Midweek Football Preview

Carabao Cup games in hand!

Carabao Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg

Liverpool vs. Arsenal

This is the 2nd leg of this fixture but is essentially the first leg because the first leg was called off last week due to covid cases in the Liverpool squad. Liverpool have since beat Shrewsbury in the FA Cup while Arsenal were knocked out by Nottingham Forest. Arsenal will be going into this game looking to bounce back and with this competition being their only chance at a trophy there is a lot at stake. Liverpool will trust themselves over two legs but covid cases might give Arsenal the upper hand. 

Premier League (Games in hand)

Southampton vs. Brentford

14th placed Southampton have 2 games in hand as they take on Brentford who have 2 games in hand as well and sit 12th in the table. Both teams are playing one of their games in hand and 2 points separate the teams. Two teams that like attacking and playing progressive football, this should be a fun game.

West Ham vs. Norwich

West Ham sit 5th in the table with a game in hand as they take on Norwich who sit bottom of the table and have 2 games in hand. If West Ham then they go above Arsenal and into 4th while if Norwich win they can go level on points with Watford who sit 17th. It’s a big game for both teams but West Ham are the team in form and will be favourites. 

Coppa Italia Round of 16

Atalanta take on Venezia, Napoli take on Fiorentina, Milan take on Genoa, Lazio take on Udinese, Juventus take on Sampdoria, Inter take on Empoli, and Roma take on Lecce. The Round of 16 in the Coppa Italia and all the top teams have games which they should win. If the teams that should go through progress then the final few stages of the competition could be very exciting. 


Chelsea 2 vs. 0 Tottenham Carabao Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg Review

Advantage Chelsea but job not done!

Chelsea took on Tottenham for the 1st Leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night. Conte was given some appreciation by Chelsea fans on his return as he selected a strong lineup to face Chelsea with the likes of Moura, Son and Kane all starting up front. Tuchel selected what seemed a weird lineup at first but figured out to be a 4-2-3-1 of sorts with Kepa in goal, a back four of Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Sarr, and Alonso. A midfield two of Jorginho, and Saul, while Mount, Havertz, and Ziyech started behind a returning Lukaku. There were some strong options on the bench as well but Kante and Silva tested positive before the game and were ruled out. 

This game can be summed up in one paragraph with Chelsea being dominant throughout but especially in the 1st half. The first goal came in the 5th minute as Alonso played through Havertz who slotted the ball past Lloris. The collision that followed saw Havertz dislocate his pinky finger which caused him pain and resulted in him coming off at half time. Chelsea didn’t really create several shots on target in the first half but we had several half chances. The possession was all Chelsea as well with Kepa barely having anything to do. The 2nd goal came in the 34th minute as Ziyech swinged in a free kick and Sanchez headed the ball into Davies’s head which then ricocheted into the goal. The 2nd half saw Tottenham grow slightly into the game but Chelsea had better chances in this half and should have finished the game but getting 4 or 5 goals. Lukaku had a few chances while Ziyech, and Werner also went close as well. Overall it was all Chelsea and I don’t think Chelsea even came out of 2nd gear in this game, the midfield was dominant and our players didn’t even allow the Spurs players to string 2 passes together. 

Chelsea Team Review


Kepa’s first game of a busy month and he had little to do but still pulled off two solid saves when called upon. A clean sheet to start the month is great and hopefully this continues for the rest of the month. A good game.


Chelsea played a back four in this game which was smart from Tuchel but also because he said he didn’t have any centre backs to play a back three. Azpilicueta, and Alonso did well as the full backs and handled Moura, and Son while Rudiger was simply great. Sarr impressed as well and played well for large parts of the game. A clean sheet as well nothing more you can ask from the defence.


Jorginho controlled the game brilliantly as usual but it was Saul who impressed me the most and was one of the best players in the game. Saul was all over the midfield made several impressive tackles and distributed the ball well. Saul also moved the ball well and created some chances. It was very good to see Saul gain confidence and put in a performance like this and hopefully he continues to do so. Mount did well in the no 8 role and created chances in the midfield. Kovacic, and RLC came on in the 2nd half and did well to see out the game. 


Havertz got a goal and did well for the 45 minutes he was on the pitch. Hopefully he is fine. Lukaku came back into the team and was not booed by the fans. The Belgian worked hard and drove forward on multiple occasions and also held the ball up well. There was a brilliant chance for him to score from a header but the chance went just wide. Ziyech was the best player alongside Saul on the pitch. Playing in a more traditional right wing role he was able to cut inside and use his left foot and provided so many good balls during the game. The pressing was also on point. There was a great moment when he played an amazing ball to Werner but the German’s chip was saved by Lloris. Werner came on in the 2nd half and played well and got some shots off. Pulisic came on to play right wing and then payed some minutes at right back. Harvey Vale also came on and had a good moment when he connected well with the offence for a Lukaku chance. 


Tuchel gets the advantage going into the 2nd leg but he and the team will know that the job is not done. The switch of formation on short notice did well and it’s good to see that Chelsea can switch it up at times. It might give Tuchel some things to think about. A good performance and a good result for sure.

The 2nd leg will be played next week and for now we play Chesterfield in the FA Cup on Saturday. I expect to see several academy players start the game and several of the usual players to get a rest. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Chelsea vs. Tottenham Carabao Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg Preview

A London Derby of two legs and the first of 3 meetings this month!

Chelsea welcome Tottenham to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night for the 1st leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final. The 2nd leg will by played next week at the Totttenham Hotspur Stadium and Tottenham also visit The Bridge for a Premier League game on the 23rd. This is the first of the three fixtures. Tottenham we all know started the season well as far as points go but suffered 5 losses in 7 and that spelled the end of Nuno Espirito Santo as their manager. In came a manager Chelsea fans are all too familiar with the one and only Don Antonio Conte. Antonio Conte won Chelsea the league in 16/17 and won the FA Cup in 2018, before leaving the club in the summer of that year. The 2nd season was a rough ride but the first season was nothing more than amazing and is still probably my best season as a Chelsea fan. Now though he manages Spurs and until he is their manager all the love is on hold. Since Conte has come in Spurs have played 8 games in the league winning five and drawing three. Their journey in the Carabao Cup has seen them beat Wolves on penalties, followed by a narrow 0-1 win against Burnley and a 2-1 win against West Ham. The Carabao Cup along with the FA Cup are Spurs two real chances at some silverware this season having been disqualified from the Europa Conference League. 

Chelsea go into this game having comeback to draw against Liverpool 2-2 in the league on Sunday. That game ofcourse came amongst the uproar of the Lukaku interview and today Tuchel came out and said the situation had been dealt with. Tuchel had a meeting with Lukaku and Marina on Monday and Lukaku apologised to him and realised that the had made a mistake with his comments but his intention was not to anger anyone or disrupt the season. Tuchel said that Lukaku was back in training and will be involved going forward. When asked about the relationship between Lukaku and the fans Tuchel said that he realises that there will be mixed feelings but he hopes that they back the team and by doing that they back Lukaku when he is on the pitch. I personally would say the same thing, just support the team and don’t boo Lukaku, no one is forcing the fans to make Lukaku their favourite player. Let Lukaku make his apologies to the fans on the pitch and there is no better way to start doing that by playing Spurs three times in a month. Our Carabao Cup journey has seen us beat Villa, and Southampton one penalties and beat Brentford 0-2 in the quarter’s. Last season we didn’t even get past the 4th round so this is a good chance to progress to an early final. 

Chelsea Team Preview

Chelsea will be without Chalobah who is injured and Christensen might not be fit as well with James, and Chilwell missing for some time. Mendy is also out as he is involved in AFCON this month. Loftus-Cheek and Werner are back but while Werner might feature on the bench I doubt RLC will make it to the squad having just returned. With our weekend game against Chesterfield in the FA Cup I expect a strong lineup in this game. Kepa should start in goal with a back three of Azpilicueta, Silva, and Rudiger. I expect Simons to return to the lineup as a wing back on the right while Alonso should play on the left. Jorginho, and Saul should make up the midfield two after Kovacic and Kante played the full 90 against Liverpool while Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech, and Lukaku should make up the front three. We know that Conte likes to sit deep and suffer and we will need our two most creative wingers on the pitch to chuck in balls for Lukaku. Could we see some academy players like Vale feature? Maybe but I think since this is a semi-final I don’t expect many of the youngsters to be involved. Hudson-Odoi or Pulisic could of course feature as right wing backs but Pulisic needs a rest and Hudson-Odoi would prefer to play in attack. With 5 subs there will be several options on the bench.

Tottenham Team Preview

Conte will setup Tottenham in his tailor made 3-4-3 formation, but it could be tweaked to be a back 5 or with a midfield 3 like against Liverpool. Lloris should start in goal with a back three of Sanchez, Dier, and Davies. Emerson and Reguilon should start as the wing backs with a midfield three of Alli, Hojberg, and Winks. Son and Kane should start up front. Tottenham will have the likes of Moura available on the bench if need be. Knowing Conte you can expect them to sit back and defend well and counter with pace. Liverpool was a perfect example of how they play against teams that are open but unlike Liverpool Chelsea play a 3 at the back. Son and Kane seem to be gaining form while Spurs are conceding fewer goals at the moment. It is a team with more confidence than the last time they faced Chelsea this season.

Starting XI Prediction

Chelsea against Tottenham is a rivalry that many know about all too well. Chelsea fans will welcome Conte back at the Bridge but as soon as the whistle goes off and for much of this month he will be an enemy of the club. It’s the 1st leg so Tottenham might play it cautious but Chelsea will want to go all guns blazing and take advantage in this first leg itself. A very exciting game indeed, COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Midweek Football Preview

Carabao Cup semi-finals!

Carabao Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg

Arsenal vs. Liverpool

Arsenal take on Liverpool in one of the two semi-final’s of this seasons Carabao Cup. Arsenal beat Sunderland 5-1 in the last round and have since won one and lost one while Liverpool beat Leicester on penalties and have since lost one and drawn one. Neither team is in great form going into this game but both teams have played top teams during the weekend. The Carabao Cup and the FA Cup are Arsenal’s two real chances of winning a trophy this season while Klopp has never won a domestic cup since joining the club several seasons ago. Mane and Salah will be missing for Liverpool which is a blow to them because they have little attacking depth. Arsenal have been playing well and they could cause Liverpool problems. It is a two legged tie so it will be interesting to see what happens in this 1st leg. 

Serie MW 20

Inter travel to Bologna, Lazio take on Empoli, Atalanta take on Torino, Milan play a big game against Roma, and Juventus play a big game against Napoli. Serie A returns after the winter break Inter lead the league by four points, with Milan, Napoli, and Atalanta making up the top four. Juventus sit 5th four points behind Atalanta while Roma sit 6th in the table. Lazio sit 8th. It’s a good week for Inter, Lazio, and Atalanta to cut or create gaps with the likes of Milan, Roma, Juventus, and Napoli who all play each other. Going to be very interesting to see which team capitalises on the other. 

Midweek Football Review

Finely poised games!

Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg

Paris Saint Germain 1 vs. 2 Man City

It was a game of two halves. Marquinhos got the lead for PSG in the 15th minute and they dominated the 1st half against PSG. City though came out for the 2nd half and totally dominated the game. They pressed PSG and showed energy that the French team lacked. De Bruyne got the equaliser in the 64th minute which was a cross that creeped into the corner. Mahrez then got the winner in the 71st minute after his free kick went through the PSG wall like two doors opening. PSG then had Gueye sent off in the 77th minute for a dangerous tackle on Gundogan. PSG totally flopped in the 2nd half but they are not out of it yet. A big game ahead for them. City have the advantage. 

Europa League Semi-Final 1st Leg

Man United 6 vs. 2 AS Roma

This game was a typical Manchester United game of two halves. Fernandes got United the lead in the 9th minute but Pellegrini equalised for Roma from the penalty spot in the 15th minute. Dzeko then gave Roma the lead in the 33rd minute as United failed to capitalise on the chances they created. Roma also had to make 3 substitutions in the 1st half due to injures. United came out with a different intent in the 2nd half and Cavani equalised for United in the 48th minute. Cavani then made it 3 in the 64th minute while Bruno made it 4 via a customary penalty in the 71st minute. Pogba then made it 5 in the 75th minute while Greenwood made it 6 in the 86th minute. United break the semi-final curse under Ole and even though there is a 2nd leg it should be no more than a formality. United have reached the Europa League final. 

Villarreal 2 vs. 1 Arsenal

Trigueros scored within 5 minutes to give Villarreal the lead while Albiol made it 2 in the 29th minute. Arsenal were extremely poor and Arteta had picked a weird formation where Pepe started up top. Ceballos was then sent off for Arsenal in the 57th minute but Villarreal somehow suffered after it. Pepe got one goal back from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute. Capoue was then sent off for Villarreal in the 80th minute. Villarreal have the advantage but Arsenal do have an away goal to build on. 

Real Madrid 1 vs. 1 Chelsea Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg Review

A step in the right direction which could have been a leap!

Chelsea took on Real Madrid at Real Madrid’s academy stadium on Tuesday night for the Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg. There was a massive storm in Madrid which seemed fitting of the tie. Tuchel stuck with the exact same lineup that played against West Ham which was a bit of a surprise for some fans. Mendy started in goal with Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger making up the back four. Jorginho, and Kante started in midfield with Azpilicueta, and Chilwell as the wing backs. Mount, Pulisic, and Werner started up front. Zidane decided to match Chelsea in formation and chose to field a back three of Militao, Varane, and Nacho. Carvajal and Marcelo started as the wing backs with a trio of Casemiro, Modric, and Kroos. Vinicius and Benzema started up front. 

Chelsea started the game with blistering pace. Madrid looked out of place in their back formation and the front three along with Kante kept finding unlimited space in behind Madrid’s midfield. Chelsea’s first chance came early when a deflected Mount shot found Pulisic who headed the ball into Werner who’s shot from 6 yards was saved by Courtois feet. Chelsea then scored in the 14th minute as Rudiger’s long ball found Pulisic who took it down and dribbled past Courtois to finish and give Chelsea the lead. It was a brilliant goal. Chelsea then had 2-3 good chances as Pulisic, and Kante did well to reach the Madrid box but failed to find the pass into Werner who perhaps was too narrow with his run. As it began to pour the game became sloppy and Benzema managed to hit the post. Benzema then managed the equaliser in the 29th minute after Marcelo’s cross found Carvajal who’s header was bobbed onto Benzema’s head who then volleyed it past Mendy from close range. There was no real chance after that for either team as Madrid grew back into the game but posed no real threat. Half time came with Chelsea probably annoyed by the chances missed in the 1st half. 

The 2nd half was basically a stalemate between two teams which were much more cagey. Real Madrid made changes and changed their formation to a back four later on. The main difference was that they decided to stay narrow and sit back which didn’t allow Chelsea the space that was enjoyed by the front three in the 1st half. Werner came close once while Ziyech off the bench tested Courtois with a free kick but it was a comfortable save. The game ended with Chelsea happy with the away goal but Madrid very much in the tie thanks to the individual brilliance of Benzema. 

Chelsea Team Review


No clean sheet for Mendy in this game. There wasn’t much for Mendy to do during the whole game. There was really only two shots one that hit the post and one that Benezema scored. Other than that it was a wet but quite afternoon for our goalkeeper. 


Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger were solid as a back 3 with Rudiger particularly standing out. The only lapse came in the goal that was conceded as there were 3 headers in the box that our players did not win. Azpilicueta did well defensively and handled Vinicius well while Chilwell did the same on left but also provided a threat up front especially in the opening 25 minutes. Chilwell’s final pass was lacking though. Reece James came on in the 2nd half for Chelsea and handled Hazard well who also came on for a cameo 30 minutes. No clean sheet but a solid display.


Jorginho looked good but clearly tired as the game went on. There was some sloppy play from the Italian of course aided by the heavy rain. Kante was imperious in the midfield and dominated Madrid’s midfield 3. During the 1st 30 minutes he showed his immense dribbling skills as well but again once he reached the Madrid box it looked like he didn’t know what to do. Final pass was lacking from the Frenchman. Mount didn’t have any clear chances on goal but contributed by pressing and providing a basis to launch attacks. 


Pulisic was fire especially during the first 25 minutes. The goal was brilliantly taken and he should have had an assist in the opening minutes as well. The American continues to be a big game player for Chelsea and he delivered once again as he hits form at the right time. Timo Werner received plenty of criticism for his early miss that was saved from point blank range by Courtois. Of course Timo worked hard and created some chances while pulling defenders wide with his pace etc. Timo is a key player thanks to his pace but due to the fact he is a striker he will always be judged by how many goals he scores especially by the younger fans. Timo Werner does need to improve his finishing though but I don’t think it will happen this season. More like something for next season. Ziyech and Havertz came on later in the game and Ziyech once again made an impact from the bench. 


Tuchel’s plan worked to a T in the opening 25 minutes. Tuchel will of course be annoyed that Chelsea leave Madrid with a draw rather than a win by 2 or 3 goals. The attack is again an area where Tuchel needs to figure out things. The players are delivering but are also missing some good chances. An away goal is good though and something to bring back to London. 

It was good to go into a semi-final and not feel like a team that was depending on luck to get through. We dominated Madrid for large parts of the game and created chances as well. Chelsea now have to focus on Fulham and then we take on Madrid at Stamford Bridge. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Real Madrid vs. Chelsea Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg Preview

It’s the big one part 1!

Chelsea travel to Madrid to play Real Madrid at their B stadium on Tuesday night in the 1st leg of the Champions League Semi-Final. Real Madrid started the season poorly but then ever since the new year they have risen back up. They were outside the title race in La Liga but they have come back while they weren’t favourites for the Champions League but they are still well within it. Real Madrid have only scored 3 goal in their last 4 games and have drawn 3 of those 0-0. Regardless of domestic form, Zidane comes alive in the Champions League and their team is one filled with experience in the competition. They beat Atalanta and Liverpool in the last two rounds and neither team was a real threat. 

Chelsea go into this game having beaten West Ham in the league. It was a massive 3 points in the race for top four and now we pivot into the Champions League. Our Champions League campaign under Tuchel so far has been about top notch game management. Our defence has been the bedrock to our success against Atletico and Porto and then we manage to get an away goal or two to give us the advantage. I can’t see Chelsea doing anything different against a very experienced Madrid side. I believe Chelsea will look to control possession and create chances in the open spaces. Similar to any game recently we will have to be clinical with our chances. We have only scored more than 2 goals in one game under Tuchel so it’s not like our forwards are firing in front of goal even though we are playing well. Like Tuchel and Pulisic said pre match Real Madrid are a top team but we are Chelsea and no one wants to play against us either. 

Chelsea Team Preview

The only player out of the squad is Kovacic who is still recovering. Mendy will be in goal with Azpilicueta, Silva, and Rudiger as the back 3. I wouldn’t be surprised if Christensen stars in place of Azpilicueta but I think Tuchel will want the captain on the pitch. Reece James and Ben Chilwell should start as the wing backs with Jorginho and Kante in midfield. Up front Mount is nailed on to start but the other two is anyones guess. I think Tuchel will stick with Havertz and Pulisic but Ziyech and Werner could start as well. Two pairs of players that have created partnerships of sorts in recent games. We have an extensive bench either way filled with many options. 

Real Madrid Team Preview

Real Madrid will be without Ramos and Mendy for this game but they have key players like Kroos, and one Eden Hazard back. Zidane likes his 4-3-3 formation with Courtois in goal another ex Chelsea player. Militao and Varane should make up the centre backs while Carvajal is also back with him and Nacho making up the full back positions. It’s a way better defence than the one they had against Liverpool. Their midfield is their crown jewel with Modric, Casemiro, and Kroos dominating Europe for years now. Their ability to control the game and dictate play is unrivalled. Up front Benzema is nailed on to start as the striker and is probably their most important player while Vinicius should also start on the wing. Benzema’s ability to drop deep and link up play while also being a lethal finisher has seen him reach new heights as he gets older. Vinicius has raw pace to burn. I think the other player to start will be Asensio. Hazard should feature from the bench but he is looking dangerous. Marcelo is another player back who is also ready for this game. 

Starting XI Prediction



These are the type of games we football fans love. It’s going to be a big one for these Chelsea youngsters against a team which is filled with multiple Champions League winners. There is the narrative of Courtois who many Chelsea fans despise for the way he left the club and of Hazard who is idolised by almost everyone. I know Tuchel and team will be up for it and let’s see if we can take another step. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Midweek Football Preview

Closing stages!

Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg

Paris Saint Germain vs. Man City

PSG have hit form since their quarter-final win over Bayern winning 3 of their last 3 games. Man City have played in 3 competitions since beating Dortmund. They lost the FA Cup semi-final, won in the league and then beat Spurs to win the Carabao Cup for the 4th year in a row. This is a massive game and PSG are flying the flag for UEFA when it comes to a team that did not join the now defunct Super League. The Champions League has been the trophy that has eluded Pep since his Barcelona days and City have never won it. A game between two very rich clubs and the Pep, and Poch history is fiery as well. This game should be an absolute firecracker. PSG will want to keep a clean sheet while City will be looking at getting a few away goals. 

Europa League Semi-Final 1st Leg

Man United vs. AS Roma

Manchester United reach another semi-final under Ole and this time they will want to be 5th time lucky as they look to reach the final. United have won 1 and drawn 1 since the quarters. Roma are in poor form going into the game having drawn 1 and lost 2. United are clearly the team in better form and are the favourites in this fixture. Roma have some good players but they will have to be at their best to reach the final. This is an interesting game and United are a beatable team. If Roma can get a couple of away goals it would be massive for them. 

Villarreal vs. Arsenal

Villarreal managed by one Unai Emery take on Arsenal which happens to be Emery’s previous club. Villarreal have won 1 and lost 2 since the quarters while Arsenal have drawn 1 and lost 1. Two teams that are at similar stages in their season. Neither team is flying high and the Europa League is their only realistic chance at reaching the Champions League. For Emery it’s a chance to show that Arsenal were wrong to sack him while for Arsenal and Arteta they are just trying to reach a final once again. It should be a fiery game. 

Midweek Football Review

Finely poised!

Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg

Real Madrid 3 vs. 1 Liverpool

Vinicius and Asensio scored in 1st half while Salah got one back in the 51st minute before Vinicius added a 3rd in the 65th minute. A big win for Real Madrid as they prove their quality while Liverpool seem to have flattered to deceive against Arsenal at the weekend. Advantage Real Madrid but Liverpool have a glimmer of hope with that away goal. 

Man City 2 vs. 1 Dortmund

De Bruyne scored in the 19th minute and it looked like it would be a big win for the home team. Dortmund grew back into the game and had a goal by Bellingham ridiculously disallowed by the joke of a referee. Dortmund finally equalised in the 84th minute via Reus but Foden grabbed the winner in the 90th minute. City get the win but Dortmund have a crucial away goal. All to play for in the 2nd leg and Dortmund will be hoping that they don’t see that referee ever again. 

Bayern Munich 2 vs. 3 Paris Saint Germain

Mbappe scored within 3 minutes to give PSG the lead in what was a snowy night in Munich. Marquinhos made it 0-2 for PSG in the 28th minute after a brilliant pass by Neymar. Choupo-Moting got one back for Bayern in the 37th minute and Bayern equalised in the 2nd half via Muller in the 60th minute. Mbappe then scored the winner in the 68th minute. PSG get 3 big away goals but Bayern were the better team and they were wasteful in their finishing and defending. Bayern are still very much in the game but have an uphill task. 

Europa League Quarter-Final 1st Leg

Arsenal 1 vs. 1 Slavia Praha

This game was a snooze fest. Lacazette missed an absolute sitter in the 2nd half before Pepe finally gave the Gunners a lead in the 86th minute. Slavia though got the equaliser right before full time. A big away goal for Slavia and based on the performance they should go through in the 2nd leg. Arsenal have chances but they can’t play any worse. 

Granada 0 vs. 2 Man United

United were abysmal during the game and Granada probably deserved a point mainly because they played the better football and actually took the game to United. One ball over the top in the 1st half found Rashford who finished to make it 0-1. Fernandes then got his customary penalty before half time to make it 0-2. United are probably through into the semis but Granada have nothing to lose going into the 2nd leg. 

Ajax 1 vs. 2 AS Roma

Klaassen scored in the 39th minute to give Ajax the lead. Roma mounted a 2nd half comeback as Pellegrini scored in the 57th minute while Ibanez got the winner in the 87th minute. Two big away goals for Roma as they go into the 2nd leg while Ajax have an uphill task going into the 2nd leg. 

Dinamo Zagreb 0 vs. 1 Villarreal

Moreno scored a penalty in the 44th minute and Villarreal held on for the win as they keep a clean sheet and get a crucial away goal. Advantage to Emery and team with Dinamo having to do all the hard work in the 2nd leg. 

Serie (Games in hand)

Juventus beat Napoli 2-1 while Inter beat Sassuolo 2-1. Inter go 11 points clear of Milan at the top of the table with 9 games to go. Juventus go into 3rd with the win and a point behind Milan as they fight to get into 2nd. A one horse race in Italy for now and bar any drastic turn around Conte and Inter are looking at the title and ending Juventus’s run, a run which Conte started. 

Porto 0 vs. 2 Chelsea Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg Review

Going into half time with the advantage!

I forgot to do a preview for this game so lets jump straight into the review. Chelsea travelled to Seville to play Porto in the Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg on Wednesday night. Why Seville? Due to quarantine restrictions etc Chelsea could not travel to Portugal and it would be unfair for one game to be played at a neutral venue and another at Stamford Bridge. The 2nd leg will also take place in Seville. Tuchel and Chelsea needed to respond after that horrible 2-5 loss and Tuchel picked a trusted XI. Mendy started in goal with Azpilicueta, Christensen, and Rudiger making up the back 3. Reece James, and Chilwell started as the wing backs with Kovacic, and Jorginho in midfield while Mount, and Werner started behind Havertz. Porto had top scorers Taremi and Oliveira suspended but still fielded a strong team with the likes of Pepe, Corona, Marega all in the starting XI. 

Chelsea began the game as the better team and for 10 minutes we dominated possession but for around 20 minutes after that it was all Porto. Chelsea were pinned back and the players could barely string two passes together. Mendy and the defence had to remain strong and we weathered the storm. Chelsea did have one chance where Mount found Werner with a cross but the German’s header was off target. The 1st goal came in the 32nd minute as Jorginho played a quick pass into Mount who’s first touch and turn left Sanusi in no man’s land. With open space Mount entered the box and finished past Marchesin to make it 0-1. A goal very  much against the run of play. The final 15 minutes of the half were evenly matched but Porto still had a few more chances. 

The 2nd half was better from Chelsea and we actually managed to create 2 very good chances. One came early on when Rudiger took a shot from distance and the keeper fumbled the save which allowed Werner to square the ball to Havertz but Pepe applied enough pressure for the shot to go wide. Azpilicueta also had a good chance to make it 2 when his header went over the bar from point blank range. Werner and Havertz went off for Pulisic, and Giroud around the 60th minute. Chelsea looked comfortable but Mendy still had to make some solid saves. Kante, and Silva came on for Reece James and Mason Mount around the 80th minute. Kovacic played a good pass into Pulisic who’s shot from distance hit the post. The 2nd goal came in the 85th minute as Corona had a loose touch at the back which allowed Chilwell to take advantage. Chilwell ran down on goal and rounded the keeper to make it 0-2. Very Torresesque. Emerson came on late in the game for Kovacic as Chelsea saw out Porto for a big 1st leg win. 

Chelsea Team Preview


That’s another clean sheet for Mendy and 7 in the Champions League now. That’s a new record for our goalkeeper. The clean sheet was well deserved as well as Mendy made some good saves. A solid response after conceding 5 and long may the clean sheets continue. 


The defenders had to respond after their poor showing agains West Brom and respond they did. It was a game where the back 5 had to be solid and we were able to handle whatever Porto threw at us. Azpilicueta and Reece James dominated that right hand side while Rudiger handled Marega well. Chilwell got the 2nd goal and had a positive game as well. A top performance from the defence. Going forward though the 3 at the back need to work on their long passes. Silva and Emerson came on late in the game. 


Jorginho and Kovacic had a better game as a pair than they did against West Brom. The two improved in the 2nd half but were overrun in the 1st as Chelsea couldn’t get a grip on the game. Mount did well to get the goal and it was a brilliant turn to create the space. Kante was brought on for the final 10 minutes to add a bit of energy to the midfield. 


Not the best game for our forward players. First Havertz, and Werner were isolated and didn’t really get into the game and then Giroud, and Pulisic also suffered a similar fate. There were chances though and maybe on another day we convert them. Pulisic had a positive cameo though and it’s good to see that the American could be returning to his form from last season. No need to over analyse it. 


Tuchel needed a response and he got that. Perhaps the fact that Chelsea were resilient and clinical as opposed to dominating will be encouraging for the German. The substitutions came at the right time. Kante and Silva in particular seemed to add a confidence and fluidity to the final 10 minutes. Another win for our German. 

Chelsea go into half time in this 2 legged tie with a lead. We weren’t particularly great but that makes me feel better somehow. There is room for improvement in the 2nd leg and the players will know that. Before that though there is a trip to Crystal Palace on Saturday as we look to bounce back in the league. COME ON CHELSEA!!!