It was just last week when news of Didier Drogba feeling disappointed with the contract offer he got from Chelsea emerged. The Ivorian striker put all that aside and led Chelsea into the knockout stage of the Champions League, scoring twice but bringing much more than just goals in the 3-0 win over Valencia.
From a clearly statistical stand point, Drogba reached 36 goals in his Champions League career which began with Chelsea seven seasons ago, eighth all time. But it was more about Drogba’s place in the present with Chelsea, and possibly his future with the club he’s won three Premier League titles with and has scored 148 goals so far in 317 matches.
It was one of those special nights that Drogba’s power, strength and determination were pretty much unstoppable. True, it was a Valencia defense that isn’t exactly known for it’s toughness and aggressiveness. Still, everything that has troubled Chelsea this season was forgotten. The mistakes and softness of the once feared back, a commanding Petr Cech, all because of Drogba.
Chelsea gave up on trying to dominate through their midfield. This is a different side from the one we used to know, and it isn’t bulit to enjoy tons of possession. Long ball and counter attacks with Mata and Sturridge seemed to be preferred by Andre Villas-Boas, with Drogba slowly returning to form after the injury he suffered from against Norwich.
The confidence, the power, it’s all back. Still the striker no central defender can contain on his own, but more importantly, the ability and confidence he shows galvanizes the whole side. Not to some transcendent display, but to more effort and a combative mood, something that’s been missing from Chelsea this season until recently.