Chelsea 0 (10) vs. (11) 0 Liverpool Carabao Cup Final Review

Proud of the team but wastefulness cost us…

Chelsea took on Liverpool at Wembley for the Carabao Cup final on Sunday evening. The pre-match narrative and build up by pundits had formed to make it seem like it was the world against Chelsea because the London Clubs ownership. Liverpool selected a strong XI with everyone who was expected to start making the XI except Kelleher who started in goal and Keita who replaced Thiago in the warm up. Mendy started in goal for Chelsea with a back three of Chalobah, Silva, and Rudiger after Christensen injured his Achilles in training. Azpilicueta, and Alonso started as the wing backs with Kovacic and Kante in the midfield. Pulisic, Mount and Havertz started up front. Strong lineups from both teams.

Chelsea started the game brightly with Pulisic going close in the opening minutes. Azpilicueta played a brilliant ball in but Pulisic’s shot was directed straight at Kelleher from close range. Chelsea then went close again with Mount missing from close range and seeing his shot go wide. Liverpool then grew into the game and dominated possession for much of the 1st half. Mendy was forced into making a stunning double save. The first half ended with Liverpool having had the better half.

The 2nd half began with Chelsea starting strongly once again. Pulisic played in Mount thanks to a brilliant lobbed pass and Mount hit the post which was very unlike him. Mendy made a couple more good saves but Liverpool were largely at bay in the 2nd half. Keita should have been sent off for a tackle on Chalobah but somehow the foul went Liverpool’s way while Chalobah required stitches after the game. The game headed into extra time with Chelsea having not been clinical in the final 3rd.

Extra time was all Chelsea and Liverpool looked tired. Lukaku scored a brilliant goal running in behind the Liverpool defence but it was ruled offside. When it went to VAR his whole body was onside and the goal should have stood but  VAR dubiously used his left arm as the marker to rule it offside. Havertz then scored another goal but he was offside. The game headed into penalties and all players scored their penalties except Kepa who’s shot went sky high. Liverpool won the cup.

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeepers

Mendy was man of the match thanks to his stunning saves in the first half especially. It was a brilliant performance over the 119 odd minutes. Mendy had little to do for the final 45 or so minutes though. Kepa came on as planned but could not save Chelsea in penalties his time out. No blame was given to him because without him we wouldnt have reached the final in the first place. Just not his day this time.

Defenders

Chalobah had a tough time against Luis Diaz on the right hand side but managed it well none the less. Silva was amazing once again playing the whole game and converting his penalty. He made a stunning clearance during the game albeit it looked like Salah’s chip was going wide. Rudiger was his usual self. Azpilicueta and Alonso actually did quiet well throughout the game and both were a danger from the wing back positions. Alonso also kept Salah quiet. Reece James had to come on for Azpilicueta late on and he did well. It was good to see him back. A clean sheet on any other day and that is all you can ask from you defence.

Midfielders

Kante had a decent game in midfield. The physicality seemed to be getting to him at times but he was brilliant at other times. Kovacic was amazing and he did really well throughout the game. Jorginho came on late in the game helped control the tempo and retain possession for Chelsea. Mount was the main cause Chelsea lost the game. Two brilliant chances and he should have finished both of them. It happens though and there is no need to dwell on it. The finishin has to improve as a whole. 

Forwards 

Pulisic did well for much of the game and he played in a brilliant ball for Mount that should have been a goal. Pulisic himself missed a solid chance though. Havertz was very good throughout and continues his run of good form. Had the ball in the back of the net but was offside. Timo came on in the 2nd half and added pace in behind. Werner also had the ball in the back of the net but he was offside. Lukaku also came on and did well. The hold up play was better and he was more mobile. He scored a perfectly good goal which wrongly ruled offside and he drew a late save from Kelleher as well. Just were not clinical.

Manager

Tuchel would have been proud of that performance and the team did play really well. The manager coached a win and we would have won if we were not wasteful with our chances. As long as Tuchel is Chelsea manager though we will continue to get more chances at trophies.

Not our day and the luck was missing on the night. The finishing boots by some players were also left at home. Finishing has cost Chelsea dearly all season and it is something we have to improve on. Proud of the team though and if we continue to play like that and take our chances we should end the season strongly. Next up is a trip to Luton Town in the FA Cup 5th Round. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Weekend Football Review

Major movenement!

Premier League MW 27

Southampton 2 vs. 0 Norwich

Adams and Romeu scored for Southampton as the Saints ran out comfortable winners against Norwich. Southampton move up to 9th in the table while Norwich remain bottom of the table and five points from safety. 

Leeds 0 vs. 4 Tottenham

Doherty, Kulusevski, and Kane scored in the first half while Son scored in the 2nd as Tottenham bounced back and won comfortably at Leeds. Leeds dropped down to 16th wth the loss and it saw Bielsa sacked as a result of it. Jessy Marsch is lined up to take the helm but Leeds are truly in a relegation battle at the moment. Spurs move up to 7th with the win five poins from top four.

Brentford 0 vs. 2 Newcastle

Dasilva was sent off for Brentford in the 11th minute to give Newcastle a man advantage. Joelinton and Willock then added the goals as the Magpies won comfortably. A silver lining for Brentford and football in general was the comeback of Christian Eriksen. Brentford drop down to 15th and find themselves in a relegation battle while Newcastle jump up to 14th in the table with yet another win.

Crystal Palace 1 vs. 1 Burnley

Schlupp scored in the 9th minute to give Palace the lead but Milivojevic scored an own goal in the 46th minute to bring Burnley back into the game. Neither side could find the winner. Palace remain 11th in the table while Burnley remain 18th, one point from safety. 

Brighton 0 vs 2 Aston Villa

Cash scored in the 17th minute while Watkins scored in the 68th minute as Villa finally got a win after a run of poor results. Brighton drop down to 10th with a third successive loss while Villa move up to 12th with the win. 

Man United 0 vs. 0 Watford

United huffed and puffed but they couldn’t tear down Watford. So many missed chances for the home team and Watford were able to leave with a point. United remain 4th in the table two points above 5th while Watford remain 19th and three points from safety.

Everton 0 vs. 1 Man City

Foden scored in the 82nd minute due to a big mistake from Keane and then Rodri committed the most blatant hand ball you will ever see but no penalty was given as Everton were robbed of a point at home. Everton drop down to 17th in the table a point above the relegation zone while City remain top of the table six points clear of Liverpool who have a game in hand.

West Ham 1 vs. 0 Wolverhampton

Soucek scored in the only goal of the game in the 59th minute as West Ham got all three points in this important game. West Ham move into 5th in the table two points behind United while Wolves drop down to 8th in the table and seven points behind Man United. 

La Liga MW 26

Real Madrid beat Rayo Vallecano 0-1, Atletico beat Celta Vigo 2-0, Villarreal beat Espanyol 5-1, Sevilla beat Betis 2-1, Real Sociedad beat Osasuna 1-0, and Barcelona beat Bilbao 4-0. Real Madrid reman six points clear at the top of the table with Sevilla behind them. Betis are the only team to lose in the top seven as they see their gap to 4th cut down to one point. Barcelona sit 4th with Atletico 5th, and Villarreal 6th in the table. The title race is not over but Real Madrid have regained form in recent weeks. The top four race is also alive and running with five teams vying for two spots. An interesting season in Spain. 

Serie MW 27

Milan drew with Udinese 1-1, Inter drew with Genoa 0-0, Juventus beat Empoli 2-3, Roma beat Spezia 0-1, Napoli beat Lazio 1-2, and Atalanta are yet to play. Napoli go top of the tabel on goal difference as the Milanese teams continue to drop points. Milan sit 2nd and Inter 3rd. Juventus sit five poins behind Inter in 4th. Atalanta sit 5th and a win would take them to within three points of Juventus. Roma move up to 6th while Lazio sit 7th. A close race at the top while Juventus have a good buffer from 5th at the moment. Anything can happen but it is advantage Napoli for now.

Bundesliga MW 24

Hoffenheim beat Stuttgart 2-1, Leverkusen beat Arminia 3-0, Bayern beat Frankfurt 0-1, Leipzig beat Bochum 0-1, and Dortmund drew with Augsburg 1-1. Bayern go eight points clear at the top of the table as Dortmund drop points. Leverkusen and Leipzig make up the top four. Bayern as I have said are their own worst enemy and this weekend they returned to winning ways and created a bigger gap. Not much to look at in Germany.

Ligue MW 26

Nice drew with Strasbourg 0-0, PSG beat St.Etienne 3-1, Reims beat Monaco 1-2, Marseille drew with Troyes 1-1, and Lille beat Lyon 0-1. PSG go 15 points clear at the top of the table with Marseille, Nice, and Rennes making up the top four. Lille, Monaco, and Lyon sit 8th, 9th and 10th respectively. Ligue 1 just a formality at this point. 

Midweek Football Review

An interesting week of results!

Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg

Villarreal 1 vs. 1 Juventus

Vlahovic scored in the 1st minute to give Juventus the lead but Parejo equalised for Villarreal in the 66th minute. Neither side could find the winner as the game ended in a draw. Anyone can go through in the 2nd leg but Juventus will be favourites given the home advantage and no away goals. 

Atletico Madrid 1 vs. 1 Man United

Felix scored in the 7th minute and Atletico dominated the whole game and should have scored several more but the finishing was abysmal. United managed to equalise in the 80th minute thanks to Elanga. The 2nd leg is a free for all but United will have to play way better than they did in this game. Atletico will need to stay strong defensively and take their chances. All to play for.

Benfica 2 vs. 2 Ajax

Tadic scored in the 18th minute to give Ajax the lead but Benfica equalised through a Haller own goal in the 26th minute. Haller restored Ajax’s lead in the 29th minute but Yaremchuk equalised for Benfica in the 72nd minute. Another draw and neither side is able to take advantage. All to play for in the 2nd leg but Ajax will have the home advantage.

Premier League (Games in hand)

Burnley 1 vs. 0 Tottenham

After the high of beating Man City, Tottenham’s world came crashing down as Burnley beat them thanks to a Mee goal in the 71st minute. Tottenham had several chances but were not clinical. Burnley remain 18th in the table but only two points from safety now. Tottenham remain 8th in the table and seven points from top four with four losses in their last five games. Conte especially looked shocked after the game and it all seems to be crashing already. 

Watford 1 vs. 4 Crystal Palace

Mateta scored in the 15th minute to give Palace the lead but Sissoko equalised for Watford in the 18th minute. Gallagher restored Palace’s lead in the 42nd minute and Zaha got two goals late in the game to seal a big win for Palace. Watford drop down to 19th in the table four points from safety and it is looking like they will be going down this season. Palace finally win a game and move up to 11th in the table. 

Liverpool 6 vs. 0 Leeds

Salah got two penalties, Mane got a double, and Matip along with Van Dijk added the rest as Liverpool ran out comfortable winners against Leeds. Liverpool did not play particularly well but Leeds given the way they play are always open to conceding goals. Liverpool remain 2nd but cut the gap to the top to three points. Leeds remain 15th but only three points above the relegation zone as relegation becomes a real threat for them.

Arsenal 2 vs. 1 Wolverhampton

Hwang gave Wolves the lead in the 10th minute but Arsenal mounted a late comeback. Pepe equalised for Arsenal in the 82nd minute and Sa scored an own goal in the 95th minute to give Arsenal a massive win. Arsenal move up to 5th in the table now only a point behind Man United. Wolves remain 7th in the table six points from top four. 

Chelsea 2 vs. 0 Lille Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg Review

What a difference movement can make!

Chelsea took on reigning French champions Lille at Stamford Bridge for the Champions League Round of 16 first leg. Lille selected a strong lineup with the likes of David, Bamba and surprisingly Sanches all starting for Les Douges. Tuchel selected a strong lineup as well with Mendy in goal and a back three of Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger. Azpilicueta, and Alonso made up the wingbacks with Kovacic, and Kante as the midfield two. Havertz started up top in place of Lukaku with Pulisic, and Ziyech playing as the wingers. A strong lineup, Lukaku dropped and Chelsea were ready to go.

The Blues started the game brilliantly with Kai Havertz going close in the opening few minutes thanks to a brilliant ball by Azpilicueta. Havertz then got a shot off which resulted in a corner. Ziyech took the corner and Havertz headed it in to give Chelsea the lead in the 8th minute. Post the goal though Chelsea didn’t have the same impact of the opening 10 minutes. Sanches helped Lille grow into the game and they created some half chances but nothing to test Mendy directly. The half ended with Lille having had more shots but Chelsea had more on target and were more efficient. 

The 2nd half started saw Chelsea start with the same ferocity as they did the first half. Pulisic especially made some good driving runs and Havertz was a constant nuisance. The 2nd goal came in the 63rd minute as Kante drove forward from the midfield and played in Pulisic who finessed a shot into the goal. 2-0 up and comfortable. Chelsea searched for the 3rd goal but Lille held tight to keep the scoreline at 2-0. A good win overall. 

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper 

Another cleansheet for Mendy as he had a generally comfortable game. Some simple catches to make but nothing stunning needed. Mendy continues to have a stellar record in the Champions League and Chelsea overall and long may it continue.

Defenders

Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger all had brilliant games. Silva especially looked very good and that is a testament to how he treats himself and keeps himself fit. A joy to watch. Azpilicueta was solid but Alonso had a shaky afternoon and Tuchel was visibly frustrated by him throughout the game. Sarr did come on in the 2nd half for Alonso to add a bit of energy. 

Midfielders

Kante and Kovacic had a solid game and Kante especially returned to form after having put in some poor performances over the last few games. Kovacic sadly had to come off but hopefully it isn’t a serious injury. Loftus-Cheek came on for him and did well, he took control of the ball and distributed it well, along with using his physicality. Saul also came on in the 2nd half and added extra grit to the midfield. A solid performance overall.

Forwards

Pulisic had a very good game and was a constant threat throughout. Later in the 2nd half he also tracked back well to help out in defence. It looked like the Pulisic of two seasons ago. A deserving goal scored as well. Havertz was a breath of fresh air up front after having seen Lukaku there for several games. Constant movement, constant threat and the whole attack just seemed to flow and funtion better. It was a pleasing performance on the eye and another goal to his name. Ziyech got an assist and had a good game but was relatively quiet. Ziyech did have to come off and one will hope he is ok. Werner did come on for the final 10 minutes and also provided threat. He managed seven touches in 10 minutes which is more than some can manage over 90. A fluid and exciting attack.

Manager

Tuchel will be pleased with the overall performance but he did mention that he didn’t like the way we allowed Lille to grow into the game in the first half. A win and a cleansheet is good though and gives Chelsea a solid footing going into the 2nd leg. Next up is a vist to Wembley on Sunday for the Carabao Cup final against Liverpool. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Weekend Football Review

The title race is back!

Premier League MW 26

West Ham 1 vs. 1 Newcastle

Dawson scored in the 32nd minute to give West Ham the lead but Willock equalised right before half time to bring Newcastle back into the game. Neither side could find the winner in the 2nd half. West Ham remain 5th in the table four points from top four while Newcastle remain 17th but four points clear of the relegation zone. A good point for Newcastle but not for West Ham. 

Arsenal 2 vs. 1 Brentford

Smith Rowe and Saka scored in the 2nd half to give Arsenal a two goal lead and Brentford got a consolation goal through Norgaard in the 93rd minute as Arsenal sealed all three points. Arsenal remain 6th in the table four points from top four while Brentford remain 14th in the table but risk falling into a relegation race.

Brighton 0 vs. 3 Burnley

Weghorst and Brownhill scored in the 1st half while Lennon added a 3rd in the 2nd half as Burnley ran out surprise winners at Brighton. Brighton remain 9th in the table while Burnley move into 19th and five points from the relegation zone. Dyche is beginning to get the survival bid rolling for Burnley once again. 

Liverpool 3 vs. 1 Norwich

Norwich took the lead in this game in the 48th minute as Rashica scored to make it 0-1 for the canaries. It only served to wake Liverpool up as Mane, Salah, and Diaz all scored to seal the comeback and win for the home team. Liverpool remain 2nd in the table seven points clear of Chelsea but now only six points behind Man City as the title race gets reignited. 

Southampton 2 vs. 0 Everton

Armstrong and Long scored in the 2nd half for Southampton as they ran out winners against Everton. Southampton remain 10th in the table with the win while Everton remain 16th four points above the relegation zone. A 2nd loss in thre games for Lampard as goes through a rough start at his new club.

Aston Villa 0 vs. 1 Watford

Dennis scored in the 78th minute as Watford got a big win against Villa. Villa remain 12th in the table but now only have one win in their last five as Gerrard’s honeymoon period seems to be over. Watford move into 18th in the table and four points from safety as they try and survive this season.

Man City 2 vs. 3 Tottenham

The game that reignited the title race. Kulusevski gave Spurs the lead in the 4th minute to shock the fans inside the stadium. Gundogan equalised in the 33rd minute and it looked like City would run rampant. Kane though restored Spurs lead in the 59th minute. It looked like Spurs would hold on for a win but fortune struck City as they were awarded a penaly in the 92nd minute. Mahrez converted to equalise for City. Kane had other plans in mind though as he scored the winner in the 95th minute. City remain top of the table but see their lead cut down to six points. Spurs remain 8th in the table seven points from 4th as they get a big win and end their losing run.

Leeds 2 vs. 4 Man United

Maguire and Fernandes scored in the first half to give United a 0-2 lead. In typical United fashion though they conceded two goals in the 53rd and 54th minute to see Leeds come back into the game. Leeds open as they are though lost the game thanks to goals from Fred and Elanga. Leeds remain 15th in the table with the loss while United remain 4th and four points above 5th. It was a big win for United given their upcoming games. 

Wolverhampton 2 vs. 1 Leicester

Neves scored in the 9th minute to give Wolves the lead. Lookman equalised for Leicester before half time but Podence scored the winner for Wolves in the 66th minute. Wolves remain 7th in the table six points off of 4th and in the hunt for European places while Leicester remain 11th and suffer yet another loss with Rodgers going through a very tough period. 

La Liga MW 25

Villarreal beat Granada 1-4, Atletico beat Osasuna 0-3, Real Madrid beat Alaves 3-0, Sevilla drew with Espanyol 1-1, Barcelona beat Valencia 1-4 with Aubameyang scoring a hattrick, Betis beat Mallorca 2-1, and Bilbao beat Sociedad 4-0. No surprises this weekend with Sevilla being the only team who dropped points. Real remain six points clear at the top of the table with Sevilla, Betis, and Barcelona making up the top four. Atletico, Villarreal, Sociedad, and Bilbao make up the teams behind them. An interesting race for sure no slip ups this weekend.

Serie MW 26

Juventus drew with Torino 1-1, Roma drew with Verona 2-2, Milan drew with Salernitana 2-2, Fiorentina beat Atalanta 1-0, Sassuolo beat Inter 0-2, Lazio drew with Udinese 1-1, and Napoli play on Monday night. Milan remain two points clear at the top of the table with Inter, Napoli and Juventus making up the top four. Napoli can go top on goal difference if they win their game tonight. Atalanta, Lazio, Fiorentina, and Roma make up the teams outside the top four. Mourinho has alot of work to do at Roma. The title race is going well in Italy it will be interesting to see whether Napoli take advantage.

Bundesliga MW 23

Mainz beat Leverkusen 3-2, Hoffenheim beat Wolfsburg 1-2, Koln beat Frankfurt 1-0, Bayern beat Furth 4-1 after conceding first, Dortmund beat Monchengladbach 6-0, and Leipzig beat Hertha Berlin 1-6. Bayern remain six points clear at the top of the Bundesliga with Dormtund, Leverkusen, and Leipzig making up the top four. Hoffenheim sit 5th in the table. The title race still exists in Germany but the teams behind Bayern will hope that the reigning champions slip up a few more times. 

Ligue MW 25

Lille drew with Metz 0-0, Lyon drew with Lens 1-1, Nantes beat PSG 3-1, Nice beat Angers 1-0, Monaco drew with Bordeaux 1-1, and Clermont beat Marseille 0-2. PSG remain 13 points clear at the top as Marseille failed to take advantage. Nice and Strasbourg make up the top four. Rennes, and Monaco sit 5th and 6th with Lyon 8th. PSG are going though a rough patch but the teams around them are equally poor and so no one took advantage. Nice did cut the gap to 14 points from the top but that is a sizeable margin.

Crystal Palace 0 vs. 1 Chelsea MW 26 Review

Big win given the circumstances!

Chelsea travelled to Selhurst Park on Saturday afternoon to play Crystal Palace for MW 26 of the Premier League season. Palace had drawn their last two games and had not won in any of their last few. Tuchel selected a strong lineup with Mendy in goal and a back four of Christensen, Silva, Rudiger, and Sarr. Kante and Jorginho made up the midfield with Havertz, Pulisic, and Ziyech playing behind Lukaku up top. A strong lineup and one which many expected would score some goals. 

The game was a stop start one and end to end. Chelsea had two good chances in the first half with Kante and Pulisic going close. Rudiger forced Guaita into a fine save from long range. The 2nd half saw Chelsea drop off and as the game went on Palace gained momentum. The Eagles still failed to register a shot on target as Chelsea’s defence stayed strong. Chelsea scored a late goal after Kovacic played through Lukaku who’s shot deflected into the path of Ziyech but Lukaku was offside. The game looked like it was heading for a draw but Alonso delivered a good cross to the far post and Ziyech pulled in behind to volley it past Butland to give Chelsea all three points. A smash and grab performance but with Liverpool winning and City losing it was important Chelsea did not drop points. 

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper

A clean sheet return for Mendy and he had nothing to do for much of the game. No shots on target for Palace but there were some nearly there shots. This is clean sheet no 9 for Mendy in the league this season and hopefully many more are to come.

Defenders

A clean sheet for the back four this time. We were essentially playing four centre backs with Christensen, and Sarr playing as makeshift full backs. They did a decent job but there was very little attacking threat. Sarr did put a good ball in which Kante should have scored. Silva, and Rudiger were solid as usual. Alonso came on in the 2nd half and delivered the assist that got Ziyech the winner. An overall good performance.

Midfielders

Kante, and Jorginho were not required in this game as we had majority of the possession. Kante is wasted in forward areas because attacking is not his game. It wasn’t a great outing. Kovacic had an instant impact when he came on as he started to play balls through the middle of the pitch. Loftus-Cheek also came on and had a decent impact but he was returning from injury.

Forwards

Another night to forget for the attack. Pulisic was good in the first half but playing as an attacking midfielder he didn’t enjoy the same freedom he would have on the wing. Havertz did a good job overall as he worked hard off the ball and was phyiscal in his challenged. Lukaku was extremely poor and only had SEVEN touches over the whole game. I don’t care whether it’s the system or the players no one should only register seven touches and Tuchel was visibly frustrated with him. Ziyech was the only silverlining as he was a constant threat down the right hand side again. A game winning goal on two occasions and he continues to step up. 

Manager

Tuchel said that the team was jet lagged and a few of the players were suffering from a cold. He said he was not expecting too much from the team in this game having played two extra time games over the last few weeks. All Tuchel will care about is the three points from this result but he would not have liked how little some players offered to the team.

Chelsea remain 3rd in the table with the win seven points behind Liverpool and 13 behind Man City with a game in hand over them. All Chelsea can do at this stage is go on a run and take it one game at a time. Next up is a visit by reigning French Champions Lille in the Champions League Round of 16 first leg tie. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Midweek Football Review

Straightforward results.

Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg

Paris Saint Germain 1 vs. 0 Real Madrid

No away goals meant that Real Madird set up to defend in this game. It was a poor performance from the away team and PSG were a threat throughout. The winner came in the 94th minute as Mbappe scored to give PSG the advantage. Mbappe will probably be heading to Madrid in the summer but right now he is making it count for PSG.

Sporting Lisbon 0 vs. 5 Man City

Mahrez, Silva, and a Foden double meant that City were 0-4 up at half time against Lisbon. Sterling scored in the 58th minute to make it five and send them through to the next round. The 2nd leg is just a formality now as City seal a place in the quarter-finals. 

RB Salzburg 1 vs. 1 Bayern Munich

Adamu scored in the 21st minute to give Salzburg the lead. It looked like they were heading for a win but Bayern equalised in the final moments thanks to a goal from Coman. Bayern were no where near their best and Salzburg did well. I still think Bayern should seal the win in the 2nd leg. 

Inter Milan 0 vs. 2 Liverpool

This was a very close game and Inter had several chances to give themselves the lead but Liverpool held on at the San Siro. Firmino then scored in the 75th minute to give Liverpool the lead and Salah made it two in the 83rd minute. Liverpool should now go through regardless of the 2nd leg as Inter failed to make the most of their chances. 

Premier League (Game in hand)

Man United 2 vs. 0 Brighton

Solksjaer was back in the dugout spiritually as United gave a performance that would make him proud and against all odds got three points. Brighton were the better team throughout but failed to take chances and United through moments won the game. Ronaldo scored a brilliant goal in the 51st minute and Dunk was sent off for Brighton in the 54th minute. Brighton still dominated but Fernandes scored in the 97th minute to seal the deal. United move back into 4th with the win two points ahead of West Ham. Brighton remain 9th in the table with the loss.

La Liga (Game in hand)

Levante scored in the the 54th minute thanks to Melero and beat Atletico 0-1 in what was a surprise result in Spain. Atletico remain 5th in the league and fail to take their chances while Levante remain bottom and 10 points from safety. 

Weekend Football Review

No one wants 4th!

Premier League MW 25

Man United 1 vs. 1 Southampton

Sancho scored in the 21st minute of the game to give United the lead. In typical Unitd fashion though they conceded in the 48th minute to a Che Adams goal. Southampton were the better team in the 2nd half but could not find the winner. United move up to 5th in the table with the point while Southampton remain 10th in the table. 

Watford 0 vs. 2 Brighton

Maupay scored in the 44th minute to give Brighton the lead and Webster scored in the 83rd minute to double that lead. Watford remain 19th in the table six points from safety while Brighton remain 9th in the table. 

Brentford 0 vs. 0 Crystal Palace

Neither team could find the winner in this game as they shared the points. Brentford end a run of losses to remain 14th in the table while Palace remain 13th in the table. 

Everton 3 vs. 0 Leeds

Coleman and Keane scored in the 1st half while Gordon scored in the 78th minute to give Everton an important win against Leeds at home. Lampard’s first league win as Everton manager sees them remain 16th but five points clear of the relegation zone. Leeds remain 15th in the table with the loss. 

Norwich 0 vs. 4 Man City

Sterling scored a hattrick of goals while Foden added the 4th as City cruised to a comfortable win over Norwich. Norwich remain 18th in the table four points from safety while City maintain their nine point lead at the top of the table. 

Tottenham 0 vs. 2 Wolverhampton

Jimenez, and Dendoncker scored in the first half for Wolves and it was enough to see them get a big win against Spurs. This is the the third successive loss for Spurs and Conte was livid and it seemed in shock at full time. Spurs drop down to 8th with the loss. Wolves move into 7th with the win as they chase those European places. 

Newcastle 1 vs. 0 Aston Villa

A free kick by Trippier in the 35th minute was enough to see Newcastle get three more massive points in the race for survival. Newcastle remain 17th but now four points clear of the relegation zone while Villa drop down to 12th with the loss. 

Burnley 0 vs. 1 Liverpool

Fabinho scored the only goal of the game in the 40th minute as Liverpool got a tough win at Burnley. Liverpool remain 2nd in the table nine points behind City but now seven points clear of Chelsea. Burnley remain bottom of the table seven points from safety. 

Leicester 2 vs. 2 West Ham

Bowen scored in the 10th minute to give West Ham the lead. Tielemans equalised for Leicester via a penalty in the 45th minute. Pereira gave Leicester the lead in the 57th minute. It looked like Leicester would get a massive win but Dawson scored from a corner via his arm and VAR failed to catch that as West Ham managed to steal a point. Leicester move up one place into 11th while West Ham remain 4th in the table. 

La Liga MW 24

Sevilla beat Elche 2-0, Villarreal drew 0-0 with Real Madrid, Atletico beat Getafe 4-3 in a crazy game, Real Sociedad beat Granada 2-0, and Barcelona drew with Espanyol 2-2. Real Madrid see their lead at the top cut down to four points while Sevilla, Betis, and Barcelona make up the top four. Atletico are level on points with Barcelona in 5th while Real Sociedad sit 6th and a point behind Atletico. Villarreal sit 7th. The title race and the race for top four are truly on in Spain. It is looking like a very exciting season at the moment. 

Serie MW 25

Lazio beat Bologna 3-0, Napoli drew with Inter 1-1, Milan beat Sampdoria 1-0, Roma drew with Sassuolo 2-2, and Juventus drew with Atalanta 1-1. Milan move to the top of the table a point clear of Inter. Napoli and Juventus make up the top four. Atalanta, Lazio, and Roma make up the rest of the lineup. It was a big weekend for Milan for Lazio especially as they fight for the title and top four repsectively. 

Bundesliga MW 22

Leipzig beat Koln 3-1, Bochum stunned Bayern by winning 4-2, Wolfsburg beat Frankfurt 0-2, Leverkusen beat Stuttgart 4-2, and Dortmund beat Union Berlin 0-3. Bayern see their lead at the top of the table cut down to six points. Dortmund, Leverkusen, and Leipzig make up the top four. Hoffenheim sit 5th in the table. Bayern slip up at the moment but a lot needs to happen to actually create a title race here. The good thing is that the teams behind them won. 

Ligue MW 24

PSG beat Rennes 1-0, Lille beat Montpellier 0-1, Lyon beat Nice 2-0, Monaco drew with Lorient 0-0, and Marseille beat Metz 1-2. PSG remain 13 points clear at the top of the table with Marseille, Nice and Strasbourg make up the top four. Monaco sit 6th in the table while Lyon sit 7th in the table. Lille sit 10th in the table. Ligue 1 continues to be a foregone conclusion but the top four race does seem interesting. 

Chelsea 2 vs. 1 Palmeiras Club World Cup Final Review

CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD!!!

Chelsea took on Brazilian team Palmeiras at the Club World Cup final in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night. It was Chelsea’s 2nd appearance in the competition’s final after losing in 2012 while Palmeiras were making their first appearance. A win for either team would have been their first. Palmeiras had the same team as predicted with Dudu, Rony, Scarpa, and Veiga all starting up front. The majority of the fans in the stadium were Palmeiras fans mostly because Brazilian teams really cherish the Club World Cup. There was decent Chelsea support as well and the Blues knew the importance of winning this trophy because it would complete the set. Tuchel selected Mendy in goal with a back three of Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger. Azpilicueta and Hudson-Odoi started as the wing backs with Havertz, Mount and Lukaku playing up top. A strong lineup. 

The first half was pretty straight forward. Chelsea had two thirds of the possession but Palmeiras’s low block meant that very few chances were created. Palmeiras on the other hand had some very good chances on the counter attack. Mount had to come off in the first half after hurting his ankle and was replaced by Pulisic. Pulisic’s addition did add some flair to the forward line but there was no breakthrough. 

The first goal came in the 54th minute as Hudson-Odoi put a brilliant cross into the box and Lukaku rose highest to head the ball into the net. A goal in a big final and Lukaku earned back respect last night. Chelsea though could not find that finishing goal though and Veiga scored a penalty to equalise in the 64th minute. Thiago Silva had tried to head a ball away but it his hand and obstructed play. Neither team could find a winner in regular time as the game went to extra time.

In extra time Palmeiras just sat back and defended while Chelsea tried to throw the kitchen sink at their defence. The breakthrough came late with Azpilicueta volleying a shot towards goal and it hit defender Luan on the hand. After a short VAR check the penalty was given. Azpilicueta took the ball and cleverly took all the intimidation given to him by the Palmeiras players following which he handed the ball to Havertz to take the actual penalty. Kai Havertz stepped up and just like he did to win Chelsea the Champions League he scored the winner to win the club the World Cup. Havertz was then brought down late in the game after being through on goal and Luan was sent off with a straight red card. Full time and Chelsea were champions of the world. 

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper

Mendy returned to goal in this game. There were a few saves he had to make and the penalty is always a 50/50. Apart form that it was a good outing and he adds another trophy to his cabinet. Both Kepa and Mendy got game time and did brilliantly.

Defenders

The whole defence was very good. Azpilicueta became the first Chelsea player to win every single trophy at the club. An absolute legendary captain for the club and one of the legends of the game for sure. Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger were also solid at the back. Sarr came on in extra time when Chelsa switched to a back four. 

Midfielders

Kovacic and Kante started as the midfield two. Kovacic was very good for much of the game. Kante played the whole game but for me had a mixed performance. In patches he was great but sometimes he was caught out. Mount looked good until he had to come off and hopefully the injury isn’t serious. Saul came on late in the game to liven up the midfield. 

Forwards

Havertz was very good and played the whole game. He scored the winning penalty and exhibted great nerves in such a pressure situation. It should be the boost needed for him to kick on in the 2nd half of the season. Lukaku also made it two goals in two games and scored a powerful header. His first trophy with Chelsea and it again should help him kick on and score more goals. Hudson-Odoi played as a wing back and got an assist but overall had an ok performance. Pulisic was impactful when he came on and showed real hunger. Hopefully the American can get a run of games. Ziyech and Werner also came on and did well to create chances and stretch the Palmeiras defence. 

Manager

Tuchel finally made it for the game and was in the dugout for the final. It was great to see. I think the most clever thing Tuchel did over the two games was give most of the squad game time. He made everyone feel involved and like they contributed to the trophy. A third trophy at the club in a year and hopefully many more to come. 

Chelsea completed football last night and Abramovich was on hand to witness the missing piece of the puzzle. Again, this is the beginning of a new era and if Tuchel continues to get the backing Chelsea will only get better. Next up is a visit to Selhurst Park to play Crystal Palace.

CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD, COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Midweek Football Review

Races heat up!

Premier League MW 24

Newcastle 3 vs. 1 Everton

This was a massive game at St.James’s Park as Everton travelled to play Newcastle. Everton took the lead in the 36th minute thanks to a Lascelles own goal and had been the better team up till that point. Holgate returned the favour a minute later to bring Newcastle back into the game. Fraser gave Newcastle the lead in the 56th minute and Trippier scored a brilliant goal in the 80th minute to seal the win. Newcastle climb out of the relegation zone and into 17th a point behind Everton with two games in hand and a point above Norwich. Lampard loses his first Premier League game in charge of Everton but they still have three games in hand. 

West Ham 1 vs. 0 Watford

Bowen scored in the 68th minute of this game as West Ham got all three points against Watford. West Ham move back into 4th with the win a point above Arsenal. Watford drop down to 19th with the loss but have two games in hand as they sit three points from safety.

Burnley 1 vs. 1 Man United

Pogba scored to give the United the lead in the 18th minute and United should have put the game to bed in the 1st half. Rodriguez scored the equaliser for Burnley in the 47th minute after some brilliant work by Weghorst. Burnley ended the game strongly but could not find the winner. Burnley remain bottom of the table with four games in hand and they sit four points from safety. Man United drop down to 6th with the point and have one game in hand and sit a point from top four.

Norwich 1 vs. 1 Crystal Palace

Pukki scored in the 1st minute to give Norwich the lead over Palace. Zaha scored the equaliser for Palace in the 60th minute. Neither side could find the winner. Norwich drop down to 18th in the table a point from safety with one game in hand. Palace remain 13th in the table with the point and have one game in hand. 

Tottenham 2 vs. 3 Southampton

Bednarek scored an own goal in the 18th minute to give Spurs the lead. Broja equalised for Southampton in the 23rd minute. Son restored Spurs lead in the 70th minute but Southampton had other plans. Elyounoussi equalised for Southampton in the 80th minute and Adams scored the winner for them in the 82nd minute. A collapse by Spurs and a big come back for Hassenhutl. Spurs remain 7th in the table  three points from 4th with three games in hand. Southampton move up to 10th with the win and have one game in hand. 

Man City 2 vs. 0 Brentford

Mahrez scored a penalty in the 40th minute and De Bruyne made it two in the 69th minute for a routine win for Man City. City remain top of the league with a 9 point gap as they go 13 points clear of 3rd placed Chelsea. Brentford remain 14th in the table but only six points above the relegation zone now. 

Aston Villa 3 vs. 3 Leeds

James scored in the 9th minute to give Leeds the lead. Coutinho equalised for Villa in the 30th minute. Ramsey gave Villa the lead in the 38th minute. Ramsey then made it three for Villa in the 43rd minute. James got one back for Leeds before half time. Llorente equalised for Leeds in the 63rd minute as Konsa was sent off for Villa in the 87th minute. A blockbuster game but points shared in the end. Villa remain 11th in the table with two games in hand. Leeds remain 15th in the table with two games in hand. 

Liverpool 2 vs. 0 Leicester

Jota scored a goal in each half to get a comfortable win for Liverpool over Leicester. Liverpool remain 2nd in the table but go four points clear of Chelsea and stay with in 9 ponts of City with a game in hand. Leicester drop down to 12th in the table with three games in hand. 

Wolverhampton 0 vs. 1 Arsenal

Gabriel scored the only goal of the game in the 25th minute as Arsenal got all three points at Wolves. Martinelli was sent off for Arsenal in the 69th minute as well. Wolves remain 8th in the table with two games in hand while Arsenal move up to 5th in the table a point from 4th with two games in hand. 

Copa Del Rey Semi-Final 1st Leg

Real Betis beat Rayo Vallecano 1-2 in the 1st leg of their semi-final while Bilbao and Valencia drew 1-1 in their first leg. Both games are evenly poised but Betis have a slight advantage going into the 2nd leg. Nothing to lose for all four teams. 

Coppa Italia Quarter-Finals

Inter beat Roma 2-0, Milan thrashed Lazio 4-0 with Giroud scoring another brace, Fiorentina beat Atalanta 2-3, and Juventus beat Sassuolo 2-1. Some big semi-finals are set and it looks to be a very exciting Coppa Italia this year. 

Coupe De France Quarter-Finals 

Monaco beat Amiens 2-0, Versailles beat Bergerac on penalties, Nice thrashed Marseille 4-1, and Nantes beat Bastia 2-0. One would say that Monaco and Nice are the favourites out of the teams that are left but anything can happen with Nice probably being the best out of all the teams.