Mid-0field headache: Conte may find temporary relief in Drinkwater, Ampadu provide short-term relief for Antonio Conte's midfield headache

Mid-0field headache: Conte may find temporary relief in Drinkwater, Ampadu provide short-term relief for Antonio Conte’s midfield headache

Mid-0field headache: Conte may find temporary relief in Drinkwater, Ampadu provide short-term relief for Antonio Conte’s midfield headache

Chelsea have reached the Carabao Cup quarter-final after securing a 2-1 victory over Everton, but more importantly for Antonio Conte will be the sight of Danny Drinkwater finally making his Chelsea debut. Conte has admitted that he faces an ‘impossible’ task in trying to find a deputy for N’Golo Kante, who is sidelined with a hamstring injury. Pogback: Man Utd star back at training ahead of Tottenham clash The pairing of Cesc Fabregas and Tiemoue Bakayoko is defensively fragile, despite the Frenchman’s power, but Conte has had no alternative combination to experiment with.

The arrival of Drinkwater could now be the temporary solution Conte has been searching for as Chelsea looked a much harder team to break down with the midfielder in the side. Danny Drinkwater has finally made his debut.

(AFP/Getty Images) DRINKWATER’S DEBUT The £35 million summer signing has finally made his debut after a calf problem caused him to miss the start of Chelsea’s campaign, and his introduction could not come at a better time with Antonio Conte’s midfield struggling without N’Golo Kante.

Drinkwater was eased in to his first outing for the Premier League champions as he was brought off in the 62nd minute, but during his time on the pitch, there were plenty of promising signs. The midfielder’s distribution was typically assured and his tidiness in possession was a big factor in Chelsea being able to have such a comfortable opening half at Stamford Bridge. Drinkwater has been sidelined with a calf problem. (Getty Images) Drinkwater’s defensive qualities were also highlighted even further when he was replaced by Cesc Fabregas. The Spaniard has been paired with Tiemoue Bakayoko in Chelsea’s last three outings and as Conte has already stressed, his side have conceded seven goals in that time. Drinkwater is obviously no match for the defensive qualities Kante possesses, but the former Leicester City man made more interceptions than any other player on the pitch against Everton and David Unsworth’s side had far more joy cutting through Chelsea’s midfield when he was substituted just after the hour mark. Ethan Ampadu turned heads with his assured performance.

(Reuters) AMPADU IMPRESSES The 17-year-old was handed his first senior start for Chelsea and on this display, he deserves another chance to make a further impression. At times, Ampadu was guilty of being too overambitious with his distribution, but he demonstrated that he has the foundations required from a central midfielder in Conte’s system.

Ampadu worked well alongside Drinkwater to stop Everton from creating anything dangerous from central areas and the 17-year-old showed that he has no issues with stepping up with seasoned first-team players as he was frequently spotted ordering his teammates into position. A Premier League debut may be too soon for Ampadu, but on the basis of this performance, Conte should have no hesitation with starting the midfielder in Chelsea’s next Carabao Cup fixture.

Willian scored Chelsea’s seconIt was a mixed night for the Brazilian, although he managed to end his performance with an impressive solo effort. The goal was Willian at his best, a slick interchange with Fabregas, a quick shift of the body to make the defender think twice, and a curled finish which left Jordan Pickford helpless. But there were too many occasions throughout the match in which Willian was a passenger. Everton were there for the taking but he struggled to pose a constant threat.

Much like his performances in recent weeks, Willian was guilty of frequently gifting the ball back to Everton, in fact, only Michy Batshuayi lost possession more times than the Brazilian out of all of Chelsea’s players. Charly Musonda struggled to impress. (Reuters) MUSONDA AND KENEDY FAIL TO TAKE THEIR CHANCE Charly Musonda has already made his feelings clear about wanting more opportunities under Conte, but his latest display indicates that the Italian is right to consider him not ready for regular first-team exposure.

Both he and Kenedy were anonymous in the opening 45 minutes as Chelsea laboured to half-time with an advantage through Antonio Rudiger’s header. Kenedy offered little threat going forward. (Reuters) On the opposite flank, Davide Zappacosta was showing Conte why he should be his first-choice starter in Victor Moses’ absence. But Chelsea offered little threat down the left, meaning that Conte will still be forced to rely upon Marcos Alonso through the congested fixture schedule.

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SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (sport)

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