Sunday, January 5, 2014
5 January 2013 - Ba Blazes For The Blues
The club acquired the Senegal international from Newcastle on 4 January for an undisclosed transfer fee rumored to be just north of £7 million, signing him to a 3.5-year deal. At the time, he was on pace for his best scoring year ever, with 13 goals in 20 Premier League appearances for Newcastle in the first half of the 2012-13 season (he had scored 22 for Rouen in 2005-06, his first season as a professional, but had not gotten more than 16 in any season since).
Manager Rafa Benítez wasted no time in putting Ba to use, including him in the starting line-up for the third-round FA Cup match at Southampton while Chelsea's record £50 million signing Fernando Torres watched from the bench.
While the hosts went up 1-0 with a goal from Jay Rodriguez (22'), Ba brought Chelsea level in the 35th minute. Goals from Victor Moses (45'+1) and Branislav Ivanović (52') on both sides of the break pushed them ahead 1-3, then Ba scored again in the 61st minute to extend the lead to 1-4. A final goal from Frank Lampard from the penalty spot (83') capped the 1-5 victory.
Ba drew rave reviews for his performance, especially in comparison to the struggling Torres, but he was unable to maintain that form. He finished the season with only six goals for Chelsea in all competitions, then fell out of favor after Jose Mourinho replaced Benítez for the 2013-14 season. With the first half of the season complete, Ba has made a total of fourteen appearances in all competitions, with only three goals.