It is easy to forget that Kai Havertz is just 21 years of age and playing his first season in the Premier League. Having joined Chelsea from Bayern Leverkusen for a huge £72m in the summer, expectations were always going to high, but in the 2-0 win over Fulham we saw the signs of a player ready to take the Premier League by storm.
Starting in the front three alongside two of Roman Ambramovich’s other major signings, countryman Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, Havertz shone. His movement caused chaos, he showed a yard of pace we haven’t really seen this term while his finishing was immaculate. In fact, with his brace at Stamford Bridge, he doubled his goals tally for the campaign and put himself in contention to start in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final.
"I scored very early so it gave me a little bit of confidence, it is always good to score and I'm happy to help the team. I hope I can continue like this on Wednesday."
His first goal was thanks to the genius of Mason Mount. The English midfielder, who is in the form of his life, plucked a long ball out of the air with a miraculous first touch, before he played in Havertz with a perfectly weighted pass. The German showed great pace and composure to first get in front of his marker before sliding the ball past Alphonse Areola.
His second showed Chelsea fans exactly what they have to look forward to in person next season. Another raking long pass from the back found Havertz on the right wing, he skipped inside one challenge before playing a perfect one-two with Werner which left him with another simple left-footed finish from close range. It was a brilliant team goal, and Chelsea’s elite German duo were at the heart of it.
Unfortunately for Scott Parker’s Fulham side, they were unable to mount a recovery, but perhaps we should have seen this one coming. Chelsea’s last defeat in a league game to Fulham at Stamford Bridge (0-2) was in 1979 when Sir Geoff Hurst was in charge in Division Two. It’s a simply astonishing record of dominance in this London derby.
After Brighton beat Leeds, Fulham are now nine points adrift of safety with just twelve points to play for. It seems Chelsea of all teams have just handed them their knockout blow which will see them return to the Championship at the very first time of asking. It would take a recovery of Tyson Fury proportions for Fulham to get out of this one and if they do somehow manage it, it will go down as the greatest of all great escapes. But it is simply so unlikely.
Fulham have been brave this term but ultimately came up short. They will go down in much better shape than when they spent over £100m two years ago and with a manager who now has a wealth of experience in both divisions. Parker should get another crack at the Championship, but it won’t be easy.
For Chelsea, it is a job done. They look to have secured third place in the Premier League and attention now turns to the second leg of their Champions League against Real Madrid on Wednesday. The question for Thomas Tuchel is now who starts in that game? After that showing, it will be very difficult to leave Havertz out, but the eleven who started in Spain got an impressive 1-1 draw.
One thing is for sure, Chelsea are going to be tough to beat next season. If one team is going to close the gap on Manchester City, it will surely be Tuchel and his German magicians.