Zenit 3 vs. 3 Chelsea Champions League Group Stage MD 6 Review

Frustrating.

Chelsea travelled to St.Petersburg to play Zenit in MD 6 of the Champions League Group Stage. Zenit had already sealed a place in the Europa League while Chelsea were looking to finish top of the group but would need to match or better whatever result Juventus got. Tuchel went with a strong lineup with Kepa in goal, and a back three of Azpilicueta, Christensen, and Sarr. Hudson-Odoi, and Saul started as the wing backs while Reece James and Barkley started in midfield. Mount, Werner, and Lukaku started up front. The attack was more of the first choice while the defence and midfield was pretty make shift. 

Chelsea got off to a brilliant start with Timo Werner scoring in the 2nd minute of the game with what was a tap in. Perfect start for the Blues and it looked like it would be a comfortable win. That confidence was short-lived though and as we have done in recent games we allowed the opposition to grow into the game and Zenit dominated us for much of the 1st half. Claudinho finally got the goal that Zenit deserved in the 38th minute while Azmoun scored in the 41st minute to give Zenit the lead at half time. Much frustration and much work for Chelsea to do in the 2nd half. 

Zenit started the 2nd half well but Chelsea grew back into the game and we equalised in the 62nd minute after Barkley played through Werner who passed it into Lukaku’s path who finished to get the goal. Ziyech and Pulisic then came on for Barkley, and Hudson-Odoi as we looked for the win. Kepa then made some good saves and added to the two massive saves he made in the 1st half to keep Chelsea in the game. Havertz and Alonso then came on for Lukaku, and Saul. Timo Werner then put Chelsea into the lead in the 85th minute after some brilliant work by Pulisic. Werner made space for himself in the box and finished to add to his existing goal and assist. It looked like Chelsea were heading for 3 points but Ozdoyev who had come off the bench volleyed in a shot form outside the box in the 94th minute to get a point for Zenit. 

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper

Kepa conceded 3 goals but he also made 3-4 very good saves to keep Chelsea in the game. The final goal would probably have been saved by Mendy because it was the typical long distance goal that Kepa seems to always concede. Still it was a good personal performance but a tough day.

Defenders

The defence was all over the place in this game and all three of Azpilicueta, Christensen, and Sarr looked suspicious. Sarr long term will not be at the club and Azpilicueta barely plays these days but the poor performance from Christensen was a bit shocking. Maybe the contract situation seems to be impacting him. Alonso did come on in the 2nd half and did look better than Saul although they both are just generally poor. The only silver lining is that these back three and wing backs are nor are regular ones. Reece James played in midfield and did well in this game showing once again his versatility. 

Midfielders

Barkley started in the midfield and was frustrating but he did well for the equalising goal. Saul started at left wing back in this game but did not instil any confidence into the fans. It does look like Saul will be heading back home sooner rather than later. Mount was ok but nothing stellar. Havertz did come on in the 2nd half to play up top and the attack did become more fluid. Again the midfield was a makeshift one and the fact that Kante, Kovacic, and Jorginho were missing really shows the lack of depth at the moment.

Forwards

Hudson-Odoi had a quite game as a wing back. Werner was the man of the match with Kepa. Two goals and an assist for the German is very good and hopefully we can see him go on a run now because we need these guys to continue to score. Lukaku grew into the game and while the goal he scored was a bit of fumble into the net the goal should help him gain confidence. Lukaku also did look more mobile in this game drifting out wide and dropping deep at times. The linkup with Mount and Werner also seems to be building. Ziyech came on in the 2nd half and looked good once again. Pulisic got an assist and also made an impact from the bench. 

Manager

Tuchel was frustrated again and said post game that conceding 3 negates any good performance that people had. Tuchel knows that Chelsea cannot concede goals and what’s more frustrating is that they are more often than not due to individual mistakes. The midfield crisis is an issue as well while our depth doesn’t look as deep all of a sudden. The left wing back spot also looks like an issue. The only silver lining will be that the attack was better in this game.

Chelsea’s draw means that we finish 2nd in the group. That also means that we will face one of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Ajax, or Lille. That will be decided on Monday and the games will be played in February but if we can get Lille that would be great for all Chelsea fans mental state. Next up is a visit by Leeds at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Midweek Football Review

Barcelona in the Europa League!

Champions League Group Stage MD 6

Group A

RB Leipzig 2 vs. 1 Man City

Szoboszlai gave Leipzig the lead in the 24th minute. Silva then scored a goal for Leipzig to make it 2-0 in the 71st minute. Mahrez got one back for Man City in the 76th minute but Walker was sent off for Man City in the 82nd minute. Leipzig get a win but were already heading to the Europa League prior to this game. Man City finish top of the group by a point as they head to the Round of 16. 

Paris Saint Germain 4 vs. 1 Club Brugge

Mbappe scored 2 goals in the first 10 minutes to give PSG the lead. Messi then added a 3rd before half time to give PSG a comfortable lead. Rits got one back for Brugge in the 68th minute but Messi scored a penalty in the 76th minute to put any comeback out of doubt. PSG were always going to finish 2nd and will be heading to the Round of 16 while Brugge finish bottom of the group and will play no further part in Europe. 

Group B

FC Porto 1 vs. 3 Atletico Madrid

This game lit up the 2nd half as both teams needed a wn to make the Round of 16. Griezmann scored the first goal in the 56th minute for Atletico. Carrasco was sent off for Atletico in the 67th minute while Wendell, and Marchesin were sent off for Porto in the 71st and 75th minute. Correa and Rodrigo scored in the 90th and 92nd minute to make it 0-3 for Atletico. Olivieira got one back for Porto in the 96th minute. Atletico leap frogged everyone to finish in the group and book a place in the Round of 16. Porto drop down to 3rd in the table and will heading to the Europa League. 

AC Milan 1 vs. 2 Liverpool

Tomori scored in the 28th minute to give Milan the lead but Salah equalised for Milan in the 36th minute. Origi grabbed yet another winner in the 55th minute to give Liverpool 6 wins out of 6 in the group stage. Milan finish bottom of the group and can now focus on their league title push while Liverpool go through top of the table and without any issues.

Group C

Ajax 4 vs. 2 Sporting Lisbon

Haller scored in the 8th minute to give Ajax the lead. Santos equalised for Lisbon in the 22nd minute. Antony restored Ajax’s lead in the 42nd minute while Neres, and Berghuis added two more goals in the 2nd half for Ajax. Tabata got one more back for Lisbon to make it 4-2. Ajax finish top of the group having won every single game while Lisbon finish 2nd int h the game and will be heading to the Knockout stage. 

Dortmund 5 vs.  0 Besiktas

Malen scored in the 29th minute to give Dortmund the lead. Welinton was sent of for Besiktas in the 43rd minute. Reus added two goals in the 2nd half while Haaland also added two before full time. Dortmund finish 3rd in the group and will be heading to the Europa League. Besiktas finish 4th without a single point in the Champions League this season. 

Group D

Real Madrid 2 vs. 0 Inter Milan

Kroos scored in the 17th minute to give Real Madrid the lead and Barella was sent off for Inter in the 64th minute. Asensio then sealed the win in the 79th minute. Real Madrid finish top of the group and head into the Round of 16 along with Inter who finish 2nd in the group. 

Shakhtar Donetsk 1 vs. 1 Sheriff

Fernando scored right before half time to give Shakhtar the lead but Nikolov equalised for Sheriff in the 93rd minute. Sheriff head to the Europa League while Shakhtar are sent back home and knocked out of Europe. 

Group E

Bayern Munich 3 vs. 0 Barcelona

Muller and Sane scored in the 1st half while Musiala scored in the 2nd to cap off a comfortable win for Bayern against Barcelona. Barcelona for the first time in 21 years fail to make the Round of 16 and will be heading to the Europa League which is a sad reflection of how far the club has fallen. Bayern go through into the next round top of the group. 

Benfica 2 vs. 0 Dynamo Kyiv

Yaremchuk and Gilberto scored in the 1st half to seal a win for Benfica and send them through to the Round of 16 in 2nd. Dynamo Kyiv finish 4th in the table and are knocked out of Europe. 

Group F

Atalanta (Postponed) Villarreal
Man United 1 vs. 1 Young Boys

Greenwood scored in the 9th minute to give Man United the lead but Young Boys equalised via Fabian Rieder in the 42nd minute. Neither team could find the winner. Man United were already through and will finish top of the group while Young Boys will finish 4th and head out of Europe. 

Group G

Wolfsburg 1 vs. 3 Lille

Yilmaz scored in the 11th minute to give Lille the lead. David and Gomes scored goals in the 2nd half to give Lille a comfortable lead while Steffen got one goal back for Wolfsburg in the 89th minute. Lille finish top of the group and will be heading to the Round of 16 while Wolfsburg finish bottom of the group and are knocked out of Europe. 

RB Salzburg 1 vs. 0 Sevilla

Okafor gave Salzburg the lead in the 50th minute while Jordan was sent off for Sevilla in the 64th minute. Salzburg finish 2nd in the group and will move onto the Round of 16 while Sevilla will be heading to the Europa League where they will become instant favourites having won it so many times. 

Group H

Juventus 1 vs. 0 Malmo

Kean scored in the 18th minute for Juventus and it was enough for them to finish top of the group after Chelsea drew with Zenit. Malmo were already out of Europe and finish 4th in the group. 

Zenit vs. Chelsea Champions League Group Stage MD 6 Preview

A cold trip to St.Petersburg!

Chelsea travel to St.Petersburg, Russia to take on Zenit in MD 6 of the Champions League Group Stage. Zenit sit 3rd in the table and 3 points ahead of Malmo with a +6 goal difference. Unless Chelsea thrash Zenit and Malmo miraculously beat Juventus then Zenit will hold on to the 3rd spot and will drop down to the Europa League. Zenit go into this game having won 1 and drawn 1 since the last Champions League game. Zenit are currently involved in a title race with Dynamo Moscow and have won 11 drawn 4 and lost 2 this season a similar record to Chelsea. 

Chelsea go into this game having drawn against Manchester United beaten Watford and lost to West Ham so an even level as far as results go. It is the roughest patch Chelsea have had this season and the key thing is to bounce back from that West Ham gain and go on a run once again. Chelsea sit top of the group on a goal difference of +6. All Chelsea need to do is get the win to finish top of the group having already progressed to the Round of 16. This game should be a chance for some fringe players to get another chance to impress while we can rest some key players as well. it’s going to be a cold hard game for sure but Chelsea have enough quality to get the win.

Chelsea Team Preview

Tuchel goes into this game with Ben Chilwell out long term. Chalobah is still out but should be back soon. Kovacic had returned to training but tested positive and is now out until a negative report. Kante is out and Jorginho is also out with a back pain. So along with left wing back being an issue at the moment our three midfield generals are all out due to some injury or the other. Tuchel said that Mendy is lacking in confidence at the moment and may need some rest. I think Kepa will probably start in goal but Mendy could start to regain some confidence. Azpilicueta, Christensen, and Sarr should start as the defenders while Hudson-Odoi, and Saul start as the wing backs. I think Alonso might need some rest while Saul hasn’t been doing extremely well in midfield but he has played at left wing back and our wing backs are essentially midfielders in most games. I think Mount might drop into the midfield along with Loftus-Cheek while Pulisic, Werner, and Lukaku start up front. We need our forward players to start scoring and while it may be a risk to start Lukaku I think he needs to get a few goals to get going. The alternatives are of course if Havertz starts etc. 

Zenit Team Preview

It is likely Zenit switch to a back three to match Chelsea. Lovren, Barrios, Santos, Claudinho, Malcom, and Azmoun are all players that stick out from their lineup. The likes of Dzyuba are also available from the bench. For Zenit it should also be a chance to rest some players mainly because they are in the middle of a title race and they do play Dynamo Moscow on the weekend. Zenit did fairly well against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and being at home they should get a boost of sorts in what will be a chilly night. 

Starting XI Prediction

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It’s not the biggest of games in terms of stakes but for Chelsea it is a chance to bounce back and for the forward players to return to some goal scoring form. If Lukaku starts and he gets a goal or two then that would be a good restart for him. Also the main thing for Tuchel will be everyone get’s back to London without any injuries etc. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Midweek Football Preview

Who will fill out those final Round of 16 places?

Champions League Group Stage MD 6

Group A

RB Leipzig vs. Man City

Leipzig go into this game sitting 3rd in the table with 4 points and with no manager after Jesse Marsch was sacked during the weekend because of poor form. Man City go into this game top of the table and already having sealed a place in the Round of 16 they have no worries. Leipzig will hope that Brugge lose to PSG so that they at least move into the Europa League but if Leipzig want to keep the situation in their own hands they have to win this game. Leipzig have played two lost two since the last game while Man City have played three won three. 

Paris Saint Germain vs. Club Brugge

PSG have already sealed a place in the next round but can finish no higher than 2nd. They take on a Brugge team which sits bottom of the table but level on points with Leipzig. The only way Brugge can make the Europa League is if Leipzig lose and Brugge draw or win this game. If Leipzig and Brugge are level on points then Leipzig go through because of the superior goal difference. PSG have won 1 and drawn 2 of their games while Brugge have won all 3 of their games. Not an impossible task but a tough task none the less.

Group B

FC Porto vs. Atletico Madrid

Porto currently sit 2nd in the table with 5 points while Atletico sit bottom of the table with 4 points. Porto reach the Round of 16 if they beat Atletico while they can also reach the Round of 16 if they draw but that would require Milan to lose to Liverpool. Atletico reach the Round of 16 if they beat Porto and Milan drop points. Porto have won their last two games while Atletico have won 1 and lost 1 of their games. A nail biting finish for sure, while both teams could also finish in a Europa League position as well depending on how the results go.

AC Milan vs. Liverpool

A big game for AC Milan as they sit 3rd in the table. Liverpool are already through and will finish top of the table so this is a good chance for them to rotate and rest players. The only way Milan can reach the Round of 16 is if they win this game. A draw would only get them a Europa League finish while a loss would also get them a Europa League finish if Porto won. Milan need to win and hope that Porto drop points. Milan have lost 1 and won 2 while Liverpool have won all 3 of their games. All eyes on the San Siro. 

Group C

Ajax vs. Sporting Lisbon

Ajax are already through and will be finishing top of the group as well so this is a good chance for them to rotate and rest. Sporting sit 2nd in the group and 3 points clear of Dortmund including a much superior goal difference as well so regardless of the result both these teams will be reaching the Round of 16. Ajax have won their last 2 games while Lisbon have also won their last 2 games. For all intents and purposes this is a friendly.

Dortmund vs. Besiktas

Dortmund are 6 points clear of Besiktas in 3rd and will be heading to the Europa League after this game. Besiktas sit bottom of the group with 0 points and all they are playing for is pride in this game. Dortmund have won 1 and lost 1 of their recent games while Besiktas have lost 1 and drawn 1. Another friendly of sorts.

Group D

Real Madrid vs. Inter Milan

A game to decide who finishes top of the group as both these teams have qualified for the Round of 16. Currently Madrid sit 2 points clear of Inter at the top. If either team wins they finish top while if it’s a draw then Madrid finish top. Real have won all 3 of their games recently while Inter have also won all 3 of their games. This should be a fun game to watch. 

Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Sheriff 

Sheriff have already sealed a place in the Europa League as they sit 5 points clear of Shakhtar who are bottom of the table. This is nothing more than a friendly. Shakhtar have won their last 2 games while Sheriff have won 1 and drawn 1. 

Group E

Bayern Munich vs. Barcelona

Bayern sit top of the table and have already sealed a place in the Round of 16 but they take on Barcelona who sit 2nd in the group and only 2 points clear of Benfica who are 3rd. Barcelona could be heading to the Europa League if they draw or lose this game and if Benfica win their game. It’s a must win game for Barcelona to keep their future in their hands while any other result will be hand their fate in Benfica’s hands. Bayern have won their last 2 games while Barcelona have won 1 and lost 1. A massive game because no one can contemplate seeing Barcelona in the Europa League. 

Benfica vs. Dynamo Kyiv

Benfica sit 4 points clear of Kyiv in 3rd. Benfica at the very minimum will get Europa League football but if they win this game and Barcelona drop points then Benfica will move into the Round of 16 while Barcelona will drop down to 3rd. For Kyiv this is nothing more than a friendly and a chance to garner some respect and probably gain some Barcelona fans. Benfica have won 1 and lost 1 while Kyiv have won their last 2 games. A very very interesting game.

Group F

Atalanta vs. Villarreal

Atalanta sit 3rd in the group with 6 points while Villarreal sit 2nd in the group with 7 points. The winner of this game will be heading to the Round of 16 while the loser will drop down to the Europa League. A draw would see Villarreal finish 2nd while Atalanta would finish 3rd. The only team who could completely miss out on Europe in this game would be Atalanta if they lose and Young Boys win. Atalanta have won their last 3 games while Villarreal have lost 2 and won 1. A big game. 

Man United vs. Young Boys

Man United are through to the next round and should finish top of the table regardless of the result. Young Boys sit bottom of the table and they can make the Europa League if Atalanta lose and Villarreal win. A must win game for Young Boys but it does not look likely. Man United have drawn 1 and won 2 while Young Boys have lost 2 and won 1. All the pressure on Young Boys. 

Group G

Wolfsburg vs. Lille

Wolfsburg are bottom of the table but 3 points from the top while Lille sit top of the table with 8 points. If Lille win this game they are through to the Round of 16 while a draw could be enough depending on the other result. For Wolfsburg it’s a must win game to stand any chance of making the top three because a draw would not be good enough. Wolfsburg have lost their last 2 games while Lille have drawn 1 and won 2 of their games. Big pressure on both teams. 

RB Salzburg vs. Sevilla

Salzburg currently sit 2nd a point above Sevilla. This is a winner takes 2nd or 1st situation. A draw would not be enough for Sevilla to make the top two so it is a must win game for them. Salzburg have lost 1 and won 1 while Sevilla have lost 1 and won 2. All to play for in this game as well. 

Group H

Juventus vs. Malmo

Juventus sit 2nd the group already having secured a place in the round of 16 but top spot is up for grabs as they and Chelsea sit level on points. Malmo sit bottom of the group and while if they win and Zenit lose they can go level the goal difference is too  big to move them into 3rd. An interesting game for Juventus to try and finish 1st but a matter of respect for Malmo. Juventus have lost 1 and won 2 while Malmo have won 1 and drawn 1. 

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. 

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!!!