My God, Hakim Ziyech is sweet at football.
We all knew it, and it comes as a shock to completely nobody. But it has lastly been confirmed: the Moroccan winger is Premier League high quality. And he’s going to have no hassle in demonstrating his spine-tingling skills on the largest phases of all.
Just how good is he, although? To begin with, he’s left-footed. Now, that is nothing notably particular, but everybody is aware of there’s something totally different about the best way a lefty kicks a bag of wind. And as much as my coronary heart sinks at utilizing this painful cliche, my fingers can not stop themselves from typing the phrase ‘wand’.
He has a wand of a left foot. He displayed his wand-iness all through Chelsea’s eventual 4-1 destruction of Sheffield United, who finally couldn’t halt the procession of depraved, cursed crosses that flashed throughout the face of their goal mouth, or curled perilously past their far post.
The inevitable was coming – because that’s precisely what Ziyech is: inevitable. There is one thing very ‘Arjen Robben’ concerning the winger. No matter how apparent his intentions, or how much you scream on the defender to show him extensive, he is not going to bend to your will. He will get what he wants.
But it wasn’t all blood and relentless thunder. There is a delicacy and invention to his game that solely lends to his wizardry. Lofted balls caressed into the trail of hungry strikers, who gobble up their probabilities gleefully, now understanding that the stress is off. After all, even when you miss one, one other alternative is on the horizon with Ziyech within the crew.
And that was the story of the day at Stamford Bridge.
The whole game flowed via the magical toes of their new winger, whose arrival felt much more anticlimactic than that of his fellow summer season signings, given his buy was introduced back in February.
With all of the hype surrounding the likes of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, mixed with a minor injury setback for Ziyech, the Morocco international was the forgotten man of this transfer window bonanza. But forgotten no more.
The 27-year-old grabbed the match by its neck, and stamped his left foot throughout proceedings. He offered a couple of warning shots early on, chopping onto that left peg and whipping harmful balls into the Sheffield United field, but to no avail.
He added some arduous quantitative data to the combination on 23 minutes nevertheless, curling a vicious in-swinging cross within the six-yard field and onto the thigh of Ben Chilwell, who genuinely might do nothing else but score from such a luxurious supply.
Aaron Ramsdale will in all probability really feel he ought to have come and intercepted the ball on its approach to the far stick, but in equity, it was mesmerising in its bend and trajectory. A masterful ball.
The second half was the actual show-stopper, although.
With Chelsea pushing to kill the game, Ziyech took that initiative personally, and went all-in on the blunt Blades. His outrageous supply handed Thiago Silva the prospect to clinch the game on 77 minutes, and as with Chilwell, it was more durable to miss such a gilt-edged present than to score.
Now in party mode, the winger was having some enjoyable. Drifting infield, Ziyech performed the game from central pockets of space, floating great passes across the pitch, taking part in little intricate one-twos with teammates and linking up like a seasoned Blue.
He ought to have had one other assist to his name after lobbing in Werner behind the defence, but the German unusually squandered his massive moment. In the end, it did not matter. Ziyech’s work was achieved, and having created more probabilities in a single game than another player within the Premier League this season, Sheffield United had been left questioning what precisely had hit them.
It was a joyous expression of the game we love, and a demonstration of simply why we tune in to watch it, even with all of the life sucked out in our new covid atmosphere. Ziyech is the rationale. He is the sound of the stadium seats slapping the backboard as 1000’s of fans rise to their toes in expectation. He is the split-second of silence that proceeds the ball crashing into the net. He is every little thing we miss, and every little thing we crave from our game.
As for Chelsea and Frank Lampard, this was presumably their most promising sign to date. They have a man who might replace Eden Hazard’s position as a regular match-winner, and partnered alongside Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic, the Blues have a lethal front three at their disposal.
And that is with out contemplating Havertz.
It’s all coming collectively for Chelsea and Lampard, and on the centre of all of it, is that man Ziyech.