The Senegalese striker put in a solid performance for Chelsea yesterday ... even if he couldn't find the back of the net.
Jose Mourinho sprung a surprise today by deciding to go with Demba Ba in the striker position, rather than the summer signing Samuel Eto’o, with Fernando Torres out injured and suspended regardless.
The reasoning was quite clear.
Chelsea knew they were up against Michael Turner and Sebastian Bassong this afternoon, two men who tower over the diminutive Cameroonian Samuel Eto’o. Mourinho wanted a plan B in case things got sticky, and having Ba up top gave them an outlet against two bruising centre halves.
But how did Ba get on?
Well he did have a very big ally in the first half, the sun. Every ball that went into the Norwich box John Ruddy came for with his usual gusto, but he failed to be affective. Mainly this was due to being blinded by sunlight and being harassed by Ba.
He indeed made Ruddy, usually a very good and composed goalkeeper, look fairly average throughout the game and Ba even scored an assist. He laid the ball off for Oscar who then scored with a perfect finish.
Mourinho was not full of praise, and he has a point, something was missing from the performance … a goal.
He had a couple of chances to bag a goal for the team, and to do so would have been to strengthen his claim for the first-team berth at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho however claimed he was causing him a ‘heart attack’ by not scoring and putting the game to bed, which might explain why he took him off for Eto’o midway through the first half.
Ba did however put in a real shift, chasing down every ‘lost’ cause and refusing to accept defeat in any of his battles, he even earned comparisons to Didier Drogba from the Sky Sports commentary team - such was the brilliance of his performance.
But in terms of overall effectiveness, he needs to start taking the opportunities that fall his way if he is to earn a place in the first-team - as Chelsea’s undisputed number one striker.
But today was certainly not a bad start if that is his mission…
Here are some Tweets on Demba Ba’s performance…
Demba Ba is better than Eto'o and Torres. Consistent, causes havoc, links up well, reasonably quick and a good finisher.— Tom Lee (@TLGooner) October 6, 2013
Wonderful oppurtunity for Demba Ba to resurrect his career.— Vaibhav (@Vai08lampard) October 6, 2013
"Who was your man of the match" Demba Ba— MohdHanafie (@HanafieKasiran) October 6, 2013
chelsea and strikers really isnt working but ba was beast today ngl— Stephanoo (@stephanhaviland) October 6, 2013
Who is this 'Demba Ba'? I''m not sure I've seen him before. He looks sharp, dangerous, and desperate to score and create goals.— Dan Levene (@BluesChronicle) October 6, 2013
Demba Ba is playing like Drogba at the moment. Ruddy can't handle him or the sun! Another Chelsea goal to come soon— Wolexis (@wolexis) October 6, 2013
3 points today :-) ! Nothing else matter!!! Support, today, was fantastic! KTBFFH— Demba Ba (@dembabafoot) October 6, 2013
image: © stephyhan