If you wondered why Chelsea splashed big cash to bring aboard Andre Schurrle this summer despite a glut of attacking midfielders already on the roster, the big German answered your questions with a huge performance against Stoke City Saturday.
Schurrle scored two goals for Chelsea, nearly assisted on several others as he consistently helped to create chances and even hit the crossbar once on another effort.
In a match where Chelsea as a team underwhelmed against inferior competition, losing 3-2, Schurrle was the bright spot. He would have been a deserving Man of the Match from Chelsea's perspective, at least during his time on the pitch, had the Blues not lost.
He was substituted out in the 70th minute for Samuel Eto'o, but he certainly made every second he was on the pitch count.
His first goal was a true thing of beauty, as he received a pass from John Obi Mikel on the run. He weaved in and out past one defender, let fly on his outside foot and absolutely fizzed a shot into the lower corner.
That gave Chelsea a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute, though one the team couldn't hold, as Stoke scored the game's next two tallies.
But it was Schurrle to the rescue again in the 53rd minute, as this time a Juan Mata free-kick was deflected to the German just outside of the box. Again, his effort was expertly placed where Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic had no chance to save it, this time drawing the Blues even.
He exited with an 8.5 match rating, according to WhoScored.com, the highest mark of the match upon his substitution. The site credited him with completing 94 percent of his passes, five shots, three tackles won and 47 touches, making his performance a great all-around effort.
Schurrle has been used often as a substitute in Premier League play this season, but he made a strong case to earn more starts either out wide on the wing or perhaps even at forward, given the Blues' uncertainty there.
With so much depth, Jose Mourinho has to rotate the squad with regularity, but Schurrle certainly stood out Saturday. The finishing was excellent, but his work rate and strong work in the buildup play made the biggest impression.
Don't be surprised if he's handed another start shortly. He's earned it.
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