Analysing Demba Ba's Performance vs. Tottenham

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 8, 2014

For at least one afternoon, Chelsea's striker woes were rendered a moot point.

On a day when Samuel Eto'o scored one fortuitous goal and set up Eden Hazard's penalty tally with a flop in the box, Demba Ba came on in relief duty and scored two goals in two minutes to cap off Chelsea's 4-0 win over Tottenham.

Both of Ba's goals were gifts. The first was wrapped and adorned with a bow from Spurs midfielder Sandro, via ESPNFC:

The second was an even more generous offering, as Kyle Walker's incomprehensible header back toward the goal set up the striker. From BBC Sport:

For his poaching efforts, Ba earned a 7.9 match rating from WhoScored, exceeded only by the 8.1 rating Eto'o received. Everything was coming up Chelsea strikers on Saturday.

Interestingly enough, neither Ba or Eto'o might have played in this contest had Fernando Torres not suffered a groin injury in training. From Sky Sports:

But the big performances from both strikers, namely Ba, should inspire some confidence in manager Jose Mourinho, especially if Torres' injury requires a lengthy stay on the sideline. Neither has played well enough for the manager to downplay rumors that the club might go after a forward like AC Milan's Mario Balotelli this summer, as he mentioned before the match via the Metro:

In football you never know the future. Balotelli is with a big club at the moment but you never know the future.

They want to keep the best players and want to keep the best Italian players. But Mario has already been in English football before. I’m not going to be manager of Milan or the Italy national team, but he’s a good kid.

Not only didn't Mourinho downplay any "Balotelli to Chelsea" rumors, he seemed to be planting the seed that such a move could be made. But that's Mourinho, playing chess while the rest of us are playing checkers.

Even if Ba's future isn't with Chelsea, a run of strong form if Torres remains sidelined will be vital for Ba if he hopes to attract the attention of a big club over the summer. He certainly got off to a good start in that regard against Tottenham.

Ba has been the forgotten man for much of this season, but he's back on Mourinho's radar for sure now. The Senegalese striker would be wise to seize whatever opportunity he created for himself on Saturday with the Blues moving forward.

 

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