Prior to the game against West Ham, I must admit that I was a bit nervous with our defenders coming up against Andy Carroll. Like Eden Hazard said, he’s one of the best headers in the game, and judging from Fernando Llorente’s header last weekend, I had every reason to be scared.
However, the giant centre-forward was kept quiet all through the game, and the lapses in height coming from our right hand corner where Victor Moses and Cesar Azpilicueta operate was perfectly masked that you’d think they are both taller than Carroll.
Chelsea legend Pat Nevin gave a good analysis of our defending and how the team kept Carroll quiet and it makes so much sense.
He wrote in his column for the official Chelsea website: “First of all, Marcos Alonso did not give Feghouli many opportunities to put quality balls in from that area, and the full-back Kouyate had plenty on his plate trying to deal with Eden Hazard, usually by regularly kicking him up in the air and then not getting booked as far as I could see. Even when the balls were delivered towards Andy Carroll, the organisation seemed to be the best it has been for a few weeks. Victor covered back superbly although Carroll probably felt less positive about him when he received a bad cut after a challenge with our wing-back, who had covered back perfectly.
“Azpi won more headers than he lost against Carroll who is about eight inches taller than him. I should really calculate that in centimetres I suppose, so after careful calculation it is precisely…a lot. Gary Cahill was generally imperious and I checked the OPTA stats to find David Luiz didn’t do too badly either, winning 100 per cent of his aerial battles on the night.”