Alvaro Morata had an eventful evening as Chelsea advanced to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
The Spaniard scored both of the Blues’ goals to end his latest draught, getting his name on the scoresheet for the first time in five appearances across all competitions.
Morata - whose season tally now stands at nine - has recently returned to Maurizio Sarri’s starting line-up following a string of matches in which Eden Hazard was preferred as a false nine.
The 26-year-old led the line from the outset against Crystal Palace and Southampton before yesterday’s tie with Forest, allowing his Belgian colleague to operate in his favoured wide role.
But will his brace against the Championship outfit be enough to extend his run in the team?
Well, Chelsea coach Carlo Cudicini claims that with a confidence boost, Morata could more than double his output before the end of the campaign.
“I think he played an important part of the performance. He worked hard for the team, offensively and defensively,” he told reporters of a player who’s admitted to being low on confidence during his spell in west London, via Goal.
“It was very important for him to score two goals. We were pleased with his performance, but even when he didn’t score. Hopefully he will be more free in his mind.
“I think Gianfranco [Zola] mentioned before the match that it is difficult when you don’t score goals.
“He is working hard in training and we knew that he could turn a corner and score goals.
“He has the possibility to score 20 goals, he is a great striker and I am sure he can do that.
“Sometimes everyone is different. Players can be more affected by the critics they can have.
“It is important he is training hard, the performance on top of the goals was important.”
Interestingly, however, Morata showed barely a flicker of emotion despite netting twice for only the second time this term.
His subdued reaction didn’t go unnoticed among Chelsea fans, although not all of them felt the same way about it.
Given Morata has been the subject of ridicule from both rival supporters and his own for much of the season, it’s perhaps unsurprising to see some feel a degree of sympathy for the striker.
Is the Spaniard’s Chelsea career over or should he continue fighting for his place? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.