Chelsea forward Alvaro Morata is convinced that his strike against Arsenal on the weekend has got the pressure off him and he can now go on and cement his status as the Blues’ first-choice striker.
“I think we play good football when we have the ball. We need to improve on small things but it’s only been one month since we’ve all been together with the manager and I think if we continue like this we can play against any team in the world,” the club-record signing told Chelsea TV after their thrilling 3-2 win over the Gunners.
It was a manic first-half as it looked like Chelsea were out of sight when Pedro and Morata put them 2-0 up on the 20-minute mark.
Arsenal, however mustered a response and were deservedly level by the time the half-time whistle sounded.
The second-half was far more sedate, with Chelsea dominating and they were rewarded for their efforts when Marcs Alonso steered home substitute Eden Hazard’s cross for the winner.
“I’m very happy because it was three very important points against Arsenal. In the Premier League I think if you win your first five games you’re in the fight because here in every game you can lose or drop points.”
Morata, somewhat unfairly, has been labelled as a flop after his £60 million move to Stamford Bridge in 2017.
The lanky Spaniard struggled with injuries to finish his debut season with 15 goals.
“The last year was very hard for me, not just with confidence. The injury (last season)was very bad for me and my head, but when the ball goes into the net everything changes. Your mind isn’t blocked anymore and I hope now I can score a lot of goals.”
Former Chelsea coach Antonio Conte brought Morata to the Bridge, but curiously enough, the striker seemed to hint that the Italian’s 3-4-3 system didn’t suit him and under new boss Maurizio Sarri, he can now thrive as the new style plays to his strengths.
“I think for me the most important thing is the mode we play.Last year it was direct, I had to protect the ball in the air and that’s not my best quality. Now I can attack the spaces, play one-touch and go into the area for the crosses which is better for me.”
Morata, who recently became father to twins, has boldly stated that he’ll be looking to double last season’s tally in the 2018/19 campaign.
“The manager works with the ball always and when you work with the ball you have more chances, and the strikers have more chances, but that’s not the most important thing. For sure I want to score more than 30 goals, but I would prefer to score 15 or 20 and for us to win the Premier League or another big trophy. I want to score many goals but the most important thing is the team.”
With two wins from as many games, Chelsea are third in the Premier League table, behind leaders Manchester City and Liverpool only on goal difference.