Chelsea fans have noticed one positive moment from the 3-1 loss against Manchester City. Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden, and Kevin De Bruyne were all on the scoresheet for City, while Callum Hudson-Odoi netted a second-half injury-time consolation.
And it’s the winger’s goal that has brought joy to some Blues supporters. Not so much the finish from the 20-year-old, but the build-up to the goal which saw £71 million summer signing Kai Havertz provide the assist.
As noticed by fans on Reddit, Havertz’s intelligence leading up to Hudson-Odoi’s goal against City has been heavily praised.
The attacking midfielder comes looking for the ball, but after being ignored decides to take matters into his own hands. With City defender Ruben Dias pulled out of his position, Havertz – making a third man run – exploits the space, receives a pass from Christian Pulisic before rolling the ball across the box for Hudson-Odoi to score.
One supporter said: “One of the few positives today, Kai’s brilliant assist. The awareness to see and start the run into space 4 seconds before it even got passed was quite amazing, never mind the actual pass.”
Another added: “What makes this brilliant is his intelligence. As soon as Dias steps out of defence Havertz identifies the gap in the defensive line that has been created and bursts into it, from there it’s a pretty simple assist.
“This kind of smart movement is something we’ve been sorely missing and as much as people have been critical of Havertz, nearly all our best performances have come with him in midfield.”
Third fan claimed: “Yep, the moment Dias steps out he realises that there’s space to be exploited, glad that Pulisic found him with the through ball. This is why he needs freedom to thrive in this team, as an 8 he can’t just make these runs whenever he wants to which limits him.