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Why Nemanja Matic is Chelsea’s most important player?



Chelsea’s brilliant start to the 2014-15 Premier League season has seen them grab 19 points from 7 games. The Blues have scored 21 goals and have conceded only 7. Jose Mourinho’s men have set the pace and are showing the form of Title favourites.

The flourishing partnership of Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa has been the talking point of the Stamford Bridge outfit but its is Nemanja Matic who is arguably the most important player in the 4-2-3-1 setup.


The Serbian sits just in front of the back four, acting as a screen for the defense rarely has a poor match. An imposing presence in midfield, he is a brilliant tackler ans someone who has controlled aggression. Matic also has a wide passing range, is very quick on the ball and possess a thunderous left foot.

Matic also provides Chelsea the option of an attacking outlet from set-pieces and is also good in the air. In midweek, the midfielder scored his side’s winner against Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League. Jose Mourinho later claimed after the match, “I think Matic was a monster.”

Former Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo also labeled Matic as an integral part of the London side. “He’s been very impressive. He dictates the time of the team, he shields the back four very well and he has great distribution with his left foot. He has good vision as well. He’s matured very well as a player.”

“I remember when he left, when he was a little younger, but he’s become an integral part of this team.”

On Sunday too against Arsenal in the London derby, Matic made the most number of tackles and blocks and won back the ball 10 times. Matic negated Welbeck’s runs in the channels and always hurried Jack Wilshere to commit in a congested midfield.

Matic had a 83% passing success rate
Matic had a 83% passing success rate

The midfielder also won most of his aerial duels, had a passing success rate of 83%. Arsenal showed great application in the first half before Hazard’s mazy run which led to the penalty.

Matic's Heat Map
Matic’s Heat Map

The Gunners however couldn’t create any significant chances, much due to Matic’s immense work-rate (shown by the heat map). His pressing off the ball rarely allowed Arsenal players to work in behind the defense.

Chelsea look firm favourites to lift the title in May as Matic remains key for the Stamford Bridge side.