Loic Remy joins Chelsea: Striker adds artillery to Diego Costa's firepower
Remy signed for £10.5m on Sunday
Sunday 31 August 2014
It was a weekend when Chelsea gave a telling exhibition of striking power, first in the way Diego Costa bullied Everton’s back line as they scored six goals at Goodison Park, then in the signing of Loïc Rémy from Queen’s Park Rangers.
Rémy, who joined the club today after the £10.5m release clause in his contract had been triggered, gave his word to Chelsea that he would sign for them even before Arsenal withdrew their interest in the France striker. “When I heard Chelsea wanted to sign me I said ‘let’s go’ straight away because they are one of the best clubs in the world,” he said.
Rémy’s 14 league goals for Newcastle last season were more than any of Fernando Torres, Demba Ba or Samuel Eto’o managed for the Londoners and he gives their manager, Jose Mourinho, a decent back-up to Costa, who already has four goals from three appearances.
After the goals had stopped flying in and the dust had begun to settle at Goodison on Saturday evening, Mourinho let his mind wander back to Chelsea’s previous visit to the old stadium last September. “When we played here last season we missed four or five chances,” he said, recalling that 1-0 defeat. “It was difficult for us to scare [teams] away from home last season.”
Read more: Everton vs Chelsea match report
Saturday’s nine-goal thriller provided quite a contrast as a Chelsea team bolstered by the summer additions of Costa and Cesc Fabregas showed that they should have no trouble at all frightening opponents this term. It took Chelsea until last December to manage as many away goals as they have scored in their two games on the road thus far and, while it is one thing scoring three at Burnley, hitting Everton for six is some statement from the early Premier League leaders.
When Chelsea won a similar thriller 4-3 at Goodison 30 years ago this winter, their hat-trick hero that day, Gordon Davies, scored only twice more for the club. With Costa, the feeling is many more will follow and the way he combined with Fabregas for the first goal – scored before an Everton player had touched the ball following a fine Fabregas pass – showcased the pair.
“Diego and Cesc bring us some different qualities which, together with the other players, make us a team who are much more aggressive in possession,” Mourinho said. “We are much more positive with the ball. We want the ball and are more comfortable with it.”
The manager considers the quick integration of the pair no surprise – “Cesc played in the Premier League and this is nothing new for him. Diego is a mature guy of 25” – although his suggestion that opponents were targeting the Spain striker had to be taken with a pinch of salt; his goading of Seamus Coleman after the full-back’s own goal showed he can look after himself. So too midfielder Nemanja Matic, whose growing influence was visible and had its reward with his first Chelsea goal.
It helped Matic and Chelsea’s other scorers that Everton crumbled whenever the ball got near their penalty box. Their performance may have featured some superb attacking play – Kevin Mirallas and Steven Naismith shone and Eto’o’s debut goal with his first touch augurs well – but defensively they were a shambles. Roberto Martinez suggested late goals conceded in throwing away leads against Leicester and Arsenal in their previous games had had a “psychological” impact on his winless side. “We didn’t defend with a lot of confidence,” the Everton manager said. “Everything that went around Tim Howard ended up in the back of the net.”
Phil Jagielka, in particular, had a match to forget. Everton have conceded 10 goals in three games and, with England hopeful John Stones looking for a place, Martinez said: “If we keep conceding goals like that it means the competition for places needs to be open.”
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