ROBERTO DI MATTEO will face Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday as a Chelsea manager and will hope that his team can score winning goals to move closer to the 4th spot. The Italian, though, is no stranger to scoring goals against Spurs as a player. In Chelsea's emphatic 6-1 win over their London rivals in 97-98 Premier League season, di Matteo scored a header that opened the floodgate for Chelsea in the second half*. Let's jump into the time-machine and analyze how that goal came about.
* You can read more about that game here and watch the extended highlights here. Also, credit to @AndyCarefree who posted the video that I used for this analysis.
Long Ball Forward
|Picture 1. Long Ball from Goey|
This move started with Leboeuf intercepting a pass down the right side of Chelsea's defense. The French man passed the ball back to Goey who had kept Chelsea in the game by making some fantastic saves in the first half. Goey, then, sent a long ball towards the original big-little striking pair of Flo and Zola. The Norwegian giant inevitably won the first ball and flicked it on for Zola to chase.
Zola to Petrescu
|Picture 2. Zola to Petrescu|
Zola got on the ball and waited for reinforcement down the flank, which came in the shape of Petrescu. While holding off the Spurs defender, Zola did this move where he pulled the ball back before releasing the pass forward as drawing the string on the bow before shooting an arrow. Petrescu faked a right foot cross and then cut onto his left foot.
Di Matteo Scores
|Picture 3. Di Matteo Scores|
While all this was going on, di Matteo was making a Lampard-esque forward run down the center. He dashed so fast into the box that you couldn't even see him in the frame when Petrescu made the cross, which seemed to have been going straight to Zola near the penalty spot. Di Matteo got his head (which had plenty of hair back then) on the ball ahead of everyone else and scored.
IF HE COULD still play on Saturday, di Matteo probably would love to do this again. But for now, I'm sure he will do his best to put Chelsea ahead of Spurs from the technical area.
Carefree, wherever you may be...