Substitutions change games and it was the case on Saturday as Chelsea once again produced a remarkable comeback to win against Watford late on. The blues managed a 2-1 win against West Ham on the opening day courtesy of Diego Costa’s late winner. Summer signing Michy Batshuayi was the provider in this instance. Batshuayi was left searching for his first goal for Chelsea and it turned out to be an extremely easy one. The Belgian was once again on the bench against Watford on Saturday, but he was brought on by manager Antonio Conte as Chelsea chased the game.
Playing as one of the two forwards in a 4-2-4 system, Michy Batshuayi had an excellent cameo which later earned praise from the manager. Statistics sometimes do not tell the whole story and this was the case on Saturday. According to Squawka statistics, the 22-year-old had a shot accuracy of just 50%. However, he had made only two shots in the 20 odd minutes that he spent on the pitch. From these two shots, one came the much-needed equaliser while the other was a fierce effort that rattled the crossbar. Batshuayi should have scored a second with that fine effort after he managed to take advantage of the confusion in the box.
Once Chelsea had found the lead, Batshuayi was made to play as an attacking midfielder in order to shore up the midfield. He had a little contribution in the defensive area, as he made only one interception throughout the game. Thankfully, the forward did not commit any defensive errors and Chelsea held on for yet another victory.
His forward passes averaged just over 5 m in length while his backward passes and long balls were at around 9 m in length. An overall pass length of 9 m is just about normal for a striker who comes on with his team needing two goals in 20 minutes. The only disappointing aspect in terms of statistics may be that Batshuayi created no chances for his teammates. However, he did pull one back from the byline and it was just out of the reach of Branislav Ivanovic.
In short, Batshuayi’s cameo has received a lot of praise and the 22-year-old seems like the real deal. In terms of overall performance score, the Belgian was only behind his international teammate Eden Hazard with 32 points compared to 38. Cesc Fabregas came third with 28 points from his 10-minute cameo.