International games have come and gone, and this weekend the Premier League returned. Chelsea were hoping that Oscar took his fine form into their game against West Ham after two outstanding displays for Brazil with wins against Chile and Honduras.
After their last two Premier League games, Chelsea fans have been left disappointed and a win over a rival London team surely would give them something to be happy about again. And the players, especially Lampard and Oscar, came up with the goods once again, putting in an impressive display to delight their fans and the club.
When Oscar comes to mind, you think of world class dribbling and playmaking ability. Throughout his career at Chelsea, and for Brazil even, all we ever see is impressive performances going forward and orchestrating attacks. At Upton Park this weekend, Oscar put in a man of the match performance, but that wasn’t down to what he contributed going forward alone, it was due to putting in an outstanding defensive display.
We saw another side to Oscar who, for such a neat and tidy player, showed that he can get involved in the hustle and bustle of the Premier League. Compared to previous performances, Oscar racked up an incredible 8 tackles, winning 6 of them, more than any other player on the pitch. He contributed to more than a third of all tackles for Chelsea.
With Oscar winning a tackle every 14 minutes, and a ground duel being successful every 8 minutes, this was vital to the win as Chelsea defended high up the pitch. The likes of John Terry and Gary Cahill had very little to do due to Oscar working so hard, and will be hoping he can do this every match. Oscar also won half of his 4 aerial duels, which, along with his tackling and ground duels, was the best he’s managed this season.
Considering Oscar put in such a defensive shift he was still able to produce attacking efforts, creating 3 chances and taking 3 shots. As well as winning the penalty which Lampard slotted away to put Chelsea one goal up, he also scored a fine goal in which he broke to the edge of the penalty box before shooting into the bottom corner of the West Ham goal to double Chelsea’s lead. Oscar was given a standing ovation as he left the field of play in the 83rd minute to make way for Andre Schurrle.
One of Chelsea’s star performers, week in, week out, Oscar is undoubtedly one of the most gifted players in the Premier League. This weekend it was good to see how he has a variety of qualities in his locker, leaving his mark on the London clash. The young Brazilian was pivotal in the result, getting stuck in and defending from the front, as well as providing chances and putting goals away himself, which was much well deserved.
The stats from this game are an indicator to why Jose Mourinho prefers to play Oscar over Juan Mata. The work rate and productivity from Oscar is impressive and he will only improve which will serve Chelsea well as they bid to regain the Premier League title in what’s turning out to be one of the most open league season’s for a long, long time.
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