After underlining his readiness with a superb performance against Manchester United on Monday, Super Eagles midfielder, Mikel Obi was at his best as Chelsea swept aside Crystal Palace 3 – 0 at the Selhurst Park on Sunday in a Premier League match.
The Nigerian international who played the entire 90 minutes in what was one of Chelsea’s most impressive away performances this season, put every foot right in terms of passes as Oscar, Willian and Diego Costa scored the goals. Chelsea won away for only the second time this season, maintaining their spot at 14th, six points clear of the bottom three.
Since the appointment of caretaker manager Guus Hiddink, the reigning Premier League champions had claimed only two points from two games – hard-fought draws at home to Watford and at Manchester United – but the manner of their clinical display in brushing aside the Europa League – chasing Palace suggests a sharp climb up the table is to come.
Mikel, became the 21st player to make 350 appearances for Chelsea in the Blues’ 2 – 2 draw against Watford, and has now made 352 appearances since his debut in the Blues colors against Reading in 2006.
With Hiddink likely to stick to experience and what he knows, this could see Mikel featuring a lot for the Blues. 16 of Mikel’s 349 matches came during Hiddink’s first spell in charge of the Roman Army.
He may not be universally popular with Chelsea fans, but in a time of crisis this familiar face could play a key role in steadying the ship.