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Commanding Cahill, strikers find their shooting boots and observations from Chelsea’s win over Schalke



After a shock loss against Newcastle at the weekend, Chelsea got back to winning ways against Schalke on Wednesday night.

Jose Mourinho made significant changes to the team that was beaten on Tyneside, and goals from Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba secured victory.

With the Blues getting back to business as usual, here are five observations from the Stamford Bridge encounter.

Strikers start to score

Demba Ba

With Fernando Torres starting to hit form but suffering from injury, both Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba put their hands up for future inclusion by getting goals in the victory.

The Cameroon international scored a brace, with the second a flashback to the days of his pomp, while Ba came off the bench to prove he is not ready to accept a Stamford Bridge exit just yet.

In the short-term, Mourinho will have some selection decisions to make once Torres returns to fitness, while his thoughts on purchasing a new centre forward in January could be potentially impacted by the pair’s defiance.

Draxler impresses against future employers?

Schalke started the game well and were unlucky not to get the first goal after industrious play. Their shining light is certainly immensely talented attacking midfielder Julian Draxler, who again impressed despite his side’s defeat.

With the Blues one of the main clubs linked with the Germany international, the playmaker will still have as much appeal in future transfer windows for Roman Abramovich.

Azpilicueta makes a case for left-back inclusion

Spaniard Cesar Azpilicueta played at left-back once more for the side, despite the bulk of his career being spent on the other flank. The former Marseille defender put in another solid performance and looked adept despite playing out of position.

With Ashley Cole’s long-term successor one of Mourinho’s objectives going forward, Azpilicueta has put his name forward for consideration. Ryan Bertrand’s stock may well have dropped as a result.

Gary Cahill’s performance good news for England

Gary Cahill

With Gary Cahill starting for England but not guaranteed a place in his club side’s XI, concerns ahead of next summer’s World Cup have been aired. However, with David Luiz demoted to the bench, Cahill used the opportunity to showcase solidarity and a strong presence.

A run in the Blues’ team will only be good for the national team, with Cahill confirming he is more than able to command a place alongside John Terry.

Willian shows glimpses to justify his transfer fee

With the attacking midfield talent in the Chelsea squad, it has been a relatively underwhelming start to life in England for Willian, due to a lack of opportunities.

The Brazilian made a case for more regular inclusion here without setting the world alight, with fleeting glimpses of his considerable ability.

His interplay and understanding with Eto’o from their time in Russia was also evident.