Midweek Football Review

Some interesting results!

Champions League Group Stage MD 5

Group A

Man City 2 vs. 1 Paris Saint Germain

Mbappe gave PSG the lead in the 50th minute, but Sterling equalised for Man City in the 63rd minute. Jesus grabbed the winner for City in the 76th minute. A major criticism of PSG was that Neymar, Messi, and Mbappe never tracked back or defended. City seal the top spot and progress to the Round of 16 while PSG also seal progression but will finish 2nd in the group. 

Club Brugge 0 vs. 5 RB Leipzig

Nkunku scored two, Forsberg scored two, and Andre Silva got one as Leipzig thrashed Brugge. Leipzig get their first win in the group stage and move above Brugge but level on points with them on 4. Both teams stand a chance of making the Europa League but it will be decided in MD 6. 

Group B

Atletico Madrid 0 vs. 1 AC Milan

Messias scored the winner in the 87th minute as AC Milan got three massive points. Milan get their first win and move into 3rd level on points with Atletico who sit 4th in the group. Both teams stand a chance of making the Round of 16 while the Europa League spot is also still in contention. 

Liverpool 2 vs. 0 FC Porto

Thiago and Salah scored in the 2nd half as Liverpool made it 5 wins in 5 in the group stage. Liverpool were already through but further cemented their place as the group winners while Porto remain 2nd but only with a 1 point lead. All to play for going into the final day. 

Group C

Besiktas 1 vs. 2 Ajax

Ghezzal scored a penalty in the 1st half to give Besiktas the lead but Ajax completed a 2nd half comeback thanks to two goals from Haller. Ajax maintain their perfect record in the group stage and will be finishing top of the group while Besiktas have lost all their games and are now officially out of Europe as well. 

Sporting Lisbon 3 vs. 1 Dortmund

Goncalves scored two goals in the 1st half to give Lisbon a 2-0 lead. Can was sent off for Dortmund in the 74th minute and Porro made it three for Lisbon in the 81st minute. Male got a consolation goal for Dortmund in extra time. Sporting go 3 points clear in 2nd in what is a massive win for them. Dortmund remain 3 points behind Lisbon and in 3rd. Hope still remains but it would take goal difference and head to head to decide who goes through and who plays Europa League football on the final day. 

Group D

Inter Milan 2 vs. 0 Shakhtar Donetsk

Dzeko scored two goals in the 2nd half to give Inter a good win against Shakhtar. Inter seal progression to the round of 16 and the top spot is still open for them as well going into the final matchday. Shakhtar with this loss are knocked out of Europe and will only be playing domestic football going forward. 

Sheriff 0 vs. 3 Real Madrid

Alaba and Kroos scored in the 1st half to give Real Madrid a comfortable lead. Benzema got the third in the 55th minute to seal the win for the Spaniards. Madrid seal a place in the next round but top spot is still not guaranteed going into the final matchday. Sheriff started the group stage well but will finish 3rd and will drop down to the Europa League. 

Group E

Dynamo Kyiv 1 vs. 2 Bayern Munich

Lewandowski scored a brilliant bicycle kick and Coman got another in the first half to give Bayern a 0-2 lead. Harmash got one back for Kyiv in the 70th minute. Kyiv with the loss will be finishing 4th and will play no further part in Europe. Bayern make it 5 in 5 and will finish top of the group without any doubts. 

Barcelona 0 vs. 0 Benfica

No goals in this game although how neither team scored was the biggest mystery. There were several missed opportunities and disallowed goals on both sides. Barcelona sit 2nd in the group 2 points above Benfica but nothing is guaranteed and both positions will be decided on the final matchday. 

Group F

Villarreal 0 vs. 2 Man United

Villarreal dominated this game and De Gea was the saviour for United once again as he kept the English team in the game. Ronaldo then scored in the 78th minute after a mistake by Pau Torres and Sancho sealed the win for United in the 90th minute. Villarreal remain 2nd in the group with 7 points but nothing is guaranteed yet. United seal a spot in the last 16 but they could still finish 2nd in the group. 

Young Boys 3 vs. 3 Atalanta

A crazy game with many goals. Zapata gave Atalanta the lead in the 10th minute. Siebatcheu equalised for Young Boys in the 39th minute. Palomino restored Atalanta’s lead in the 51st minute but Sierro and Hefts scored in the 80th and 84th minute to make it 3-2 for Young Boys. Muriel finally scored in the 88th minute to get a point for Atalanta. Young boys remain 4th in the table and a while they might not be able to finish 2nd they still stand a chance of finishing 3rd. Atalanta sit 3rd in the table a point behind Villarreal as the decision goes down to the final day.

Group G

Sevilla 2 vs. 0 Wolfsburg

Jordan scored in the 12th minute and Mir scored in the 97th minute to give Sevilla a big win against Wolfsburg. Sevilla get their first win of the group stage as they move into 3rd on 6 points while Wolfsburg drop down to 4th on 5 points. Wolfsburg might not be able to finish 1st but everything is till open in this group to everyone.

Lille 1 vs. 0 RB Salzburg

David scored in the 31st minute to give Lille the lead and the French side held on for the win. Lille go top of the group with 8 points while Salzburg sit 2nd in the group with 7 points. Lille are guaranteed a place in Europe now unless they lose heavily on the final day but no position is sorted yet. Salzburg’s fate is also yet to be seen.

Group H

Malmo 1 vs. 1 Zenit 

Rieks scored in the 28th minute to give Malmo the lead but Zenit equalised late in the game thanks to a penalty from Rakitskyi in extra time. Zenit also saw Chistyakov sent off in the 86th minute. Malmo get their first point but will be finishing 4th and are out of Europe. Zenit will finish 3rd in the group and are heading to the Europa League after the final day. 

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Chelsea 4 vs. 0 Juventus Champions League Group Stage MD 5 Review

Big Win!

Chelsea took on Italian side Juventus at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night for MD 5 of the Champions League group stage. Juventus had beaten Chelsea 1-0 in Turin and approached this game knowing that a draw would be enough to guarantee top spot for them. Chelsea on the other hand had to win big with a big margin to move above the Italian side. Allegri switched to a back four for this game with De Ligt, and Bonucci as the centre backs and Sandro and Cuadrado as the full backs. Rabiot and McKennie started on the wings with a midfield of Locatelli and Bentancur. Up top Chiesa started alongside Morata who returned to Stamford Bridge after leaving in 2018. Tuchel started Mendy in goal with a back three of Chalobah, Silva, and Rudiger. James and Chilwell started as the wing backs with a midfield of Jorginho and Kante. Hudson-Odoi, Ziyech and Pulisic started up front. 

The game from minute one was all Chelsea. Chilwell began proceedings by missing a shot in the 2nd minute. Chalobah went close from a Reece James cross a little while later. The first goal came in the 25th minute as Ziyech whipped in a cross that bounced off of Rudiger to find Chalobah who smashed it into the net to score his first ever Champions League goal in his debut. Juventus then went close through Morata in the 28th minute as he lobbed Mendy but Silva cleared off the line in a piece of brilliant defending to keep it 1-0. Kante had to come off in the 37th minute after a slight problem and Loftus-Cheek came on to replace him. Reece then went close with a brilliant volley but the shot was saved. Hudson-Odoi then went close but Bonucci made a last ditch block. The first half ended 1-0 with Chelsea in total dominance. 

The 2nd half began as the first half ended with Chelsea dominating possession and creating chances while Juventus blocked shots. The 2nd goal finally came in the 55th minute as Ziyech crossed in a ball which was headed into Reece James path who chested it down and smashed a volley past Szczesny to make it 2-0. A brilliant volley and Reece James going from strength to strength. The 3rd goal came in the 28th minute as a pass from Rudiger was brought down by Reece James who passed to Ziyech who found Loftus-Cheek who dribbled within the Juventus box to pass into Hudson-Odoi who slotted the ball in. A brilliant team goal and a 3rd Cobham goalscorer. The final goal came in the 95th minute as Reece James found Ziyech with a brilliant long ball and Ziyech drilled in a low cross which Werner ran on to to finish and finish the game. A brilliant performance. 

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper

Another clean sheet for Mendy and he had little to do once again. Although he was called into action in the 2nd half with a McKennie long range effort and made a good save. 

Defenders

A goal for Chalobah his 3rd of the season a brilliant performance by Thiago Silva and Rudiger. A brilliant goal by Reece James and a great overall performance, he really does seem to be growing with every game. The only blemish in the entire game was the injury to Chilwell in the 2nd half as he went down with a pain in his knee. Everyone will be praying it’s not a serious one. Azpilicueta came on in the 2nd half for Chilwell and did well to see out the game. 

Midfielders

Jorginho and Kante dominated the tempo and game but Kante did come off early in the 1st half and one hopes that it’s minor as well. Loftus-Cheek came on and continued the midfield domination with power and pace. A brilliant assist for RLC as well. Mount also came on in the 2nd half along with Saul to help see out the game. 

Forwards

Hudson-Odoi brilliant throughout the game. It is what everyone wants to see from him to take those chances. A good goal to cap off a solid performance. Ziyech’s passing was wayward in the first half but he did way better in the 2nd half and was actually crucial in multiple goals. Ziyech also ran himself to the ground in this game. Good to see. Pulisic was quiet but he did stretch the Juventus defence and worked hard up top in an unfamiliar position. Werner came on in the 2nd half to score with the final kick of the game and he will love that. 

Manager

Tuchel’s 50th game in charge of Chelsea and hopefully there are many many more to come for the German. Tuchel broke the clean sheet record for managers in charge of 50 games in football history as well. The German will be massively pleased with the performance but he will continue to take it game by game. 

A brilliant night at Stamford Bridge it was Juventus’s heaviest defeat in the Champions League and their heaviest defeat since 2004. Chelsea go top of the group but still need to finish off Zenit while we do seal a place in the Round of 16. The only blemish is Chilwell and we all pray for him. Next up is Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Chelsea vs. Juventus Champions League Group Stage MD 5 Preview

A big game to decide the top spot.

Chelsea take on Juventus at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night for MD 5 of the Champions League group stage. Juventus sit top of the group with 12 points and 3 points clear of Chelsea who they beat in Turin. Juventus in Serie A sit 8th in the table   and have won their last two domestically keeping 2 clean sheets in the process. Juventus have been inconsistent but have patched together points in recent weeks and are playing well to move up the table. In Europe they have been flawless this season. 

Chelsea go into his game having drawn against Burnley and beaten Leicester at the weekend. A win for Chelsea in this game would send them level on points with Juventus and maybe top of the group depending on the scoreline. At Juventus Chelsea dominated the first half but failed to take chances and all that was needed was a lapse in concentration for Chiesa to score that day. Chelsea have done extremely well since then and we are controlling games better although Juventus is the toughest opposition we have faced in recent weeks. Other than that though both teams are more than likely to be heading to the Round of 16 it just depends on the order.

Chelsea Team Preview

Kovacic is out while Havertz has a slight hamstring issue but other than that everyone is available. Mendy should start in goal with Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger in defence. James and Chilwell should start as the wing backs with a midfield of Kante and Loftus-Cheek. Up front Hudson-Odoi, Pulisic and Werner should start up front. Mount might be given a bit of rest for this game and start from the bench while Lukaku might feature from the bench. Ziyech did well off the bench against Leicester and could also start in place of Pulisic. It’s a good lineup either way. 

Juventus Team Preview

Juventus are without 5 or 6 players but none are key other than Chiellini. It should be a back three of De Ligt, Bonucci, and Danilo with Szczesny in goal. Locatelli should play as the cdm with Rabiot and Cuadrado as advanced wing backs. Mckennie, and Pellegrini in midfield with a front two of Chiesa and Morata who is back available for this game. Kean, Kulusevksi are some that are available for Allegri to come off the bench while Sandro is also there. It’s a good starting XI for sure but at the moment Juventus are lacking depth off the bench. 

Starting XI Prediction

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It’s going to be a very entertaining game and Chelsea will want to win this one having lost in Turin. Morata also visits the club after leaving a few seasons ago. Chelsea have the quality on the field and on the bench to win this over 90 minutes. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Midweek Football Preview

Crunch time in the Champions League!

Champions League Group Stage MD 5

Group A

Man City vs. Paris Saint Germain

A big game in Manchester as group leaders City take on 2nd placed PSG with a point separating them. This is a must win game because the winner would secure a place in the next round while the loser could face a tricky final game if Brugge win. City have won both their games since the last game while PSG have won both as well. This should be a fun game but City are for sure the better team regardless of the current form being similar. Poch is rumoured to be eyeing the United job so could this be his last game in charge and how will Messi impact the game. An interesting one for sure.

Club Brugge vs. RB Leipzig

Brugge sit 3rd 4 points behind PSG while Leipzig sit bottom of the table with a point. Leipzig stand no chance of making the next round but they can still hope to finish 3rd although this is a must win game for the Germans. Brugge still have hope for finishing in the top 2 positions but this is a must win game for them as well. Another one to keep an eye on. Brugge have drawn 1 and lost 1 of their last two games while Leipzig have won 1 and lost 1.

Group B

Atletico Madrid vs. AC Milan

Atletico sit 3rd in the group with 4 points while Milan sit bottom of the group with 1 point. Porto are 2nd with 5 points. This is a must win game for both teams to keep their fate in their hands. If Atletico lose and Porto win then Atletico would not be able to finish in the top 2 positions while if Milan lose and Porto wins then Milan would be out of Europe. If Liverpool defeat Porto then a loss for Atletico would not be the end of the world. Many combinations in this group for sure. Atletico have drawn 1 and won 1 while Milan have drawn 1 and lost 1. A big game in Madrid for sure.

Liverpool vs. FC Porto

Liverpool sit clear at the top and are already through so this is a good opportunity for Klopp to rotate. Porto can afford to lose this game but if they win it would for sure put them in the driving seat for that final spot for the Round fo 16. A tough game for Porto but must win not really. 

Group C

Besiktas vs. Ajax

Ajax are all but through as they sit 6 points clear at the top of the table. Besiktas sit bottom of the group with 0 points and while they can mathematically still finish in the other three places it is almost impossible. Besiktas have lost both their games since the last game while Ajax have drawn 1 and won 1 of their games. Ajax should win.

Sporting Lisbon vs. Dortmund

Both teams sit level with 6 points and while it’s not a winner takes all game a win for either team would make them favourites to qualify with Ajax while the loser will probably have to settle for the Europa League. Sporting have won both their games while Dortmund have lost 1 and won 1. A big game. 

Group D

Inter Milan vs. Shakhtar Donetsk

Inter sit 2nd in the group with 7 points while Shakhtar sit bottom of the group with 1 point. Inter should see this as a must win game because it could see them secure a place in the next round of Real beat Sherrif. For Shakhtar this is a must win game if they want to stand a chance of making the Europa League and a loss in this game would see them most likely knocked out of Europe. Inter have drawn 1 and won 1 while Shakhtar have won both their games. One to keep an eye on.

Sheriff vs. Real Madrid

Sheriff sit 3rd in the group with 6 points while Real Madrid sit top of the group with 9 points. Sheriff started well but they fell off and a loss in this game would see them finishing 3rd if Inter also win their game. A win for Real Madrid in this game would secure a top 2 position but a loss could make it tricky going into the final game. Sheriff have won both their games while Real have also won both their games. 

Group E

Dynamo Kyiv vs. Bayern Munich

Kyiv sit bottom of the group with 1 point while Bayern Munich sit top of the group with 12 points. A win for Kyiv would give them a chance of finishing 2nd or 3rd while a loss would all but guarantee 4th place. Bayern are through and this is a chance for them to rest some players. Kyiv have lost 1 and won 1 while Bayern have won 1 and lost 1. 

Barcelona vs. Benfica

Barcelona sit 2nd in the group while Benfica sit 3rd in the group with 2 points separating them. A win for Barcelona would secure a place in the next round for Xavi and co while a loss would see them move out and give Benfica the advantage going into the final game. A must win game for sure. Barcelona have drawn 1 and lost 1 while Benfica have won both their games.

Group F

Villarreal vs. Man United

The group leaders take on each other in what is an interesting game. A win for Villarreal would put them 3 points clear and at the top of the table while a loss could see them drop to 3rd if Atalanta win. The same goes for United a win would put them top while a loss would see them drop down to 3rd if Atalanta win. Villarreal have won 1 and drawn 1 and United have have lost their last 2. United will be under new interim management in the form of Carrick as they wait to appoint a new manager and Emery will want to take advantage.

Young Boys vs. Atalanta

Young Boys sit bottom of the group with 3 points while Atalanta sit 3rd with 5 points. A win for Young Boys would move them to 3rd and give them a chance at qualification while a loss would mean that they get knocked out of Europe. Atalanta can go level or into 2nd with a win in this game while a loss would not be the end of the world but it would make it extremely difficult. Another interesting game. Young Boys have drawn 1 game while Atalanta have won their last two games. 

Group G

Sevilla vs. Wolfsburg

Sevilla sit bottom of the group with 3 points while Wolfsburg sit 3rd in the group with 5 points. A win for Sevilla would sent them to 2nd possibly but nothing would be guaranteed. A win for Wolfsburg could send them top but would knockout Sevilla from Europe. Sevilla have won 1 game and drawn 1 while Wolfsburg have done the same. 

Lille vs. RB Salzburg

Lille sit 2nd in the group with 5 points while Salzburg top the group with 7 points. A win for Lille would send them top of the group and put them into good position going into the final game while a win for Salzburg would seal top spot for them. Lille have drawn both their games while Salzburg have won 1 and drawn 1. 

Group H

Malmo vs. Zenit

Malmo sit bottom of the group with 0 points while Zenit sit 3rd in the group with 3 points. This is basically a game to see who finishes 3rd. A win for Malmo would bring them level on points with Zenit and set up an interesting final match day while a win for Zenit would secure 3rd for them. Malmo have won 1 and drawn 1 while Zenit have drawn 1 and won 1. 

Midweek Football Review

Some teams are through!

Champions League Group Stage MD 4

Group A

Man City 4 vs. 1 Club Brugge

Foden scored in the 15th minute to give City the lead but Brugge equalised two minutes later with Stones scoring an own goal. City had too much quality though and goals from Mahrez, Sterling, and Jesus in the 2nd half saw City through. City sit top of the group and 5 points from 3rd, a point should be enough to secure a place in the  Round of 16. Brugge sit 3rd and 4 points behind 2nd. Still a chance for them to go through but tough games ahead.

RB Leipzig 2 vs. 2 Paris Saint Germain

Nkunku gave Leipzig the lead in the 8th minute but Wijnaldum equalised for PSG in the 21st minute and gave them the lead in the 39th minute. PSG looked like they were going to get 3 points but Szoboszlai scored a penalty in the final minutes to get a point for Leipzig. Leipzig get their first point of the campaign and sit 4th. Leipzig sit 3 points behind 3rd place and their only chance is Europa League football. PSG sit 2nd with 8 points but only 4 ahead of Brugge. 

Group B

Liverpool 2 vs. 0 Atletico Madrid

Jota and Mane scored within 22 minutes to give Liverpool a quick lead and Felipe was sent off for Atletico in the 36th minute. Liverpool make it 4 in 4 and seal progression from the group and the top spot with 2 games to go. Atletico sit 3rd with 4 points and its all to play for in this group still.

AC Milan 1 vs. 1 FC Porto

Diaz scored in the 6th minute to give Porto the lead but Mbemba scored an own goal in the 61st minute to bring Milan back into the game. Neither team could find the winner but Milan went close towards the end. Milan sit bottom of the group but finally get their 1st point and still are only 4 points behind 2nd. Tough but not impossible and the same can be said for Porto who sit 2nd. 

Group C

Dortmund 1 vs. 3 Ajax

Reus scored a goal in the 37th minute to give Dortmund the lead. Hummels had been sent off for Dortmund a bit earlier. Ajax mounted a late 2nd half comeback though with Tadic scoring in the 72nd minute, Haller scoring in the 83rd minute and Klassen grabbing the winner in extra time. Dortmund remain 2nd in the group with 6 points but only ahead on goal difference. Ajax sit top of the group with 12 points and are all but through to the next round. 

Sporting Lisbon 4 vs. 0 Besiktas

Goncalves got two in the 1st half and Paulinho also managed one goal to give Sporting a 3-0 lead. Sarabia got one more in the 2nd half while Souza was sent off for Besiktas at full time. Sporting sit 3rd with 6 points and only behind Dortmund on goal difference. Besiktas sit bottom of the table with 0 points and the only way they can reach the Europa League is if they win their last two games with big margins. 

Group D

Sheriff 1 vs. 3 Inter Milan

Brozovic, Skriniar, and Sanchez scored in the 2nd half to give Inter a 0-3 lead and Traore got one back for Sheriff in extra time. Sheriff sit 3rd in the group a point behind Inter who sit 2nd. All to play for in this group but its a 3 way race.

Real Madrid 2 vs. 1 Shakhtar Donetsk

Benzema scored in the 14th minute to give Real Madrid the lead but Fernando equalised for Shakhtar in the 39th minute. Benzema grabbed the winner for Real Madrid in the 61st minute. Real Madrid sit top of the group with 9 points but progression is not guaranteed yet. Shakhtar are now 6 points from 2nd and its tough to see them making the top 2 and even 3rd is hard at the moment. 

Group E

Dynamo Kyiv 0 vs. 1 Barcelona

Fati scored the winner in the 70th minute to give Barcelona a very important win in Ukraine. Kyiv sit bottom of the group with 1 point and mathematically they can make 2nd but it will be tough with a 5 point gap. Barcelona sit 2nd in the group but they will need to hold on to it with tough games ahead.

Bayern Munich 5 vs. 2 Benfica

Lewandowski scored in the 26th minute and Gnabry made it 2 in the 32nd minute. Morato gone one back for Benfica in the 38th minute. Sane made it 3 for Bayern in the 49th minute and Lewandowski grabbed his 2nd in the 61st minute. Nunez got one back for Benfica in the 74th minute but Lewandowski completed his hattrick in the 84th minute. Bayern should finish top of the group but are through to the Round of 16. Benfica sit 3rd in the group and it’s all to play for.

Group F

Atalanta 2 vs. 2 Man United

Atalanta must hate Ronaldo as United relied on him and individual moments along with luck to get a point against Atalanta. Ilicic gave Atalanta the lead in the 12th minute and put pressure on United with some great defending by Bailly. Ronaldo equalised for United before half time. Atalanta regained the lead in the 56th minute thanks to Zapata but Ronaldo once again equalised for United in the 91st minute. Ole lives for another day and can thank Ronaldo and Bailly for that. United sit top of the group with 7 points while Atalanta sit 3rd with 5 points. All to play for. 

Villarreal 2 vs. 0 Young Boys

Capoue scored in the 1st half and Danjuma scored in the 2nd half as Villarreal won 2-0. Villarreal sit 2nd with 7 points while Young Boys sit 4th with 3 points. Still mathematically possible for everyone. 

Group G

Sevilla 1 vs. 2 Lille

Ocampos scored in the 15th minute but David equalised via a penalty before half time. Ikone grabbed the winner for Lille in the 51st minute. Sevilla sit bottom of the group with 3 points while Lille sit 2nd in the group with 5 points. Open.

Wolfsburg 2 vs. 1 RB Salzburg

Baku gave Wolfsburg the lead in the 3rd minute but Wober equalised for Salzburg in the 30th minute. Nmecha grabbed the winner for Wolfsburg in the 60th minute. Wolfsburg sit 3rd in the group with 5 points. Salzburg sit top of the group with 7 points. 

Group H

Juvenous 3 vs. 1 Zenit

Dybala scored in the 11th minute to give Juventus the lead before Bonucci scored an own goal to equalise for Zenit in the 26th minute. Dybala, Chiesa, and Morata scored in the 2nd half for Juventus while Azmoun got a consolation goal for Zenit in an important win for Juventus. Juventus are through to the Round of 16 with two games to go although top spot is still open. Zenit are now likely to finish 3rd in the group although they only sit 3 clear of Malmo. 

Malmo 0 vs. 1 Chelsea Champions League Group Stage MD 4 Review

Big 3 points!

Chelsea travelled to Sweden to play Malmo in the 4th Matchday of the Champions League group stage. Malmo selected a similar 3-5-2 formation to the last game but made a couple of changes from the 1st leg. Chelsea also made a couple of changes. Mendy started in goal with a back three of Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger. Azpilicueta and Alonso started as the wing backs with Jorginho and RLC in midfield. Ziyech, Hudson-Odoi and Havertz started up front. 

The whole game was pretty straight froward with Chelsea dominating possession and chances but Malmo defending well. The Malmo goalkeeper Dahlin made some very good saves during the game. Chelsea had 22 shots on goal with with 11 on target throughout the entire game compared to Malmo’s 4 shots with none on target. The only goal of the game came in the 56th minute with Havertz playing through Hudson-Odoi down the right hand side and CHO delivered a brilliant cross into Ziyech who tapped in the winner. 

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper

Mendy had nothing to do for much of the game although Malmo did have a couple of half chances on the counter in the 1st half. Another clean sheet for Mendy and a peaceful game in general.

Defenders

A clean sheet for all three centre backs and the two full backs. Azpilicueta and Alonso are slower than Reece James and Chilwell so lacked that bombarding impact that they have in games. Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger were their dominant selves and managed the game well. 

Midfielders

Jorginho controlled the game as usual but it was Loftus-Cheek who had a good game once again. Marauding forward, using his body well and coming close a couple of times to getting a goal. Loftus-Cheek should have had two assists if Havertz had had his finishing boots on. Barkley did come on in the 2nd half for Ziyech and had a decent cameo.

Forwards

Hudson-Odoi had a good game once again and got an assist to boot. It was a brilliant cross and long may he continue and improve. Ziyech had a frustrating game as he tried to make an impact but his passing was off. Still he got the crucial game winning goal and that should give him confidence going forward. Havertz had a good game and should have scored two goals to prove it. Pulisic came on for lively cameo in the 2nd half and caused Malmo problems in behind their line and with his close control. The American could have got a goal with the final kick of the game but he rounded the keeper and sent his shot over under pressure. A bright cameo after not playing for so long though.

Manager

Three points for Tuchel as we remain 2nd in the table with 9 points. We are now 6 clear of Zenit with two games to go and need a point from our remaining two games. It was a good outing and some rotation helped as well. 

3 points was all that was important yesterday and next up is a visit by Burnley on Saturday. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Malmo vs. Chelsea Champions League Group Stage MD 4 Preview

Just keep winning!

Chelsea travel to Sweden to play Malmo on Tuesday night in the 4th game of the Champions League group stage. Malmo sit bottom of the group having lost all three of their games and a loss in this game would rule out a place in the top 2 of the group. Malmo lost 4-0 to Chelsea in the reverse fixture and have since drawn 1 and won 2 of their games. Malmo do lead the league in Sweden but their talent has not translated into the Champions League although in fairness to them their group is a tough one. 

Chelsea go into this game having won at Newcastle 0-3. The reverse fixture of this game we won 4-0 2 weeks ago. We sit 2nd in the group with 6 points while Malmo have 0. A win for Chelsea in this game would knock Malmo out of finishing in the top 2. A win for Chelsea and win for Juventus would all but secure the two spots for these teams. The onus is on Malmo to come out and win because if Zenit beat Juventus then Malmo would most likely be finishing 4th regardless of their final two games. For Chelsea it will be a tough trip because Malmo will apparently have a full stadium of fans after 2 years. Away trips are always tough especially against teams that have nothing to lose but we are doing well in these situations in recent games. 

Chelsea Team Preview

Lukaku, Werner, Mount, Kovacic and Kante have not joined the squad for various reasons but Pulisic has joined up after returning from injury. Mendy should remain in goal with a back three of Azpilicueta, Christensen, and Rudiger. Reece James, and Chilwell should start as the wing backs with Jorginho, and Loftus-Cheek in the middle. Hudson-Odoi, Barkley, and Havertz should start up front. Ziyech has got a couple of chances but has been unlucky and poor in those performances while Barkley has mad an impact from the bench. A strong lineup with plenty of talent on the bench and Pulisic should be available as well. 

Malmo Team Preview

I expect Malmo to stick with the same formation they had at Stamford Bride. A back 3 with 5 in midfield and 2 up top. 

Starting XI Prediction

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With fans in the Malmo stadium at full capacity for the first time in 2 years the atmosphere will be electric for this game. Chelsea have face tough atmospheres before and we need to get the result. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Midweek Football Preview

Crucial games in the Champions League!

Champions League MW 4

Group A

Man City vs. Club Brugge

City sit 2nd in the group while Brugge sit 3rd in the group with 2 points separating them. City beat Brugge 1-5 in the last game and have since won 1 and lost 2 of their games. Brugge have drawn 1 and won 2. City should win this game but Brugge are capable of an upset and maybe could get a point out of this game. It isn’t a must not lose game for Brugge but it would give them a good chance of finishing in the top 2 if they manage something out of this game.

RB Leipzig vs. Paris Saint Germain

PSG lead the group with 7 points and Leipzig sit bottom of the group with 0 points. PSG beat Leipzig 3-2 in the last game and have since drawn 1 and won 1. Leipzig have won 2 and drawn 1. It is a must win game for Leipzig because a loss in this will knock them out of contention for the top 2. PSG could seal a spot in the top 2 if they win this game and results elsewhere go in their favour. It should be an open game and the result could go either way.

Group B

Liverpool vs. Atletico Madrid

Liverpool sit top of the group with 9 points while Atletico sit 2nd with 4 points. The last game was a 2-3 win for Liverpool with some dubious refereeing and Liverpool have since won 2 and drawn 1 of their games. Atletico have since drawn 2 and won 1 of their games. A win for Liverpool in this game would seal a spot in the next round for Klopp and probably a spot as the group leaders as well. A win for Atletico would make it an interesting situation going into the final few games. Atletico have beaten Liverpool at Anfield in recent seasons and Liverpool have been far from convincing at least defensively. 

AC Milan vs. FC Porto

Milan sit bottom of the group with 0 points while Porto sit 3rd with 4 points. Porto won the last game 1-0 and Milan have since won all three their games while Porto have have won 2 and lost 1. This is a must win game for Milan, they have played well in their games but have fallen short in each of them. If Porto win then the top 2 would be out of reach for Milan and their best chance would be Europa League football and even that could be out of question if Atletico win. This is a must win game for Milan. 

Group C

Dortmund vs. Ajax

Ajax sit top of the group with 9 points while Dortmund sit 2nd in the group with 6 points. Ajax beat Dortmund 4-0 in the last game and have since won 1 and drawn 1 of their games. Dortmund have played 3 and won 3 since. A win for Ajax seals the top spot and a place in the next round for them while Dortmund can go level with Ajax and possibly both teams could seal a place in the next round if results elsewhere go their way. An interesting game indeed.

Sporting Lisbon vs. Besiktas

Lisbon sit 3rd with 3 points while Besiktas sit bottom of the group with 0 points. Lisbon beat Besiktas 1-4 in the last round and have since won all three of their games. Besiktas have since won 1 and lost 1. A win for Lisbon would seal a minimum 3rd place finish for them while this is a must not lose game for Besiktas. 

Group D

Sheriff vs. Inter Milan

Sheriff still top of the group with 6 points while Inter sit 3rd with 3 points. Inter beat Sheriff 3-1 in the last round have since won 2 and drawn 1 while Sheriff have won all 3 of their games since. This is still an open group and while a win for either team will be a good step forward a loss would not mean the end of the journey. 

Real Madrid vs. Shakhtar Donetsk

Real Madrid sit 2nd in the group with 6 points while Shakhtar sit bottom of the group with 1 point. Real won 0-5 in the last game and have since won 2 and drawn 1. Shakhtar have since won all 3 games. For Shakhtar it is a must not lose game. A win would be great for the Ukrainians but if Real win and result elsewhere don’t go their way then Shakhtar won’t be able to finish 3rd either. 

Group E

Dynamo Kyiv vs. Barcelona

Kyiv sit bottom of the group with 1 point while Barcelona sit 3rd with 3 points. Barcelona beat Kyiv in the last round but have since lost 2 and drawn 1. Dynamo have won all 3 of their games since the loss. An away trip to Ukraine is always tricky especially for a Barcelona side which is under interim management and isn’t playing well. It’s an open group for either team at the moment and it’s all up for grabs. 

Bayern Munich vs. Benfica

Bayern have all three games and sit top of the group while Benfica sit 2nd in the group with 4 points. Bayern beat Benfica 0-4 in the last round have since won 2 and lost 1 of their games. Benfica have won 1 and drawn 2 since. Bayern can seal the top spot and a place in the next round if they win this game while Benfica can take a solid step forward if they win this game. 

Group F

Atalanta vs. Man United

Atalanta sit 3rd in the group with 4 points while United sit top of the group with 6 points. United beat Atalanta 3-2 in the last round have since lost 1 and won 1. Atalanta have drawn 2 and won 1. This group is still quiet open so the result isn’t a final nail in anyone’s coffin but Atalanta will want to bounce back against United after losing in the fashion they did in the last game. 

Villarreal vs. Young Boys

Villarreal sit 2nd in the group with 4 points while Young Boys sit bottom of the group with 3 points. Villarreal beat Young Boys 1-4 and have since lost 2 and drawn 1. Young Boys have since won 1 and lost 2. Same situation as the previous two teams with both still fighting for the top two spots.

Group G

Sevilla vs. Lille

Sevilla sit 2nd in the group with 3 points while Lille sit 3rd in the group with 2 points. It was a 0-0 game in the last round and Sevilla have since won 2 and drawn 1. Lille have drawn 1 and lost 1. It’s an open situation in this group at the moment. 

Wolfsburg vs. RB Salzburg

Wolfsburg sit bottom of the group with 2 points while Salzburg sit top of the group with 7 points. Salzburg can seal a spot in the next round with a win in this game while Wolfsburg are still in contention but really should win or draw this game. Wolfsburg lost to Salzburg 3-1 in the last round have since lost 1 and won 1. Salzburg have won 2 and drawn 1 since. 

Group H

Juventus vs. Zenit

Zenit sit 3rd in the group with 3 points while Juventus sit top of the group with 9 points. A win for Juventus in this game and a Chelsea win would all but rule out Zenit’s chance of finishing in the top 2. It’s a must not lose game for Zenit. Juventus beat Zenit 0-1 in the last game and have since drawn 1 and lost 2 while Zenit have won both their games. An interesting situation indeed.

Chelsea 4 vs. 0 Malmo Champions League Group Stage MD 3 Review

Comprehensive win that was needed.

Chelsea welcomed Malmo to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday for a Champions League group stage game. Malmo set up with their predicted lineup while Tuchel surprisingly went with a strong lineup as well. Mendy started in goal with a back three of Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger. Azpilicueta, Jorginho, Kante, and Chilwell started as the wing back’s and midfielders with Mount, Werner, and Lukaku up front. Clearly Tuchel wanted to get the job done early which would allow him to rotate players in the 2nd half. 

It was all Chelsea for 90 minutes. The first half saw Chelsea get the lead in the 9th minute as a ball into the box from Thiago Silva found an incoming Andreas Christensen who finished with a strikers touch to make it 1-0. It was Christensen’s first goal for the club and he was delighted. The second goal came in the 21st minute after Lukaku was brought down in the Malmo box. Jorginho stepped up and made it 2-0 but Lukaku seemed to have twisted his ankle and was brought off with Havertz coming on. Timo then seemed to pull up his hamstring and had to come off right before half time with Hudson-Odoi coming on. Great half to get the two goals but massive negatives with Lukaku and Werner both injured. 

The 2nd half was more of the same with Hudson-Odoi playing the ball into Havertz who chipped the goalkeeper to make it 3-0 in the 48th minute. Rudiger was then brought down in the Malmo box in the 57th minute and Jorginho scored his 2nd penalty to make it 4-0. Tuchel rang the changes with Saul, Alonso, and Reece James coming on but that was that for the goals.

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper

Another clean sheet for Mendy. No shots on target from Malmo meant that this was a quiet game for Mendy compared to the Brentford one. A rest of sorts for him.

Defenders

Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger get a clean sheet. Christensen get’s a goal, Silva get’s an assist and Rudiger got the penalty. Azpilicueta and Chilwell played well and had no issues as well, they were literally playing as no 10’s for most of their time on the pitch. Reece James and Alonso came on in the 2nd half and Alonso struggled a bit with the pace but Reece James was fine. 

Midfielders

Jorginho get’s two more goals via penalties to his name. Kante was his usual dominant self. Mount was ok but still no luck in front of goal. Havertz got a good goal coming off the bench and with Lukaku and Werner out he should get plenty more opportunity to regain form. Saul also came on in the 2nd half but the tempo had slowed down by then.

Forwards

Lukaku and Werner were playing well before they both got injured. Tuchel said post game that they might be out for a few games. Hudson-Odoi did come on and it he did well playing in his favoured position. It’s going to be a big few games for Hudson-Odoi going forward. 

Manager

Tuchel get’s another clean sheet and a win and one that he was expecting. The injuries will not please him but that was bad luck more than anything else. The goals and impact from Havertz, and Hudson-Odoi will please him. 

Chelsea sit 2nd in the group with 6 points, 3 behind Juventus. Next up is a visit by Norwich to Stamford Bridge on Saturday. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Midweek Football Review

No major shocks.

Champions League Group Stage MD 3

Group A

Club Brugge 1 vs. 5 Man City

Cancelo and Mahrez scored in the first half to give Man City the lead. Walker, and Palmer added 2 more in the 2nd half before Vanaken got one back for Brugge in the 81st minute. Mahrez rounded off proceedings by getting the fifth in the 84th minute. City sit 2nd in the group while Brugge sit 3rd in the group 2 points behind them. 

Paris Saint Germain 3 vs. 2 RB Leipzig

Mbappe scored in the 9th minute to give PSG the lead but Leipzig equalised in the 28th minute via Silva. Mukiele gave Leipzig the lead in the 57th minute but Messi scored two late goals to round off a come back for PSG. Messi could have had a hattrick but he let Mbappe take the 2nd penalty and the Frenchman missed. PSG sit top of the group with 7 points while Leipzig sit bottom with 0. 

Group B

Atletico Madrid 2 vs. 3 Liverpool

Liverpool took an early lead in this game through Salah in the 8th minute. Atletico woke up after the goal and began to play good football that caused Liverpool problems. Keita though got a 2nd for Liverpool in the 13th minute. Atletico got one back via Griezmann in the 20th minute. Griezmann then equalised for Atletico in the 34th minute. It was a brilliant game and Alisson was forced into making some very good saves to deny Atletico the comeback. Griezmann was then sent off in the 52nd minute as he went to reach for a ball with his eyes on the ball but his foot caught Firmino in the face. It was completely unintentional and not a red but Liverpool got lucky. Hermoso then brought down Jota in the box and Salah converted the penalty to give Liverpool the lead in the 78th minute. Jota then brought down Jimenez in the box and a penalty was given but overruled by VAR. It was quiet similar to the Jota incident and should have been a penalty as well. Madrid remain 2nd in the group on goal difference while Liverpool can thank the referee as they leave Madrid top of the group with 9 points. 

FC Porto 1 vs. 0 AC Milan

Diaz got the only goal of the game in the 65th minute as Porto beat Milan. Milan remain bottom of the table with 0 points while Porto go 3rd with 4 points. 

Group C

Besiktas 1 vs. 4 Sporting Lisbon

Coates gave Lisbon the lead in the 14th minute. Larin equalised for Besiktas in the 24th minute but Coates restored the lead three minutes later. Sarabia then made it three via a penalty before half time. Paulinho made it four in the 89th minute. Besiktas remain bottom of the group with 3 defeats while Lisbon go 3rd with the win. 

Ajax 4 vs. 0 Dortmund

Reus scored an own goal in the 11th minute to give Ajax the lead. Blind made it two in the 25th minute while Antony and Haller added goals in the 2nd half to round off a big win for Ajax. Ajax sit top of the group with 9 points while Dortmund remain 2nd with 6. 

Group D

Shakhtar Donetsk 0 vs. 5 Real Madrid

Kryvtsov scored an own goal in the 37th minute to give Real Madrid the lead and it allowed Real Madrid to go and thrash Shakhtar. Vinicius scored two in the 2nd half with Rodrygo, and Benzema adding the rest as Real took three points back to Madrid. Real sit 2nd in the group with 6 points while Shakhtar sit bottom with one. 

Inter Milan 3 vs. 1 Sheriff

Dzeko scored in the 34th minute to give Inter the lead. Thill equalised for Sheriff in the 52nd minute but Vidal restored the lead in the 58th minute. de Vrij then made it three in the 67th minute. Inter sit 3rd in the group with 4 points while Sheriff top the group with 6. 

Group E

Barcelona 1 vs. 0 Dynamo Kyiv

Pique scored the only goal of the game in the 36th minute as Barcelona got their first win of the European campaign. Barcelona sit 3rd in the group while Dynamo sit bottom with one point. 

Benfica 0 vs. 4 Bayern Munich

This game was close until the 70th minute when Sane gave Bayern the lead. Soares then scored an own goal followed by goals from Lewandowski and Sane once again to round off a big win. Benfica remain 2nd in the group with 4 points while Bayern sit top with 9 points. 

Group F

Man United 3 vs. 2 Atalanta

Pasalic and Demiral scored in the 1st half to give Atalanta the lead. United mounted their customary comeback in the 2nd half with goals from Rashford, Maguire and Ronaldo to seal the win. United go top of the group with 6 points while Atalanta sit 2nd in the group with four. 

Young Boys 1 vs. 4 Villarreal

Pino and Gerard Moreno scored in the 1st half to give Villarreal the lead. Elia got one back for Young Boys in the 77th minute but Alberto Moreno and Chukwueze got two for Villarreal in the final minutes to give them a comfortable win. Young Boys sit bottom with 3 points while Villarreal sit 3rd with 4. 

Group G

RB Salzburg 3 vs. 1 Wolfsburg

Adeyemi scored in the 3rd minute to give Salzburg the lead. Nmecha equalised for Wolfsburg in the 15th minute. Okafor then got two 2nd half goals to get the win for Salzburg. Salzburg sit top of the group with 7 points while Wolfsburg sit bottom with 2 points.

Lille 0 vs. 0 Sevilla

No winner in this game. Sevilla remain 2nd in the group with Lille 3rd. 

Group H

Zenit 0 vs. 1 Juventus

Kulusevski scored in the 86th minute to give Juventus the win and make it 9 points for them in the group. Zenit sit 3rd in the group with 3.