Chelsea won their fifth Europa League group stage match in a row to go top of Group L as they swept four past PAOK on Thursday night, but the performance of one man in particular has given cause for fans to appeal to Maurizio Sarri that he start more often.
Emerson Palmieri signed for the Blues in January from Roma but has since played second fiddle to Marcos Alonso, with his only outings tending to be in Europe.
The 24-year-old left-back completed one key pass and two dribbles versus his Greek opposition and was handy in defence with a tackle and an interception to his name (WhoScored) as his side dominated from the outset.
Sarri’s stubborn selection policy this season has frustrated many Chelsea fans who believe that the likes of Emerson, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi should frequent the line-up, as opposed to rotting in the reserves.
Here’s how the Stamford Bridge faithful reacted to the Italian’s performance on Twitter, with many calling for Marcos Alonso to be dropped or even sold.
It's a crime that you don't play more often.
— Tom Andrews (@CarefreeTom_182) November 30, 2018
Better than Alonso
— The Hazard (@TheGamb41167000) 30 November 2018
Been quality today , attacking he’s better than alonso and can track back
— Frank Taylor 🔵⚽️ (@Franktaylor456) November 29, 2018
Watching Emerson makes me just wish we’d sell Alonso and get on with it. Why have we persisted with him for 2.5 years when we could have had an actual top LB (Emerson isn’t that yet but it’s clear what he brings over Alonso).
— CFC Opinion (@CFCopinion) 29 November 2018
Emerson & RLC can't keep getting ignored by Sarri. Everytime they play they look like they have a point to prove, Alonso and Barkley should be worried..
— . (@OfficialCheIs) November 29, 2018
Emerson and Alonso are both bad as each other in defending except Emerson can make recoveries with his pace and is legit levels ahead of Alonso offensively
— Leo Sat (@TheBlueProphet) November 30, 2018
I mean Alonso is good at what he does but Palmieri is pulling off cutbacks that are absolutely sublime … Emerson is fast knows when to put in an early cross or go for a cut back
— Teddee (@teddee_the_don) 29 November 2018
Emerson is a really excellent full back. Obviously it's not the toughest opportunity but his overlapping runs and general attacking play has been very good tonight. Would be interesting to see him get a few more chances in the first team over the Christmas period.
— Chelsea Extra 🏆 (@CFCExtra) November 29, 2018