Chelsea 0 vs. 1 Leicester FA Cup Final Review

Not up to the task.

Chelsea took on Leicester for the FA Cup Final on Saturday evening at Wembley. It was a great occasion with players together in the tunnel, fans in the stadium, chants and a real sense of some normalcy in the air. I personally had goosebumps when I heard the emotion that was coming out from the stands. Tuchel selected the lineup that was expected although Alonso started instead of Chilwell. Reece James started at right centre back as opposed to Azpilicueta who started at wing back. Mount, Ziyech and Werner started up front. Rodgers went with a 3 at the back as well with Evans returning to the side. Other than that it was as expected from the Foxes. 

The first 45 minutes were pretty even with Chelsea edging it in terms of possession and actual creation in the opposition half. There were 3-4 times where we were able to find space behind the Leicester midfield but Werner either shot wide or our final ball was not the best. Vardy and Iheanacho found no real joy in the game because Reece James was tracking Vardy and Rudiger was tracking Iheanacho. In terms of the defence we were very solid but still wasteful up front. Kante was sublime as usual while Jorginho seemed to be feeling the pace of the game. The 1st half ended 0-0 and it seemed like the 2nd half would be the one where fireworks were set off.

Leicester began the 2nd half well and started pinning Chelsea in our own half. There were several corners which were handled well by the defence. The goal came in the 63rd minute after a pass from the back by Silva hit Perez on the leg which then hit him on the arm. The deflection found Tielemans who drove past Jorginho, and Jorginho instead of pressing Tielemans let him have space to take a shot. The shot was brilliant and the screamer found the top right corner. Kepa was at full stretch now of course everyone started saying Mendy would have saved that because he is taller etc and maybe that’s true. Mendy wasn’t on the pitch though and Kepa tried his best and was not able to save it. Tuchel then sent on Pulisic followed by Chilwell and Havertz. Chilwell made an instant impact and his header drew a fine save from Schmeichel who managed to push it onto the post. Mount then had a brilliant volley saved by Schmeichel as well. It was all Chelsea vs Leicester’s defence as Tuchel sent on Giroud and Hudson-Odoi. Silva then played a brilliant pass which found Chilwell and he made a run and after some deflections the ball was in the net. Chelsea had equalised and there was pandemonium. These days football is robbed off those moments though as VAR which was missing for the Perez handball turned up for Chilwell. Chilwell was deemed offside as VAR found some nail of his body ahead of Soyuncu. Leicester held on for the final moments and they were crowned FA Cup winners. 

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper

Kepa did pretty well throughout the game. The Spaniards distribution was good and he was pretty commanding in the box. Kepa also seems to have improved in coming off the line. The goal really wasn’t his fault and yes he’s the cup keeper so he started. Would Mendy have saved that, it’s something we will never know. 

Defenders

The defence was actually the best part of the Chelsea team yesterday. The back 3 of Reece James, Silva, and Rudiger handled Vardy and Iheanacho brilliantly and Reece James especially did a number on Vardy. It was a smart tactical decision by Tuchel. Azpilicueta and Alonso weren’t the fastest of wing backs though and Castagne especially found joy down Alonso’s side. Alonso can get the clutch goal but Chilwell probably should have started this game because he made an instant impact when he came on. Tuchel got this wrong yesterday. Chilwell hit the post and was unfairly judged offside. Better days will come for all. 

Midfielders

Kante did a brilliant job throughout the game. Kante didn’t get forward as much as he does but it was a good match between him and Ndidi. Jorginho I would say was most at fault for the goal as he allowed Tielemans the space to take a shot. If Jorginho had put some pressure on him he might have not taken his chance from distance. That’s two poor decisions from Jorginho in two crucial games. Mount was his ever pressing self and he had some good moments. Better days will come for him. 

Forwards

Ziyech did not have the best of games and there was no intensity from him in the 1st half. Werner got into some great positions in the 1st half but his shot was either wide or his final pass was lacking. The best moments in the 1st 45 came through him though. Hudson-Odoi came on in the 2nd half for Chelsea as a wing back and he provided some creativity for the final 10-15 minutes. Havertz had also came on but he found it hard to get into the game. Giroud came on but there was little time for him to make an impact. A lacklustre performance from our forwards to say the least. 

Manager

Tuchel made a brilliant decision to play Reece as a centre back it worked brilliantly. Starting Kepa I get but then why not have Tammy in the squad for the game. This double standard seems to be annoying some. I think there’s more than meets the eye over there. Starting Alonso on the face of it seemed good but the impact that Chilwell had off the bench showed that starting Alonso was the wrong decision. The subs also came a bit too late for them. Over the last two games Tuchel hasn’t had the best team selections. 

So, we lose the FA Cup final. It was a close game that was defined by fine margins but the quality of that margin wasn’t that great. There are still 3 games to go for Chelsea this season. Next up is Leicester in the league at Stamford Bridge with fans back. Chelsea have to bounce back that’s the only way. What’s done is done, it is what the players do over the next 3 games that will define them this season. If they want fuel to burn their fire then they should watch Amartey disgracing our club crest. Take that to return to winning ways. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Chelsea vs. Leicester FA Cup Final Preview

Final time!

Chelsea take on Leicester for the FA Cup Final at Wembley on Saturday evening. Leicester have had a good run in the FA Cup starting with a win over Stoke followed by wins over Brentford, Brighton, Man United, and Southampton. Leicester have been really good once again this season and find themselves 3rd in the table as well. They have two tough games left in the league as well as this final to contend with. Brendan Rodgers has done a good job to create a solid team which is consistently challenging at the top end of the table. 

Chelsea go into this game having lost to Arsenal during the week. It was a poor performance and a loss of our own making which put us right back into the race for top four. For now though the team need to focus on this final and a different competition. Chelsea beat Morecambe in the 1st game followed by wins over Luton, Barnsley, Sheffield United, and Man City. Was it the toughest run? No. The semi-final was very tough and we did well to show our quality on the night. Changing managers over the competition was not the easiest thing to handle either. Pre-match Tuchel said he was still hungover after the performance against Arsenal and that he was angry that the result wasn’t 3 points for the Blues. Tuchel also said that the players wanted to react and bounce back and that is what Chelsea will have to do. The fact is that Chelsea have 4 finals beginning with this game and every game has a reward if we win it. 

Chelsea Team Preview

Chelsea will have a fully fit squad for the game Tuchel announced. Kepa will remain in goal as well since he’s played every single game in the competition. Azpilicueta, Silva, and Rudiger should start as the back 3. Reece James and Chilwell should be the wing backs with Kante, and Jorginho in midfield. Mount, Ziyech and Werner should start up front. This has been our tried and tested lineup in the big games although I wouldn’t be surprised if one of Havertz or Pulisic start instead of Ziyech. We also do have a game against Leicester next week that we need to keep in mind which is also a massive game for the top four race. This is a strong team though and one that has beaten the best over the last few months. Chelsea will have to be wary of the pace that Leicester have and of course the midfield battle will be big. 

Leicester Team Preview

Leicester and Rodgers have settled on a formation over recent games. Schmeichel in goal with Soyuncu and Fofana as the centre backs. Evans could make a recovery for the final but I doubt he starts. Pereira should come back in but play at left back with Castagne at right back. Ndidi, and Tielemans are the midfield threat while Perez, and Albrighton start on the wings. Up front Vardy and Iheanacho start and while Vardy has been struggling for goals his pace is always a threat and Iheanacho has been on fire over the last month or two. Plenty of threat from the wings and full back areas a dominant midfield and two lethal finishers up front. Maddison is a threat from the bench while some key players like Justin and Barnes are out injured. It’s a good team and can ready for the final. 

Starting XI Prediction

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FA Cup Final, fans in the stadium after a long time, and a new home kit on display for Chelsea. We got here last season and we messed up against Arsenal. A lot of the players would have learned from that and hopefully they can channel that disappointment along with the frustration of the Arsenal league game to put in a great performance. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Chelsea 1 vs. 0 Man City FA Cup Semi-Final Review

What felt like a big victory then!

I should have written this review on Sunday morning because at the time I was still elated that Chelsea had deservedly beaten City in the FA Cup semi-final to reach the final for a 2nd year running. I will at least for this review try to focus on that. It was a big game and strong test for Tuchel and the team as they took on favourites Man City who were at the time chasing the Quadruple. Tuchel picked a strong XI but made some key changes as Kepa kept his place as the FA Cup goalkeeper. Azpilicueta, Silva, and Rudiger made up the back 3 with Reece James, and Chilwell playing as the wing backs. Jorginho, and Kante continued as the Midfield pair with Mount, Ziyech and Werner making up the front three. Pep also selected a strong lineup but Steffen started in goal instead of Ederson. 

It was a well balanced game over the two halves. Chelsea started the game well and had the ball in the back of the net via Ziyech but Werner had been offside. City grew into the game and dominated play for the final 10-15 minutes of the 1st half. Chelsea defended well though. Chelsea started the 2nd half brilliantly and scored in the 55th minute as Mount played a pass to Werner who’s similar to the 1st half passed it to Ziyech who tapped in for the lead. A big goal and Chelsea kept the pressure up on City’s defence. City grew back once again and Chelsea had to defend well in the latter parts of the game. Pulisic had come on to add some energy and had the ball in the back of the net late in the game after a brilliant solo effort but he had just been offside. Chelsea held on and won a massive semi-final against City. 

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper

Kepa keeps another clean sheet under Tuchel and in the FA Cup. Fans were not happy to see Kepa’s name but many people backed him as soon as the lineup was out. He looked comfortable and of course having a strong defence up front helps that. The Spaniard did well and it was good to see him smiling. The win will do him a world of good. 

Defenders

The 3 defenders got another clean sheet, against a massive team. Silva seemed to be struggling with a back issue but fought through the game until he couldn’t. Zouma came on in the final minutes. Reece James and Chilwell were both positive going forward as they pushed back the likes of Mendy but also dealt with the wingers well. Emerson did come on but he played as midfielder ahead of Chilwell for the final few minutes. Another big performance from them. 

Midfielders

Jorginho, and Kante were impeccable once again. Jorginho in particular ran the show in the midfield both defensively and offensively. Kante was his best as well. Mount played further forward and provided that energy in his press while having a part to play in the goal. Jorginho, Kante, and Kovacic are really building something special in the heart of Chelsea’s midfield and whichever pair plays always seems to impress. 

Forwards

Ziyech had the ball in the net twice but only one counted and that was enough. Werner was a constant threat in behind City and made several runs which were not picked up as well. Werner provided the assist for the goal and while he is not scoring he is for sure contributing. Pulisic came on in the 2nd half and provided that energy for the final 10 minutes or so. The American scored a brilliant goal which was unfortunately offside. Havertz also came on to see out the game. 

Manager

Tuchel get’s his first win against Pep in his career and beats yet another top manager while keeping a clean sheet. A place in the FA Cup final will make him feel good but we know the German won’t be satisfied with this. It’s good to see the progression in Chelsea though and the fans are totally behind Tuchel and the team.

So Chelsea book a place in the FA Cup final against Leicester next month. Of course due recent events that came out on Sunday night Chelsea’s image in football along with the other big 6 has changed. What hasn’t changed though is the team, the players and the coach and the fans have to back them. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Weekend Football Review

Europe vs. the Super Clubs.

FA Cup Semi-Finals

Leicester 1 vs. 0 Southampton

Iheanacho scored in the 55th minute as it was the only goal of the game and secured a place for Leicester in the FA Cup final after 60+ years. It’s a big step for Rodgers and his team and with the current situation in football they will face off against the greedy Chelsea. 

Premier League MW 32

Everton 2 vs. 2 Tottenham

Kane scored in the 27th minute to give Spurs the lead while Everton equalised through Sigurdsson in the 31st minute. Sigurdsson gave Everton the lead in the 62nd minute and Kane equalised for Spurs in the 68th minute. It would be Mourinho’s last game in charge of Spurs as he was sacked on Monday. Everton remain 8th and Tottenham remain 7th. 

Newcastle 3 vs. 2 West Ham

Dawson was sent off for West Ham in the 36th minute and Diop scored an own goal to give Newcastle the lead in the 36th minute. Joelinton scored the 2nd for Newcastle in the 41st minute. Diop then got one back for West Ham in the 73rd minute and Lingard equalised for the Hammers in the 80th minute. Willock then scored the winner for Newcastle in the 82nd minute. Newcastle jump up to 15th in the table 8 points clear of relegation with a game in hand. West Ham remain 4th but could drop down. 

Wolverhampton 1 vs. 0 Sheffield United

Jose scored in the 60th minute which is his first game in English football as Wolves made it 2 wins in a row. Wolves remain 12th in the table while Sheffield United are now officially relegated from the Premier League and will be playing Championship football next season. 

Arsenal 1 vs. 1 Fulham

Maja scored in the 59th minute to give Fulham the lead but yet again they lost that lead in the final minutes of the game as Nketiah equalised right before full time. Arsenal remain 9th in the table while Fulham remain 18th and 6 points from safety. Late goals are really becoming a problem for Fulham and Scott Parker.

Man United 3 vs. 1 Burnley

Greenwood scored in the 48th minute and Tarkowski equalised for Burnley in the 50th minute. Greenwood grabbed the winner in the 84th minute and Cavani made it 3 in extra time. United win another game yet again as they remain 2nd 8 points behind City and 12 points clear of 5th in the table. Burnley drop into 17th in the table 6 points above the relegation zone. 

Leeds 1 vs. 1 Liverpool

This was the first game played after the Super League news broke out and Liverpool along with the top 6 are being portrayed as the greedy 6 and rightly so. Leeds are part of those teams that are fighting for football as it is. Liverpool got the lead in the 31st minute via Mane, while Llorente equalised for Leeds in the 87th minute. Leeds remain 10th in the table while Liverpool miss a chance to go 4th as they remain 6th in the table. 

La Liga MW 33

Sevilla beat Real Sociedad 1-2, Atletico beat Eibar 5-0, Villarreal beat Levante 1-5, and Real Madrid drew with Getafe 0-0. Atletico go 3 points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the table while Sevilla and Villarreal remain 4th and 5th in the table with a point separating them. An interesting race in La Liga but with the top 3 part of the Super League Sevilla are the true leaders in Spain at the moment. 

Copa Del Rey Final

Barcelona beat Bilbao 0-4 with Messi lighting the show up as they won their first trophy of the season. Bilbao were no match and lost their 2nd Copa Del Rey final in as many weeks. Barcelona are part of the Super League gang though and this victory has left a poor taste now. 

Serie MW 31

Milan beat Genoa 2-1, Atalanta beat Juventus 1-0, Lazio beat Benevento 5-3, Torino beat Roma 3-1, and Inter drew with Napoli 1-1. Inter sit 9 points clear at the top at the moment with Milan behind them. Atalanta are two points behind them in 3rd while Juventus are 4th in the table. Napoli, Lazio, and Roma make up the top 7. Atalanta are the true leaders in Serie A right now as Milan Inter and Juventus side with the Super League gang. 

Bundesliga MW 29

Leipzig drew with Hoffenheim 0-0, Bayern beat Wolfsburg 2-3, Monchengladbach beat Frankfurt 4-0, Leverkusen beat Koln 3-0, and Dortmund beat Werder Bremen 4-1. Bayern go 7 points clear at the top of the table while Leipzig, Wolfsburg, and Frankfurt make up the top four. Dortmund are now only 4 points behind 4th while Leverkusen and Monchengladbach sit 6th and 7th. Bayern and Dortmund rejected the Super League invite and can hold their heads up high along with German football. 

Ligue MW 33

Lille drew with Montpellier 1-1, PSG beat St.Etienne 3-2, Monaco beat Bordeaux 0-3, and Lyon beat Nantes 1-2. Lille see their lead at the top get cut down to 1 point with PSG right behind them. Monaco and Lyon make up the top four with each team  a point behind each other as the title race reaches its climax. PSG rejected the invitation to join the Super League and so France and Ligue 1 can continue along with what has been an interesting season for them. 

 

Chelsea vs. Man City FA Cup Semi-Final Preview

It’s a big one at Wembley!

Chelsea take on Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday for the FA Cup Semi-Final. The winner will play either Leicester or Southampton in the final. Domestically City started poorly but found form and have climbed to the top of the table and sit 11 points clear. City also happen to be in the finals of the Carabao Cup, and in the semi-finals of the Champions League. Pep and co are in for the quadruple or a treble and it’s going to be a tough task to stop them. City beat, Birmingham, Cheltenham, Swansea, and Everton to reach the semi-finals so it wasn’t the toughest of journey’s. Since the quarter-final against Everton they have won 3 and lost 1 with a defeat to Leeds. Pep’s team have not been at their blistering best when it comes to scoring goals but they have adopted a slightly more pragmatic approach. That coupled with the fact that they have a very good squad means that they are close to securing another title. 

Chelsea go into this game having secure a place in the Champions League Semi-Finals after 7 years. It’s a big step in the right direction for this young team and Tuchel knows that a place in the FA Cup final by beating City would be another solid step. I do think that Chelsea will slightly more pragmatic in this game, I don’t expect us to chase City for the whole 90 and I think that we will rely on taking advantage of City on the counter albeit being our usual pressing self. It’s going to be a big test for these young players, but they reached Wembley last season and beat United so why can’t they beat City in a one off game. Tuchel and Pep were both very appreciative of each other in the pre match conferences having faced each other in Germany and being friends off the pitch. 

Chelsea Team Preview

Chelsea will be without Kovacic, and Christensen for this game. Mendy should start in goal although I wouldn’t be surprised if Kepa started. Azpilicueta, Zouma, and Rudiger should start in defence with Reece James, and Chilwell as the wing backs. Tuchel said that Kante has had a solid rest and should start so I think we will stick with Jorginho and him in defence. Up front is where it get’s tricky. I think Werner could come back in this game with Tammy and Ziyech. Wembley is big pitch and Werner could find space in behind City. Tammy has started all the FA Cup games and I think he deserves a chance in this game. Ziyech has been rested in the last two games and deserves a start. It’s interesting but that’s the 3 I would go with, they have a point to prove as well. Pulisic, Havertz, Mount, Hudson-Odoi, Giroud are all great options to bring into the game when City are tiring, of course any one of those players could start. 

Man City Team Preview

City have a fit squad to select from. Pep said that he will select the strongest lineup in his eyes. I think Sterling, De Bruyne and Torres will start up front, with their new false 9 formation. Fernandinho should come in for Silva while Dias and Stones will be the centre backs. Cancelo should start while while Mendy could come in as well. Ederson will probably be the goalkeeper. It’s a tough squad and similar to Chelsea there are a lot of options. This is the team that I think Pep will go with. 

Starting XI Prediction

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A semi-final is always big especially in a competition we reached the final in last season. We go into this game as underdogs and it’s going to be tough, but Chelsea have it in them to beat any team and if we could beat City last year we can beat them this season as well. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Weekend Football Preview

League races heat up with a sprinkle of the FA Cup!

FA Cup Semi-Final

Leicester vs. Southampton

Leicester beat Man United 3-1 in the last round to book a place at Wembley while Southampton dispatched Bournemouth 0-3. Since then Leicester have lost both their games in the league while Southampton have won 1 and lost 1. Leicester are looking to bounce back and with the team getting dragged into a top four race, reaching a final would be a boost to morale. Southampton have had an inconsistent season and have nothing to lose going into this game. An interesting one but I think Leicester will go through. 

Premier League MW 32

Everton vs. Tottenham

8th vs. 7th a point separating the two teams. Everton and Spurs have fallen away from the top four race in recent weeks but aren’t totally out of the race for Europe yet. It’s an interesting game and one would think the loser of this one will have to say goodbye to the top 5. Ancelotti for Mourinho is a battle between two legendary managers as well. Everton haven’t won in four though while Spurs have dropped points in their last two. Both teams need a win. Everton won the reverse fixture 0-1. 

Newcastle vs. West Ham

Newcastle sit 17th and finally managed to win last weekend as they take on West Ham who sit 4th in the table and are looking to move into 3rd. West Ham are in great form and I can only see the Hammers winning this game. Newcastle would need to be very good to beat this West Ham team at the moment. Newcastle won the reverse fixture 0-2. 

Wolverhampton vs. Sheffield United

Wolves sit 12th and ended a winless run last weekend as they take on Sheffield United who sit bottom and have lost their last four. It’s a game of no real consequence but Wolves really should be beating this Sheffield United side. If Sheffield United lose this game it would confirm their relegation this season. Wolves won the reverse fixture 0-2. 

Arsenal vs. Fulham

London derby time as Arsenal take on Fulham. Arsenal sit 9th in the table as they look to secure a top 10 finish while Fulham sit 18th 6 points from safety. Fulham have lost their last 4 while Arsenal aren’t in great form either. Fulham need to return to winning ways soon if they want to stand any chance of staying in the Premier League and beating Arsenal would be that first step. Arsenal won the reverse fixture 0-3. 

Man United vs. Burnley

2nd placed United are flying high as they take on 16th placed Burnley have 1 win in their last 5 games. United have been far from convincing in their games though and you always feel there is a chance for an upset. Burnley will be solid but I don’t think an upset is on the cards. United won the reverse fixture 1-0. 

Leeds vs. Liverpool

Leeds have won their last 3 including a big win against City last weekend as they sit 10th and take on Liverpool who sit 6th. The top four is now Klopp’s sole focus this season but Leeds will give them a good fight in this game. Liverpool seem to score goals away from home though and while this might be a high scoring game Liverpool should win. Liverpool won the reverse fixture 4-3. 

La Liga MW 33

Real Sociedad take on Sevilla, Atletico welcome Eibar, Villarreal travel to Levante and Real Madrid travel to Getafe. With Barcelona preoccupied with the Copa Del Rey final this is a good opportunity for the Madrid teams to gain distance on Messi and co. Atletico are looking shaky while Madrid are playing with confidence. The top four race is done and dusted but the title race continues. 

Copa Del Rey Final

Bilbao take on Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey final. Bilbao have made a habit on reaching finals and winning them in recent seasons while Barcelona have had a great 2021 and are looking to continue that with a trophy. With the title race still on for Barcelona this could be an added boost of morale for them. A tough final though. 

Serie MW 31

Milan welcome Genoa, Juventus travel to Atalanta, Lazio take on Benevento, Roma travel to Torino, and Inter travel to Napoli. Inter are firmly in the driving seat as the rest look to secure top four. It’s a big weekend in terms of the places below Inter and Milan could gain an advantage if they win their game. 

Bundesliga MW 29

Leipzig take on Hoffenheim, Bayern travel to Wolfsburg, Monchengladbach take on Frankfurt, Leverkusen take on Koln, and Dortmund welcome Werder Bremen. Bayern sit 5 points clear at the top of the table and having been knocked out of the Champions League their sole focus now is the title. They face a tough game against Wolfsburg though and Leipzig will be ready to pounce. Dortmund meanwhile are looking to secure a top four finish but are 7 points adrift at the moment. An interesting weekend in Germany. 

Ligue MW 33

Lille welcome Montpellier, PSG welcome St.Etienne, Monaco travel to Bordeaux, and Lyon travel to Nantes. Perhaps the most entertaining title race along with La Liga this season as Lille are ahead in this four horse race. With no head to head game this weekend it will be interesting to see whether any team slips up in this race for the title. 

 

Chelsea 2 vs. 0 Sheffield United FA Cup Quarter-Final Review

Not the most flashy game but job done!

Chelsea welcomed struggling Sheffield United to Stamford Bridge on Sunday for the FA Cup quarter-final. Tuchel made 9 changes to the team that faced Atletico. Kepa started in goal with Christensen, Zouma, and Emerson making up the back 3. Hudson-Odoi, and Chilwell started as the wing backs while Kovacic, and Gilmour made up the midfield 2. Mount started along with Pulisic, and Giroud up front. It was a good lineup and one that had plenty of quality to get the win against Sheffield United. 

Sheffield United started the game well and they actually pressed Chelsea up high. Chelsea with so many changes in the team were sloppy in possession and the fluidity was missing. For around 20 minutes it was a good game from Sheffield United but Chelsea finally got the lead in the 24th minute. Chilwell found space on the left and smashed the ball towards goal which caught a deflection from Norwood and gave Chelsea the lead. Chelsea didn’t create many chances for the rest of the half though but we held on to the lead.

The 2nd half saw Sheffield United once again start well, as they actually created chances and Kepa was forced into some good saves. Reece James and Azpilicueta came on in the 63rd minute as Chelsea were struggling. The two though found it hard to settle into the game as McGoldrick dribbled past Azplicueta to get a shot at Kepa. Ziyech and Havertz then came on in the 72nd minute and they added some fluidity up front for Chelsea to dictate the game once again. Kante came on in the 83rd minute to patrol the midfield for the final few minutes. Chelsea looked comfortable in the final few minutes and Sheffield United had a chance to get the equaliser in the 90th minute. Ziyech then went down the other end and found a cross from Chilwell to finish past Ramsdale in the 92nd minute. 2-0 and job done as Chelsea sealed a place in the semi’s and an appearance at Wembley. 

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper

Kepa get’s a 3rd clean sheet as he had a solid game in goal. Made some good saves to keep Chelsea ahead while the distribution was quite good. The confidence and stability seems to be helping everyone and that includes Kepa. A solid game from him. 

Defenders

The good thing to see is that we are rotating and still keeping clean sheets at the back. This time it was Christensen, Zouma, and Emerson at the back and they handled the game well. Azpilicueta came on in the 2nd had half to replace Christensen. Emerson impressed me in the back 3 while Zouma and Christensen also made some game saving tackles during the game. Chilwell did well on the left hand side and was one of the best players on the pitch. Reece James came on in the 2nd half to see out the game. 

Midfielders

Kovacic, and Gilmour had a decent game and Gilmour looked better as the game went on. Billy played some good forward passes and always kept the ball ticking. Kante came on in the 2nd half to see out the game. Mount had a decent game as captain for Chelsea but it looked like he was tired and needed a break. Havertz came on in the 2nd half as well and once again looked good as he led the line and dropped into the empty spaces. A decent outing from all players involved. 

Forwards

Pulisic was one of our better players and he showed glimpses of his best form. There was a chance where he went through after nicking the ball but he slipped in front of goal. There was another moment when he dribbled past 3 players with an Elastico but his shot was saved by Ramsdale. A good outing from him. Giroud was isolated in the 1st half and didn’t make the impact he wanted in the game. Hudson-Odoi didn’t have the best of games as a wing back this time and lacked the impact. Just an off day. Ziyech had a solid cameo once again and that’s 2 goals in 2 games with this one being a brilliant finish to silence his haters. 

Manager

Tuchel makes it 14 games unbeaten since he signed. It’s 12 clean sheets in that period as he caps off a brilliant start to life at Chelsea. Into the semi’s of the FA Cup to add to the CL and top four progression. Not job done yet but it’s a good start. 

Chelsea end a tough and testing period of games looking good going into the final period of the season. It’s a 2 week break from club football now but several players will be heading for the national team. Time for Tuchel to relax and maybe find out out how we can maximise that attack for the run in after 2 weeks. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Weekend Football Review

Final weekend before international break!

FA Cup Quarter-Finals

Bournemouth 0 vs. 3 Southampton

Djenepo and Redmond scored in the 1st half to give Southampton the lead. Redmond then scored in the 59th minute to seal the game. Redmond was involved in all three goals and it was a big game for him. Southampton get some respite from their poor form as they seal an appearance at Wembley. Bournemouth are knocked out. 

Everton 0 vs. 2 Man City

It was defence vs attack in this game and Everton almost held on until extra time but City eventually prevailed. Gundogan scored in the 84th minute and De Bruyne scored in the 90th minute to seal the win for City. City’s quadruple hopes continue as they seal a place at Wembley. Everton can now focus on sealing a place in Europe for next season as they fight for the top 6 spots. 

Leicester 3 vs. 1 Man United

Iheanacho scored in the 24th minute to give Leicester the lead after a blunder from Maguire and Fred. Greenwood equalised for United in the 38th minute to set up an interesting 2nd half. Tielemans then restored Leicester’s lead in the 52nd minute while Iheanacho made it 3 in the 78th minute. Leicester finally manage to beat United this season as they seal a semi-final at Wembley after a very long time. Man United get knocked out at the quarter’s this time instead of semi’s. United can now focus on the Europa League and finishing in the top four. 

Premier League MW 29

Fulham 1 vs. 2 Leeds

Bamford scored in the 29th minute to give Leeds the lead. Andersen equalised for Fulham in the 38th minute. Raphinha scored  the winner for Leeds in the 58th minute as Fulham could not reply back. Fulham remain 18th in the table 2 points behind Newcastle. Leeds move into 11th with the win. 

Brighton 3 vs. 0 Newcastle

Trossard scored right before half time, while Welbeck and Maupay scored in the 2nd half to seal the win for Brighton. It’s a big win for the Seagulls as they remain 16th and 6 points above the relegation zone now. Newcastle remain 17th in the table and 2 points above the relegation zone. 

West Ham 3 vs. 3 Arsenal

Lingard, Bowen, and Soucek scored within 32 minutes to give West Ham a blistering 3 goal lead. It was a dismal half form Arsenal but they managed to get one goal back via a Soucek own goal in the 38th minute. Dawson then scored another own goal in the 61st minute to make it 2 for Arsenal. Lacazette then equalised for Arsenal in the 82nd minute. West Ham will be kicking themselves the way they dropped points in this game. They remain 2 points outside the top four while Arsenal move into 9th with the point. 

Aston Villa 0 vs. 2 Tottenham

Vinicius scored in the 29th minute to give Spurs the lead while Kane scored a penalty in the 68th minute to seal the win for Spurs. Villa drop into 10th with the loss while Tottenham jump up to 6th and 3 points outside the top four. It’s going to be a big final period for Spurs as they have a league cup final and can still realistically make the top four. 

La Liga MW 28

Real Madrid beat Celta Vigo 1-3, Sevilla drew with Valladolid 1-1, Atletico beat Alaves 1-0, and Barcelona beat Real Sociedad 1-6. Atletico remain 4 points clear at the top while Barcelona are right behind them as they get a big win and continue a positive 2021. Real Madrid also get a win as they sit 2 points behind Barcelona. Sevilla sit 4th in the table as they sit 5 points behind Real Madrid. The La Liga race is well and truly on with 10 games to go. 

Serie MW 28

Atalanta beat Verona 0-2, Benevento beat Juventus 0-1, Lazio beat Udinese 0-1, Milan beat Fiorentina 2-3, and Napoli beat Roma 0-2. Inter remain 6 points clear at the top with a game in hand. Milan sit 2nd and go 4 points clear of Juventus who drop points. Atalanta go level with Juventus as they sit 4th while Napoli, Roma, and Lazio make up the top 7. Inter are firmly in the driving seat with 10 games to go in Italy. 

Bundesliga MW 26

Leipzig beat Arminia 0-1, Dortmund drew with Koln 2-2, Bayern beat Stuttgart 4-0, Frankfurt beat Union Berlin 5-2, Monchengladbach beat Schalke 0-3, Mainz beat Hoffenheim 1-2, and Hertha Berlin beat Leverkusen 3-0. Bayern remain 4 points clear at the top of the table while Leipzig sit 2nd in the table. Wolfsburg and Frankfurt make up the top four. Dortmund sit 5th in the table and now 4 points outside the top four while Leverkusen sit 6th. Monchengladbach remain 10th in the table. Bayern still leading the chase at the moment but it’s finely poised. 

Ligue MW 30

Monaco beat St.Etienne 0-4, Nice beat Marseille 3-0, Nimes beat Lille 1-2, and PSG beat Lyon 2-4. Lille drop points which means that PSG go top of the table on goal difference. Lille sit 2nd while Lyon are 3 points behind them in 3rd. Monaco sit 4th and a point behind Lyon. PSG take the lead with 8 games left as things get tight in France. 

Chelsea vs. Sheffield United FA Cup Quarter-Final Preview

FA Cup journey continues!

Chelsea welcome Sheffield United to Stamford Bridge on Sunday for the FA Cup quarter-final. Sheffield United’s domestic season might be in tatters but they have managed to put together a decent FA Cup campaign. The Blades beat Bristol City 1-0 in the last round have since won 1, and lost 5. In that process they have managed to score 1 goal and concede 13. On top of that the Chris Wilder left the club a couple of weeks ago leaving them with academy manager Heckingbottom as the interim for now. A stark contrast to last year’s season. 

Chelsea go into this game having beaten Barnsley 0-1 in the last round. Since then Chelsea have won 5 and drawn 3, scoring 9 and conceding 1. Defensively Chelsea have been brilliant under Tuchel and Minamino remains the only opposition player to score against us since Tuchel arrived. Offensively is where Tuchel still needs to see the team click. The 2nd leg against Atletico was a good outing for Werner, Havertz, and Ziyech and it showed that they are gaining some form. The next step under Tuchel very much seems to be scoring more than 2 goals in a game. It would be a positive thing to do that against Sheffield United and head into the international break finally having gained a big win. First and foremost though is progression to the semi-final’s. 

Chelsea Team Preview

Thiago Silva still seems to be out and Tuchel said he won’t be risked. The Brazilian will be available post the international break. Tammy is back and available although he suffered a small knock in training although as of Friday it looks like he could start. Kepa should start in goal for this game with Zouma, Christensen, and Rudiger making up the back four. Hudson-Odoi, and Chilwell should start as the wing-backs with Jorginho, and Gilmour in the middle of the park. Gilmour has been patiently waiting and this might be a good chance to give him a start. Pulisic, and Mount should start behind Tammy up front. Mount will be well rested for this game while Pulisic should be raring to go and willing to take advantage. We could see Giroud start if Tammy isn’t ready to because Sheffield will most likely sit back. If things go well we could see an appearance from Anjorin as well. It’s going to be game where our finishing needs to be on point and we need to pass quick in and around the Sheffield box to create space. 

Sheffield United Team Preview

Ampadu will not be available for Sheffield United as he can’t play against his parent club which is Chelsea. Sheffield United’s 3-5-2 is staple and it will be setup to frustrate Chelsea. Ramsdale is a good keeper while Basham, Jagielka, and Bryan should make up the back 3. Stevens and Baldock provide the width via wing backs while Fleck, Norwood, and Lundstram make up a physical midfield. Burke and McBurnie should start with Sharp, McGoldrick, Mousset, and Brewster all available from the bench. Sheffield United will rely on the counter and crosses to try and get a goal in this game. 

Starting XI Prediction

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Our final game before the international break and it would be great to cap off this initial period with a win for Tuchel. It will be a tricky game as many FA Cup games are but Chelsea will have enough quality on the pitch and on the bench to win it. The key is to be lethal in front of goal. Big game. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Weekend Football Preview

FA Cup returns!

FA Cup Quarter-Finals

Bournemouth vs. Southampton

Bournemouth beat Burnley 0-2 in the last round and have since won 4, drawn 2, and lost 3 of their games. Bournemouth sit 7th in the Championship at the moment. Southampton on the other hand are in extremely poor form as they play this game. Southampton beat Wolves 0-2 in the last round and have since won 1, drawn 1, and lost 5. Based on form Bournemouth are the favourites and this should be an interesting game as they look to seal an appearance at Wembley. 

Everton vs. Man City

Everton beat Spurs 5-4 in an amazing game in the last round and have since won 3, and lost 4. City beat Swansea 1-3 in the last round and have won 8 and lost 1 since that game. City are favourites in every game they play this season but Everton are the underdogs and have been decent this season. This could be a game that sees some FA Cup magic. City though are looking to seal a quadruple this season. 

Leicester vs. Man United

Leicester beat Brighton in the last round 1-0, and have since won 4, drawn 2, and lost 2. United just about managed to beat West Ham in the last round 1-0, and have since won 5, and drawn 5. United are unbeaten but they haven’t exactly been convincing in their wins. It’s going to be a very close game and Leicester will want to finally get one over United while United are looking to once again reach a semi-final. 

Premier League MW 29

Fulham vs. Leeds

Fulham sit 18th in the table and can climb out of the relegation zone if they beat Leeds who are 12th in the table and winless in their last 3. It’s going to be a close game but overall I think Fulham are the team in better form and the consistent side. Fulham should win this game. 

Brighton vs. Newcastle

Very much a relegation 6 pointer as 16th placed Brighton take on 17th placed Newcastle with a point separating them. A win for Brighton would take them away from Newcastle while a win for the Magpies would keep them above the relegation zone and maybe open a gap if Fulham drop points. It’s a massive game for these two teams. Newcastle have drawn their last 3 while Brighton have won their last game but that’s 1 in 5. 

West Ham vs. Arsenal

5th placed West Ham take on 10th placed Arsenal in this London Derby. West Ham can go level on points with Chelsea who sit 4th if they win this game. Arsenal are just trying to get as close as possible to Europe. West Ham have had a week of rest while Arsenal played on Thursday. West Ham will be hurting from their loss to United while Arsenal will look to continue their unbeaten run. A big game for both teams. 

Aston Villa vs. Tottenham

9th placed Villa take on 8th placed Spurs in this game. Villa have been struggling recently with 1 win in their last 5. Tottenham had been on a great run of winning 3 games but have since lost to Arsenal and then went crashing out of the Europa League to Zagreb. Villa will know that confidence is low at Spurs and their is a chance to take advantage. An interesting game. 

La Liga MW 28

Real Madrid travel to Celta Vigo, Sevilla travel to Valladolid, Atletico take on Alaves, and Real Sociedad take on Barcelona. Atletico have seen their lead at the top cut down to 4 points and having been knocked out of Europe during the week their main focus will be to win the title. Real Madrid and Barcelona both know that they have a chance at closing that gap. An interesting race. 

Serie MW 28

Atalanta travel to Verona, Juventus take on Benevento, Lazio travel to Udinese, Milan travel to Fiorentina, and Napoli travel to Roma. Inter do not play this weekend. No Italian teams remain in Europe now other than Roma as the race for the title heats up. Inter are 9 points clear and now the rest will focus on playing catch up. Milan especially will want to regain form. 

Bundesliga MW 26

Leipzig travel to Arminia, Dortmund travel to Koln, Bayern welcome Stuttgart, Frankfurt take on Union Berlin, Monchengladbach travel to Schalke, Hoffenheim take on Mainz, and Leverkusen travel to Hertha Berlin. Bayern have a 4 point lead at the top of the table as the rest play catch up to them. Dortmund are on the verge of entering the top four once again. 

Ligue MW 30

Monaco travel to St.Etienne, Marseille travel to Nice, Lille take on Nimes, and Lyon welcome PSG. Lille sit 3 points clear of PSG and have a chance to increase that gap with Lyon and PSG playing each other. A win for either team in that game will open up a 3 point gap between 2nd and 3rd. Monaco have a chance of going within a point of 3rd if they win their game. An interesting weekend in France.