Chelsea misfit Michy Batshuayi took just six minutes to remind Frank Lampard of his goal threat – only to show once again whey he is such an infuriating player to deal with.
The Belgian striker could not have asked for a better start as he attempted to show Lampard he is ready to step in if Tammy Abraham’s injury keeps him on the sidelines during the make or break month awaiting the Blues.
Batshuayi was allowed two bites at the cherry before getting his shot in for Chelsea’s opening goal, and also profited from a big deflection that totally wrong-footed Hull keeper George Long.
Even allowing for that stroke of luck, it should have been the perfect launchpad for the £33million striker to show he deserves more starts.
Instead the self-style ‘Batsman’ settled for a supporting role.
He rarely got on the ball in the danger area – even though the Chelsea wide men delivered plenty of crosses, and were crying out for him to pull away from his markers.
This was Batshuayi’s first goal since he bagged Chelsea’s consolation in their Carabao Cup defeat against Manchester United at the end of October.
To be fair, he has not seen too much action since then. The third round FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest was his only other start, and he has had to settle for a dozen brief outings off the bench.
Yet Batshuayi’s impressive overall goal record, including 16 from 29 appearances for Belgium, suggest there is a really good player trying to get out – but just not trying hard enough.
It was left to central defender Fikayo Tomori to deliver the killer blow on 64 minutes.
He found himself in acres of space at the back post, and buried Ross Barkley’s free-kick with a powerful downward header.
That meant substitute Kamil Grosicki’s 78th minute reply – from a free kick that clattered into the defensive was and took an even more wicked deflection than Batshuayi’s effort – proved no more than a minor irritation.
Chelsea face a daunting run in the next four weeks, with matches against Leicester, Manchester United and Tottenham followed by a Champions league clash with Bayern Munich.
At least a team showing eight changes from the midweek draw against ten-man Arsenal did not have to dig too deep against a Hull side who never really recovered from the shock of conceding that early goal.
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Chelsea would have been out of sight by half time if they had been more clinical in front of goal – a recurring theme recently.
Barkley and Pedro both seemed to want to walk the ball in after getting in behind the Hull defence, allowing Long to spread himself and make a couple of decent blocks.
Pedro would have been better off squaring the ball to the unmarked Batshuayi, but maybe he forgot his team-mate was playing. He was probably not the only one…
This post written by Marc Mayo originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.