Ghana midfielder Michael Essien produced a fruitful performance for his English club Chelsea over the weekend that proves that he still has plenty left in the tank and ready for the 2014 World Cup.
Some pundits had condemned the midfield powerhouse as a washed up footballer as he has not replicated the form he showed before his injury layoff.
His showing the the recent match against Southampton gave ammunition to his critics but over the weekend he silenced them even though Chelsea were made to sweat for their win against relegation candidates Crystal Palace.
Goals from scrutinised striker Fernando Torres and Brazilian work-horse Ramires was enough to see off Marouane Chamakh’s first half strike in a 2-1 win.
Although the result looks unconvincing, the statistics paint the picture that the West London side were the most dominant Premier League side on the day. Mourinho’s men retained 70% possession, notched up 638 passes and had 16 shots on goal, whilst Palace could manage 279 passes and 10 opportunities.
Essien produced a brilliantly energetic performance, and amazingly had 109 touches of the ball.
To put that into perspective, the two Palace players to make the most touches through-out the game were Joel Ward and Jason Puncheon, both with 55.
So unbelievably, Essien managed to be as busy on the ball as the two highest Palace players put together. A great credit, to a great player.
He showed that even in his old-age he still uses the ball well, and passed everyone else off the park with a total of 87, again in perspective Palace highest recorded player notched 32, so he nearly tripled it and had a pass accuracy of 93%.
He attempted 10 long-balls, with nine finding their target and also managed five successful dribbles, the most out of any player, which is remarkable for a player in the same team as Willian, Hazard and Mata.
It’s no secret that Mourinho still has a lot of faith in the 31-year-old that masterminded a lot of Chelsea’s success that won them Premier League titles and even had him on loan at Madrid last season, when his career all but looked over at Chelsea.
It will be good to see more of Essien, as this will be good news for Ghana ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
What did you make of Michael Essien’s performance against Palace?