‘Morata first half’ did not reveal a string of shocking stats or OTT abuse, there just smattering of apathy, of disillusioned Chelsea fans pretending they did not even know if he was in the starting XI.

Cesc Fabregas bagged the winner for Chelsea with Alvaro Morata anonymous
Cesc Fabregas bagged the winner for Chelsea with Alvaro Morata anonymous
PA:Press Association

Minute 78 might have been his nadir. A whipped cross from the right hand side beat the Derby defender and landed flat on his head.

It was the sort of on-a-plate chance a struggling striker dreams of getting him out of a funk.

But predictably it caught Morata off-guard, bounced off his forehead and dribbled out of play.

Thankfully a few moments later an outswinging Willian corner was met with Morata, he connected with a much better effort, his run even showed signs of self-belief, but Carson blocked it.

Just then the PA system announced Fulham Broadway Station was closed for the night. Luckily I think a few Chelsea fans had already called a taxi for Morata.