Chelsea took to the field against Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday night with much to prove after feeling defeat in their first match of the 2013/14 Champions League at home to FC Basel.
On a night when Eden Hazard was ruled unfit to play due to an injury that was picked up over the weekend, Chelsea needed to show their depth and ability to play as a cohesive unit with changing personnel. Through the likes of Andre Schurrle and Ramires, they accomplished just that. The hard-working duo took over the match early on and showed no signs of slowing down throughout the 90 minutes.
Schurrle beat defenders on the wings with ease, using his pace as a real asset as he was able to beat defenders to the byline and whip balls in for attackers in the box. This was a constant threat in the match that the hosts seemed to have no answer for. His pace was combined with the dynamic play of the rest of the Chelsea midfield, most notably Ramires who never lacks pace or energy.
Ramires' first goal consisted of him making the initial pass of the move and he then went on to cover 70 yards of ground before flicking the ball over the goalkeeper's outstretched hand. The Brazilian is consistently making the deep-lying runs that Chelsea need to give any backline a headache.
While Ramires is usually an obvious selection starter, Schurrle isn't such an obvious choice as he is competing with some of the best young talent in Europe for playing time.
With Hazard out and Kevin de Bruyne not selected for travel, Schurrle made a strong case to be a regular starter for Chelsea on the wing. After his performance last night and the flowing performance put on by the Chelsea midfield as a unit, we should be seeing much more of the German international as a regular player.
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