Analysing Pedro's impressive display for Chelsea against Everton
Chelsea have been excellent since the change to a 3-4-3 formation, winning their last five fixtures in the Premier League, a run which has sent them to the top of the table. The change has freed the attackers, while it has also improved the defensive shape considerably. They have scored 16 and kept five clean sheets during this run of great form, highlighting how formidable this Chelsea side has become. Antonio Conte is known for his tactical astuteness and he is now showing that in England after some initial struggles. The Italian has lifted the malaise that surrounded Stamford Bridge last season and the club are now ready to challenge for the Premier League title.
The change in formation has caused Chelsea to be a lot more threatening in attack, especially down the wings, as they have wide forwards and wingers. Pedro has emerged as a regular since the change, keeping Willian out of the side and he delivered his best performance of the season against Everton. He deserves plenty of credit as he had a poor first season in England and it would have been easy for him to disappear to the fringes of the squad. However, he has impressed Conte in training and is now grabbing his opportunity in the first team with both hands.
The Spaniard was arguably Chelsea’s best player after contributing a goal and two assists against Everton. As he has been given a decreased role defensively, he now has the freedom to focus on influencing matches in the final third. He was a constant threat against Everton, attempting four shots during the game. The former Barcelona player scored the final goal of the game to cap off a great team performance. His intelligent movement and attacking instincts allowed him to find space, before slotting home.
Pedro was enthusiastic and always looking to run at the opposition defenders. He completed four of his five attempted dribbles, as he often moved his side up the pitch into dangerous areas. His distribution in the final third was good, as he made three key passes during the course of the match. His first assist came from a burst down the wing, which allowed him to find space before finding Marcos Alonso in the box who finished the move off. Pedro got his second assist later on for Eden Hazard’s second goal, although it was a lot less difficult than his first as the Belgian did superbly to find the back of the net.
Despite his reduced defensive responsibilities, Pedro still worked hard off the ball, often winning the ball back high up the pitch. He managed to win all of his four attempted tackles and it is this tenacity that will please his manager most. Antonio Conte demands that every player works hard for the team and the squad is beginning to buy into his methods. Although the Spaniard contributed to three of the five goals, it was his defensive effort that will have impressed his manager most.
It has been a resurgence for Pedro this season and Chelsea supporters are finally beginning to see the player that they thought they were signing over a year ago. The mood at Stamford Bridge last season didn’t help the Spaniard as he settled into English football and the change in manager came at the perfect time for him. At the age of 29, he will be aiming to experience success in England after a glittering career with Barcelona and Spain. If Chelsea continue to play as well as they did against Everton, there is no reason why they can’t challenge for the title and Pedro will certainly have a major part to play.
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