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Chelsea striker Jackson makes light of criticism as he overtakes Drogba’s record

MIRROR 

Nicolas Jackson’s goal against Nottingham Forest on Saturday saw the Senegal striker pass the tally set by Didier Drogba in his first Stamford Bridge season.

Jackson scored a late winner for Chelsea at the City Ground in a topsy-turvy encounter. Forest had taken a 2-1 lead after Mykhailo Mudryk struck first for the Blues, only for substitute Raheem Sterling to level things up before Jackson put away a Reece James cross.

The goal was Jackson’s 17th of the season, with 14 of those coming in the league. Ivorian striker Drogba only managed 16 in his first season in West London, albeit from one game fewer than the 42 Jackson has played so far.

Chelsea’s new frontman might not have expected to play so regularly, but Christopher Nkunku’s injury woes changed that. It hasn’t been plain sailing for Jackson, who has come in for criticism at times, but only 10 players have more goals for him in the entire top flight.

It wasn’t until Drogba’s third season at Stamford Bridge that he passed the 20-goal threshold. He posted identical records in his first two campaigns – 16 goals in 41 appearances – but hit 33 in 60 outings in the 2006-07 season.

That wasn’t even the Ivorian’s best season. In 2009-10, as Chelsea won the Premier League under Carlo Ancelotti, he scored 29 league goals and 37 in all competitions, despite playing just 44 times.

Jackson, at 22 years of age, is four years younger than Drogba was when he joined Chelsea from Marseille in 2004. Mauricio Pochettino leapt to the youngster’s defence during a tough period in the autumn, and the upshot has been a stronger second half to the season including four goals in the last three games.

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