There’s no two ways about it, Dele Alli certainly showed a little more spirit last night than we have seen for a good while. In the BT Sport studio there was talk of the ‘chip on his shoulder’ having returned, and the inference being that this is when he plays his best. Another positive was that the 24-year-old managed not to get hooked this time, at least until the 83rd minute, when José began throwing on the kids.
Yet even a cursory glance at the numbers tells us that this was not so much a memorable performance, but an adequate one. Am I a jaundiced pair of eyes? I prefer to think that I’m willing to give any player the benefit of the doubt; and specifically when it comes to stats, sometimes they can reveal elements that most normal fans would miss in the hurley burley of a game – like how fine Eric Dier can be, for example. Not all heroes score ‘worldys’.
In 83-minutes we saw 1 assist and 2 shot assists, but little else to perhaps provoke a reset in José Mourinho’s evaluations. Again, and I make no apology for labouring the point, but for whatever reason, Ludogorets were extremely poor opponents. Certain players ought to have achieved more.
This is again, a perfectly balanced critique, because Chelsea will be anywhere near as forgiving. Hands up who thinks Lampard’s boys will be as gentle with Carlos Vinícius and his 25% total successful actions, on Sunday? Hands up who thinks Chelsea won’t take advantage of Alli’s dribbling expertise, given he made 2 attempts last night and lost the ball on both occasions? I suggest anyone with their hand still raised make it look like you were trying to hail a taxi.
One question I asked myself after the game – that I think is also worth you’re consideration – is why the club’s tame video wallah didn’t ask the gaffer how Dele had done. The answer – on this occasion – is in the stats.