3️⃣ points as Valencia and Chelsea share spoils in breathless affair


Padraig Whelan

Article image: 3️⃣ points as Valencia and Chelsea share spoils in breathless affair

How Valencia’s clash with Chelsea only ended 2-2 at the Mestalla on Wednesday evening, we will never know.

But a point apiece it was and it leave qualification very much still up for grabs.

Here is what we made of it …

Chelsea can hurt you from anywhere

When Mateo Kovačić finds the back of the net, you know things are going well.

It was his first goal for the Londoners and his first for anyone since January 2017 when he drilled a low strike beyond Jasper Cillessen to level.

But it was also notable for being a goal from a 17th separate Chelsea player this season: evidence of what Frank Lampard is doing at the Bridge.

They are a scoring threat from anywhere, as his Derby County side were last season.

But while the Rams managed 16 different scorers in all competitions, Chelsea have already eclipsed that – and it is still only November.

This Blues outfit are a massive threat in so many areas, with a neat passing move leading to the Croatian’s goal, while it was set-piece prowess that provided Christian Pulisic’s strike.

With so many players capable of producing that scoring touch, this Chelsea side are one of Europe’s most exciting to watch right now.

Tammy worry

Tammy Abraham’s first half injury looks quite a serious one.

While it may not ultimately be too bad for the team given the point highlighted above, it is concerning for the player individually.

He appeared to be in agony while clutching his chest and was reduced to tears before ultimately being helped from the sideline in a stretcher.

Although there has been no word from the club on the severity of the injury, if Abraham’s reaction is anything to go by, it could be a bad one.

He is not only the club’s top scorer this season but only Jamie Vardy has more Premier League goals than him.

Michy Batshuayi, and even Olivier Giroud, are more than capable back-ups, although things had been clicking nicely of late with Abraham spearheading the attack.

It is a worry but even a lengthy lay-off may not be fatal for Lampard’s men.

Wasteful Valencia

Maxi Gómez and Dani Parejo are two of Valencia’s most reliable performers.

But if you aren’t a regular viewer of the Spanish side and only tuned in for this one, you’d be forgiven for having a rather different opinion.

‘Taxi for Maxi’ cries must surely have been ringing around the Mestalla due to the Uruguayan’s first half showing.

He registered a miss of the season contender in completely missing the ball with the goal gaping, before firing at Kepa when he looked set to score.

Those misses didn’t prove too fatal though and it could have been even better if their captain had led more by example.

Parejo’s poor second half penalty took his tally in European competition to five taken and just one scored.

This one may prove the costliest miss of the lot.

But given all that duo have done for Los Che in a turbulent season so far, we can’t be too harsh on them.

Oh, and that was without even mentioning Rodrigo and his two horror show misses!