Rafa Benitez’s side had taken a shock early advantage through Dwight Gayle’s scrappy opener but the champions required just nine minutes to restore parity when Eden Hazard bundled home the equaliser.
And it was Morata who powered the home side into a deserved lead just past the hour mark, displaying all his predatory instincts by edging ahead of his marker and nudging Victor Moses’ driven cross home from point blank range.
11 – Since the start of last season, Alvaro Morata has scored 11 headed goals, more than any other player in Europe’s big five leagues. Trademark. pic.twitter.com/5JxlPIvdWy
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 2, 2017
The goal represented Morata’s 11th for club and country during what is turning out to be an increasingly productive season and just as significantly is was Morata’s fifth headed goal of the campaign, more than any other striker in Europe so far.
Indeed, since the start of last season, Morata has scored 11 headed goals, more than anyone else in Europe’s top five leagues.
More: Chelsea FC
Many questioned the wisdom of Antonio Conte banishing Diego Costa following the prominent part he played in last season’s title-winning campaign and replacing him with a striker who had never been first choice at his previous clubs, Real Madrid and Juventus.
But the £58million signing is certainly vindicating his new manager’s faith and he now has nine goals in the Premier League in total – only Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah currently have more.