Al-Hilal 0 vs. 1 Chelsea Club World Cup Semi-Final Review

Onto the final!

Chelsea took on Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal on Wednesday night in Abu Dhabi for the Club World Cup semi-final. The winner of the game would seal place in the final alongside Brazilian team Palmeiras. Al-Hilal picked a strong team with Marega, Pereira, and Ighalo all starting. Chelsea selected Kepa in goal with a back three of Christensen, Silva, and Rudiger. Azpilicueta and Alonso started as the wing backs with a midfield of Kovacic, and Jorginho. Havertz, Ziyech and Lukaku started up front. A strong lineup by both teams as they looked to reach the final.

Al-Hilal started well but Chelsea grew into the game in the first half. Chelsea had several good chances in the first half but the final finish was missing as usual. Al-Hilal didn’t have a shot on target for much of the first 45. The only goal of the game came in the 32nd minute as Havertz did well to dribble and put in a cross which fell into the path of Lukaku who smashed it into goal. The Belgian improved as the half went on but Chelsea failed to double the lead.

Al-Hilal came out to play for the 2nd half and grew back into the game. They got several corners and began to test Kepa. Kepa made a particularly brilliant save late on that kept Chelsea in the lead. Chelsea did hold on for the win though and will now play the final on Saturday.

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper

A cleansheet for Kepa as his redemption season continues to go well. It was a brilliant save late in the game and it is a testament to his quality that Chelsea have not missed Mendy. Another very good game for him.

Defenders

All the defenders did pretty well. Christensen made a particularly good challenge in the 2nd half to deny a counter. Rudiger handled Ighalo well. Silva was his calm self while Azpilicueta and Alonso were decent as the wing backs. Sarr came on in the 2nd half for Alonso to see out the game.

Midfielders

Jorginho and Kovacic did really well in the 1st half. Jorginho had to come off at half time and that did impact the fluidity with which Chelsea passed in the midfield. Kante came on in his place but didn’t have his usual impact. Mount came on in the 2nd half as well to add some bite and threat. Kovacic had a very good all round game and played some brilliant passes as well. 

Forwards

The forwards all did relatively well in this game. Havertz was a constant threat and his movement seemed to allow Lukaku to play better. Havertz should have scored but he hit the post. Ziyech again and had an influential game as he continues to enjoy game time at the moment. Lukaku began the game poorly and missed a chance from point blank range. His goal was a poachers one and he was more involved following the lead. Some good linkup play and a constant threat. 

Manager

Zsolt Low was taking care of the management side while Tuchel contnues to isolate in London. Tuchel though delievered the half time team talk and would have liked that the team kept a clean sheet. We should have been more clinical in front of goal though. Final no 5 for the German at Chelsea though.

Chelsea will play the final against Palmeiras on Saturday night. It is bound to be a big game for the club. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Chelsea 2 vs. 1 Plymouth Argyle FA Cup 4th Round Review

An unexpectedly tough game.

Chelsea welcomed Plymouth Argyle to Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon for the FA Cup 4th Round game. Plymouth sat 7th in League One so on paper it should have been an easy afternon for Chelsea. It did not get off to the best starts though as Thomas Tuchel turned in a positive covid test and had to isolate. Chelsea still selected a strong lineup as Kepa started in goal with a back four of Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, and Sarr. Kovacic, and Jorginho started in the midfield two wth Hudson-Odoi, Mount, and Ziyech playing behind Lukaku up top. Tuchel was communicating with the staff via the phone throughout the game as it kicked off.

Gillesphey gave Plymouth the surprise lead against the run of play in the 8th minute via a set piece. Plymouth then defended with their lives as Chelsea hit the post three times. The equaliser finally came in the 41st minute after Mount sent in a low cross and Azpilicueta backheel flicked it into the goal.

It was all Chelsea for much of the game but Plymouth did come out and test Kepa in the latter stages in the 2nd half. The game went into extra time and Chelsea finally gained the lead in the 106th minute thanks to Alonso. Timo Werner, and Kai Havertz linked up well and Havertz cut back for Alonso to smash Chelsea into the lead. Plymouth then threw the kitchen sink at Chelsea and got a late penalty to send the game to penalties. Kepa though was more than up for the task and saved the shot to deny Plymouth. Chelsea saw out the final few minutes for the win. 

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper

Kepa was strong once again and the goal that was conceded was not his fault but due to more marking. The penalty save is what Kepa is brilliant at and it was great to see him save Chelsea once again. A good overall game for him.

Defenders

Azpilicueta got a brilliant goal while Alonso also came off the bench to score the winner. Christensen, Rudiger, and Sarr had decent games as well. Chalobah came on later in the game to see out the win. The defence continues to be the torch bearer for goals in this team. 

Midfielders

Jorginho and Kovacic along with Mount found it tough to handle Plymouth physically in the 1st half. They got better as the game went on. Mount got an assist to his name. Saul came on later in the game to help search for a winner and see Chelsea to victory.

Forwards

Apart from Ziyech who was brilliant for the whole 120 minutes and Havertz and Werner who played a part in the winner no one else did much at the top. Hudson-Odoi didn’t have the best of games and was being muscled off the ball by Plymouth players. Lukaku was at his worst again and looked like he couldn’t be bothered to be on the pitch. Late to every ball, loose passes, no conviction it was a lacklustre performance. 41 shots and only 11 on target sums up Chelsea in front of goal. 

Manager

Tuchel would have been happy to see Chelsea progress to the next round but apart from that it would have been a poor performance for him. There is not much the German could have done and the players on the pitch really need to pick up in performances especially in attack.

Chelsea progress to the next round where they will face Luton Town away from home. For now Chelsea travelled to Abu Dhabi on Sunday for the Club World Cup. The team will be in the middle east for the week and will look to win another trophy. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Weekend Football Review

Some major upsets!

FA Cup 4th Round 

Man United 1 (7) vs. (8) 1 Middlesbrough

Sancho scored in the 25th minute to give United the lead but Crooks equalised for Middlesbrough in the 64th minute. Neither team could find the winner as the game eventually headed into penalties. Both teams managed to score all their penalties until Elanga missed his which sent United out of the FA Cup. Middlesbrough continue on to the next round while United realistically can only look to a top four finish this season.

Kid’minster 1 vs. 2 West Ham

Penny scored in the 19th minute to give Kidderminster the lead against West Ham. The home team were so close to a famous win but Rice scored the equaliser in the 91st minute. The home team were then close to reaching penalties but Bowen found the winner in the 121st minute. West Ham proceed to the next round but Kidderminster really made them work for it. 

Man City 4 vs. 1 Fulham

Carvalho gave Fulham the surprise lead in the 4th minute but it only served to wake City up. Gundogan eqalised for City two minutes later and Stones gave them the lead in the 13th minute. Mahrez added two goals in the 2nd half to seal the win for Man City. City progress to the next round while Fulham will now concentrate on getting back into the Premier League. 

Wolverhampton 0 vs. 1 Norwich

McLean scored the only goal of the game right before half time as Norwich held on for a win against Wolves. Wolves will now focus on finishing as high as possible in the league while Norwich continue on to the next round. 

Everton 4 vs. 1 Brentford

Life for Lampard as Everton manager got off to a great start as Everton got a big win against Brentford. Mina gave Everton the lead in the 31st minute and Richarlison doubled it in the 48th minute. Toney got one back for Brentford in the 54th minute via  a penalty but Holgate and Townsend added two more in the 2nd half to seal the comfortable win. 

Southampton 2 vs. 1 Coventry

Gyokeres scored in the 22nd minute to give Coventry the lead but Armstrong equalised for Southampton in the 63rd minute with a brilliant strike. Walker-Peters scored the winner for Southampton in the 112th minute. Southampton survive a shock to progress to the next round while Coventry are sent out. 

Crystal Palace 2 vs. 0 Hartlepool

Guehi scored in the 4th minute to give Palace the lead while Olise doubled the lead in the 22nd minute. Hartlepool could not score any goals as Palace cruised into the next round. 

Tottenham 3 vs. 1 Brighton

Kane scored in the 13th minute to give Spurs the lead while March scored an own goal in the 24th minute to double that lead. Bissouma got one back for Brighton in the 63rd minute but Kane added a third three minutes later to seal the win for Spurs. Spurs progress to the next round while Brighton are sent back home. 

Liverpool 3 vs. 1 Cardiff

Jota scored in the 53rd minute to give Liverpool the lead while Minamino made it two for Liverpool in the 68th minute. Elliot made it three in the 76th minute while Cardiff got a consolation goal in the 80th minute via Colwill. 

Nottingham Forest 4 vs. 1 Leicester

Zinckernagel, Johnson, and Worrall scored in the 1st half to give Nottingham Forest a blistering 3-0 lead. Iheanacho got one back for Leicester in the 40th minute. Spence got a 4th for Forest in the 61st minute to seal the win for the home team. Forest on a roll as they progress to the next round while the holders Leicester are sent home packing. 

La Liga MW 23

Sevilla drew against Osasuna 0-0, Real Sociedad drew with Valencia 0-0, Barcelona got a big win against Atletico 4-2, Villarreal beat Real Betis 0-2, and Madrid beat Granada 1-0. Real Madrid increase their gap at the top to six points. Sevilla, Real Betis, and Barceona make up the top four as Atletico drop down to 5th. Villarreal move up to 6th while Real Sociedad sit 7th. A good weekend for Real Madrid while Barcelona get a massive win and move into the top four. Worrying times for Atletico as they will need to find form. 

Serie MW 24

Roma drew 0-0 with Genoa, Milan came from behind to beat Inter for what was a big win, Giroud with two goals. Lazio beat Fiorentina 0-3, Cagliari beat Atalanta 1-2, Napoli beat Venezia 0-2, and Juventus beat Verona 2-0. Inter see their lead at the top cut down to one point. Napoli, Milan and Juventus make up the top four. Atalanta, Lazio, and Roma sit 5th, 6th, and 7th respectively. A big weekend for Milan and Napoli as they get back into the title race while Juventus also get a good win with Vlahovic scoring. 

Bundesliga MW 21

Frankfurt beat Stuttgart 2-3, Bayern beat Leipzig 3-2, and Leverkusen thrashed Dortmund 2-5. Bayern increase their gap at the top to 9 points as they begin to pull away once again. Dortmund, Leverkusen, and Union Berlin make up the top four. Leipzig sit 7th in the table. Bundesliga looks like a foregone conclusion once again as Bayern should roll on and win.

Ligue MW 23

Marseille beat Angers 5-2, Monaco beat Lyon 2-0, Clermont beat Nice 0-1, and PSG thrashed Lille 1-5. PSG sit 13 points clear at the top with Marseille, Nice and Strasbourg making up the top four. Monaco sit 6th while Lyon sit 8th. Lille sit 11th in the table. Similar to the Bundesliga Ligue 1 is a foregone conclusion. 

Chelsea 2 vs. 0 Tottenham MW 23 Review

Make that 4-0 for the season!

Chelsea welcome London rivals Tottenham to Stamford Bridge on Sunday night for MW 23 of the Premier League season. Conte picked a strong lineup once again but I was surprised to see Reguilon left out. Tuchel went with a 4-1-4-1 formation as he said post match. Kepa started in goal with a back four of Azpilicueta, Rudiger, Silva, and Sarr. Jorginho played in the pivot with a midfield four of Hudson-Odoi, Mount, Kovacic, and Ziyech. Lukaku started up front. An interesting lineup and another use of the back four.

Chelsea’s first chance of the game came in the 44th second as Mount played a brilliant ball into the box but Lukaku skied the shot. Ziyech then played a brilliant ball to the far post but Hudson-Odoi headed it wide. Silva then headed wide from the corner. Ziyech then got a shot off while Winks had a shot at Kepa as well. Doherty made an ankle breaking challenge on Sarr in the 19th minute but was not even given a yellow. Hudson-Odoi went close once again. Lukaku then had a shot but sent it wide. Kane then scored a goal in the 41st minute but it was disallowed because he had pushed Thiago Silva in the back. Chelsea then went close a couple more times but neither team could score at half time. 

The first goal came in the 47th minute and what a goal it was. Hudson-Odoi burst past Tanganga and drove inwards to pass to Ziyech on the right hand side. Ziyech cut in made some space and finessed a shot right into the top right corner of the goal. It was as top corner as top corner gets. It was trademark Ziyech and many fans had been waiting for 18 months for that. A brilliant goal. Ziyech then came close once again but this time Lloris managed to save the shot. Dier then brought down Hudson-Odoi and Mount delivered a peach perfect cross into the box which Silva headed to make it 2-0 in the 55th minute. Kane had a couple of chances towards the end of the game but Chelsea managed it well to get three points. 

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper

A clean sheet for Kepa. Some key saves during the game but it was more or less a comfortable evening. The Spaniard has stepped up in Mendy’s absence and has done well in all of his games. Very good form him and the teams confidence. 

Defenders

Azpilicueta did well defensively and offensively. His decoy run was key in creating space for Ziyech to take his shot. Silva got a goal and was brilliant all around, very quickly has become one of the fans favourite players. Absolute legend. Rudiger was also comfortable in a back four and controlled the defense well. Sarr stepped up once again and has really built a place for himself in the team. Very good to see for sure. Alonso came on in the 2nd half to see out the win. 

Midfielders

Jorginho, and Kovacic controlled the midfield well and were their usual brilliant selves. Mount had a very good game and should have got a couple of assists. It was a more energetic peformance from all that were involved. Kante came on in the 2nd half along with Saul as both of them helped maintain the cleansheet. 

Forwards

Hudson-Odoi started the game poorly but grew into it. He had Tanganga on strings for much of the game and the Spurs defender really should have been sent off. Did really well to get the assist for Ziyech’s goal. Lukaku was similar, the Belgian should have at least one or two goals to his name but he worked hard off the ball and at least visibly showed effort on the pitch. Ziyech was hands down the man of the match. From minute one in his favoured right wing position he ran the show. This was the player Chelsea bought two summers ago. A brilliant goal as well it was an amazing show from him.

Manager

Tuchel makes it three wins in a row against Conte as he did against Pep last season. It was a performance that will do him and the team a world of good going forward. A switch in formation will also add weapons to his arsenal.

Chelsea remain 3rd in the table with a 9 point lead over United who are 4th and a point behind Liverpool who are 2nd. Chelsea go into the a two week break now before we return with FA Cup action at home against Plymouth Argyle. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Weekend Football Review

Stumbling blocks!

Premier League MW 23

Watford 0 vs. 3 Norwich

Josh Sargent scored his first two goals in the Premier League while Kucka added an own goal in the final minutes of the game as Norwich came out comfortable winners. Dennis was sent off for Watford in the 78th minute. This was a massive game in terms of the relegation battle as Watford drop down to 19th two points from safety with three games in hand. Norwich move out of the relegation zone with the win and sit 17th a point above the relegation zone with one game in hand. It will be interesting to see whether Ranieri survives the break. 

Everton 0 vs. 1 Aston Villa

Buendia scored the only goal of the game right before half time which was a beautiful looping header as Villa got all three points. It was a big win for Gerrard, Coutinho and Digne who was just forced out of the club recently. Everton remain 16th and only four points above the relegation zone with three games in hand. Villa move up to 11th in the table with two games in hand. Everton need to find a manager over the break.

Brentford 1 vs. 2 Wolverhampton

Moutinho scored in the 48th minute to give Wolves the lead but Toney equalised in the 71st minute. Parity was shot lived as Neves restored Wolves lead in the 78th minute. Wolves then held on for the win. Brentford remain 14th in the table with the loss while Wolves remain 8th in the table with two games in hand. Wolves only sit four points away from 4th. 

Leeds 0 vs. 1 Newcastle

A massive win for Newcastle as Shelvery scored the only goal of the game in the 75th minute. Leeds remain 15th in the table with two games in hand while Newcastle move up to 18th in the table a point from safety with two games in hand as well.

Man United 1 vs. 0 West Ham

This game looked like it was heading for a draw but Rashford came off the bench to score the winner in the 93rd minute. There are question marks over whether Cavani who provided the assist was offside or not but the goal was given. Man United leap frog everyone and move into 4th in the table a massive win for them in terms of the top four race. West Ham drop down to 5th a point behind United. United have one game in hand. 

Southampton 1 vs. 1 Man City

Walker-Peters scored in the 7th minute to give Southampton the lead while Laporte equalised for City in the 65th minute. Neither team could find the winner. Southampton remain 12th in the table with the point. City’s winnning run comes to an end but they remain top of the table with a 9 point lead. Southampton have one game in hand. 

Crystal Palace 1 vs. 3 Liverpool

Van Dijk scored in the 8th minute to give Liverpool the lead while Ox scored in the 32nd minute to double that lead. The Ox goal should have been ruled out because he was offside but VAR chose to ignore it. Edouard got Palace back into the game in the 55th minute and the Eagles looked the better side in the 2nd half. Their momentum was halted as Liverpool were given a penalty after Jota ran into Guaita. It was never a penalty but Fabinho stepped up and made it three in the 89th minute. Palace drop down to 13th with the loss while Liverpool move to within 9 points of City with a game in hand. Palace also have a game in hand.

Arsenal 0 vs. 0 Burnley

A massive point for Burnley as Arsenal were held at home and lost pace in the top four race. Arsenal remain 6th in the table two points from 4th with two games in hand. Burnley remain bottom of the table four points from safety with five games in hand. 

Leicester 1 vs. 1 Brighton

Daka scored in the 46th minute while Welbeck equalised for Brighton in the 82nd minute as the two teams shared a point. Leicester remain 10th with three games in hand while Brighton remain 9th with one games in hand. 

La Liga MW 22

Villarreal beat Mallorca 3-0, Celta Vigo drew with Sevilla 2-2, Atletico came from behind to beat Valencia 3-2, Real Madrid drew with Elche 2-2, Real Sociedad drew with Getafe 0-0, Bilbao beat Vallecano 0-1, and Barcelona beat Alaves 0-1. Real Madrid remain four points clear at the top of the table. Sevilla, Real Betis, and Atletico make up the top four. Barcelona sit 5th in the table a point behind Atletico while Real Sociedad sit 6th. Villarreal move up to 7th while Bilbao sit 9th in the table. Big weekend for the teams chasing top four and Real Madrid. Real Madrid have hit the breaks recently and need to pick up momentum to maintain their gap. The rest are doing well to reduce it. 

Serie MW 23

Inter beat Venezia 2-1, Lazio drew with Atalanta 0-0, Napoli beat Salernitana 4-1, Roma beat Empoli 2-4, and Milan drew with Juventus 0-0. Inter increase their gap at the top to four points with a game in hand. Napoli, Milan and Atalanta make up the top four. Juventus sit 5th a point behind Atalanta. Roma sit 6th four points behind Juventus. Lazio sit 8th in the table. A tight race in Italy this season but Inter are maintaing their gap while other stumble. Roma have picked up some form in recent games and will look to continue it. 

Bundesliga MW 20

Union Berlin beat Monchengladbach 1-2, Freiburg beat Stuttgart 2-0, Dortmund beat Hoffenheim 2-3, Leverkusen beat Augsburg 5-1, Leipzig beat Wolfsburg 2-0, and Bayern beat Hertha Berlin 1-4. Bayern maintain their six point gap at the top of the table. Dortmund, Leverkusen, and Union Berlin make up the top four. Freiburg sit 5th in the table while Leipzig sit 6th. Bayern are comfortable as usual but the others did well to win their games this weekend. 

Ligue MW 22

Lyon beat St.Etienne 1-0, Brest beat Lille 2-0, Marseille beat Lens 0-2, Montpellier beat Monaco 3-2, and PSG beat Reims 4-0. PSG maintain their 11 point gap at the top of the table. Nice, Marseille, and Strasbourg make up the top four. Monaco sit 7th, Lille sit 10th and Lyon 11th in the table. Ligue is straight forward at the moment but their are some surprise names in the top four places. The usual top teams continue to stumble. 

Midweek Football Review

Some surprises

Carabao Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg

Arsenal 0 (0) vs. (0) 2 Liverpool

Arsenal worked so hard to get this game called off and rescheduled. They got their main players back and fielded their strongest XI. They lost to Liverpool without scoring a goal. Jota scored in the 19th minute and in the 77th minute as they cruised to the final. Liverpool will face Chelsea in the final. Arsenal are now knocked out of all competitions and only have the Premier League to focus on. 

Premier League (Games in hand)

Leicester 2 vs. 3 Tottenham

Daka scored in the 24th minute to give Leicester the lead. Kane equalised for Spurs in the 38th minute. Maddison restored Leicester’s lead in the 76th minute and looked ot be heading for a win. Bergwijn came off the bench to score the equaliser in the 95th minute and get the winner in the 97th minute. Spurs made a brilliant comeback and Leicester again bottled the lead. Leicester remain 10th while Spurs move up to 5th now 11 points clear of Leicester. They are now within eight points of Chelsea with four games in hand. 

Brentford 1 vs. 3 Man United

Brentford dominated Man United for 45 minutes but failed to take their chances. There was only going to be one outcome from there on. Elanga gave United the lead in the 55th minute. Greenwood made it two for United in the 62nd minute and Rashford made it three for United in the 77th minute. Toney got one back for Brentford in the 85th minute. Brentford remain 14th in the table. United remain 7th now only two points from top four with two games in hand. 

La Liga (Games in hand)

Valencia drew with Sevilla 1-1. Sevilla play their game in hand and sit 2nd in the table but still four points behind Real Madrid. Valencia sit 9th in the table. 

Copa Del Rey Round of 16

Real Sociedad beat Atletico 2-0, Real Madrid came from behind to beat Elche in extra time 1-2. Eden Hazard got the winner for them. Bilbao beat Barcelona 3-2 to progress as well. Barcelona and Atletico dumped out and Barcelona especially are having one of their worst seasons ever. 

Coppa Italia Round of 16

Lazio beat Udinese 1-0, Juventus beat Sampdoria 4-1, Inter beat Empoli 3-2, and Roma beat Lecce 3-1. The favorites won their games and progress to the next round to potentially make up some very tasty fixtures. 

DFB Pokal Round of 16

St.Pauli beat Dortmund 2-1, Hannover beat Monchengladbach 3-0, Leipzig beat Hansa 2-0, and Freiburg beat Hoffenheim 1-4. Some big upsets here and the DFB Pokal will be getting a new winner this season. The biggest teams are out and only Leipzig remain among others. Freiburg especially are having a really good season. 

Ligue (Games in hand)

Lille beat Lorient 3-1. Lille play their game in hand and move up to 8th in the table. Only three points behind 4th placed Strasbourg. 

Brighton 1 vs. 1 Chelsea MW 24 Review

A tough trip indeed.

Chelsea travelled to the Amex to play Brighton for MW 24 of the Premier League season. During the actual MW 24 Chelsea will be in the Middle East taking part in the Club World Cup so this was a game in hand played early. Brighton selecte a strong lineup while Chelsea played their 15th game over the last 6 weeks. Kepa started in goal with a back four of Azpi, Silva, Rudiger, and Alonso. Jorginho and Kante started as the midfield two with Mount and Ziyech ahead of them followed by Hudson-Odoi, and Lukaku. It was a 4-2-2-2 formation that could change to a three at the back if needed. 

Brighton were the better team for much of the game. Plenty of shots on the first half but Ziyech got the lead in the 28th minute with an effort from distance. It was a good shot but the muted celebration from Ziyech and the players felt like they were just happy to have got the goal. Chelsea kept the lead going into the 2nd half. 

Webster equalised for Brighton in the 60th minute via a header from a corner and Chelsa did react and finish as the better team but it was too little to late. Brighton were well worth their point and have been a strong team this season taking points off of several of the top six. 

Chelsea Team Review

Goalkeeper 

No clean sheet for Kepa but the goal was not his fault. It was a powerful header and there was poor marking in the box. Other than that the Spaniard had a good game.

Defenders

Azpilicueta, and Alonso had a torrid time against Cucurella, and Lamptey. The Brighton wing backs left both the Spaniards exhausted by the end of the game. The two also offered little going forward mostly because they were pinned back for much of the game. Silva, and Rudiger were probably the only two players with Kepa who gave good performances overall. 

Midfielders 

Jorginho was decent but Kante had a very tough time. The Frenchman has looked far from his normal self since the City game and it continued in this game. Bissouma wasn’t even on the pitch for Brighton. Mount was no better and looked exhausted as well while Kovacic came on in the 2nd half but could not do much in the final 10 minutes. 

Forwards

Ziyech had a poor start but improved after he scored the goal. Hudson-Odoi had a poor game and after Pulisic recieved criticism against City, CHO did no better with his chance. Lukaku was making constant runs but was not picked out. He himself could have done more as well in terms of dropping deep. Werner, and Havertz came on in the 2nd half and Werner for sure created a few chances but it was too little to late. 

Manager

Tuchel looked exhuasted and frustrated during this game. He was sitting on the bench for much of the game rather than commanding the players. The subs also came in the 80th minute which was unlike Tuchel. Clearly he is disgruntled at the moment.

The draw means that Chelsea remain 3rd with 44 points. Teams around us have games in hand but those teams have to win their games against some tough opponents. Chelsea looked exhausted, the fans are exhausted, and everyone seems like they need a break. One more game at the weekend for Chelsea against Spurs before a 2 week break for much of this team. COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Weekend Football Review

Some fun results!

Premier League MW 22

Brighton 1 vs. 1 Crystal Palace

This was a close game as expected and it was a draw as well whch was the most likely outcome. Gallagher gave Palace the lead in the 69th minute but Andersen scored an own goal in the 87th minute to give Brighton a point. Palace seem to always drop points in the final few minutes of a game. Brighton remain 9th in the table with two games in hand while Palace move into 11th with one game in hand. 

Norwich 2 vs. 1 Everton

Keane scored an own goal in the 16th minute to give Norwich the lead. Idah then made it two for Norwich two minutes later. Richarlison got one back for Everton in the 60th minute but Norwich held on for a massive win. Norwich move up to 18th with one game in hand and a point form survival. Everton drop down to 16th and sacked Rafa Benitez on Sunday as they look for a new manager now. 

Wolverhampton 3 vs. 1 Southampton

Jimenez scored a penalty in the 37th minute to give Wolves the lead. Coady made it two in the 59th minute. Ward-Prowse scored a brilliant free kick in the 84th minute but Traore scored in the 91st minute to seal the deal for Wolves. Wolves score three goals in a game which is a rarity as they remain 8th in the table with 2 games in hand. They sit a point behind Man United now. Southampton drop down to 12th with one game in hand. 

Newcastle 1 vs. 1 Watford

Saint-Maximin scored in the 49th minute to give Newcastle the lead but Pedro scored in the 87th minute to equalise for Watford. Newcastle sit 19th in the table with two games in hand and two points from safety. Watford remain 17th in the table with three games in hand and a point above the relegation zone. 

Aston Villa 2 vs. 2 Man United

Fernandes scored in the 6th minute to give Man United the lead. Fernandes then scored again in the 67th minute to double United’s lead. It looked like United would cruise to a surprise win but on came Phillipe Coutinho. Ramsey got one back a from Coutinho assist in the 77th minute. Coutinho then equalised for Villa in the 81st minute. A good comeback from Villa sees them move up to 13th in the table. United remain 7th but now within touching distance of Wolves and Brighton, who also have two games in hand. 

West Ham 2 vs. 3 Leeds

Harrison scored in the 10th minute to give Leeds the lead. Bowen equalised for West Ham in the 33rd minute but Harrison restored the lead for Leeds in the 37th minute. Fornals equalised for West Ham in the 52nd minute but Harrison completed his hattrick and won three points for Leeds in the 60th minute. West Ham remain 4th in the table 2 points above Arsenal who have two games in hand. Leeds move up to 15th with the win and have two games in hand. 

Liverpool 3 vs. 0 Brentford

Fabinho, Ox, and Minamino, scored over the course of the game to get a comfortable win against Brentford. Liverpool move into 2nd, 2 points above Chelsea and 11 points behind City with a game in hand. Brentford drop down to 14th with the loss. 

Copa Del Rey Round of 16

Real Betis beat Sevilla to progess to the next round while Valencia beat Atletico Baleares. 

Serie MW 22

Lazio beat Salernitana 0-3, Juventus beat Udinese 2-0, Roma beat Cagliari 1-0, and Atalanta drew with Inter 0-0. Inter remain 2 points above Milan but both them and Napoli play on Monday and can make up ground on Inter. Atalanta remains 4th while Juventus and Roma remain 5th and 6th. Lazio sit 7th in the table. The title race continues to go through twist and turns in Italy while Mourinho finally ends a winless run of three games. 

Bundesliga MW 19

Dortmund beat Freiburg 5-1, Bayern beat Koln 0-4, Union Berlin beat Hoffenheim 2-1, Wolfsburg drew with Hertha Berlin 0-0, Leipzig beat Stuttgart 0-2, Leverkusen beat Monchengladbach 1-2, Frankfurt drew with Augsburg 1-1. Bayern remain 6 points clear at the top of the table with Dortmund, Leverkusen, and Hoffenheim making up the top four. Leipzig sit 7th, while Monchengladbach sit 12th. Bayern will probably win the league but at the moment there is still some sort of title race going on in Germany. 

Ligue MW 21

PSG beat Brest 2-0, Monaco beat Clermont 4-0, Lyon beat Troyes 0-1, while Lille drew with Marseille 1-1. PSG go 11 points clear at the top of the table while Nice, Marseille, and Rennes make up the top four. Monaco move up to 5th in the table a point behind Rennes. Lille sit 10th in the table while Lyon are 11th. The title is a foregone conclusion at this point but Monaco are looking good at the moment. The likes of Lille and Lyon continue to struggle.

 

Manchester City 1 vs. 0 Chelsea MW 22 Review

Focus our priorites elsewhere. 

Chelsea travelled to the Etihad to play league leaders Manchester City for MW 22 of the Premier League season. This game was very much billed as a last stand and any hope that Chelsea could make up ground on City was contingent on a win. Pep set up with a strong team as several players returned. Ederson started in goal with a back four of Walker, Laporte, Stones, and Cancelo. Rodri, Silva, and De Bruyne started in midfield with Sterling, Grealish and Foden up front. Chelsea had Kepa in goal with a back three of Rudiger, Silva, and Sarr. Azpilicueta, and Alonso started as the wing backs with Kovacic and Kante in midfield. Pulisic, Ziyech and Lukaku started up front. 

I will sum the game up in one paragraph. Chelsea began well but, City began to dominate possession and the Chelsea back three fell back. The first half had no real clear cut chances but City had the threat. Chelsea failed to register a shot at City in the first half. The first time this happened in a game since 2018. The 2nd half was much of the same. De Bruyne scored a brilliant goal in the 70th minute to get the win for City. Chelsea only woke up after conceding and the subs of Mount, Hudson-Odoi and Werner helped. Nothing more to the game than that, City just clearly better. 

Chelsa Team Review

Goalkeeper

Kepa did well throughout the game. He came out to make blocks distributed the ball well and made some crucial saves. The goal was not his fault it was just a well placed shot. A good game overall.

Defenders

The defence was good but Sarr stood out in the back three. Thrown into his biggest game yet and did well overall. Rudiger and Sarr kept Grealish, and Sterling quiet for much of the game. Silva was his brilliant self. What can I say about Azpilicueta and Alonso that hasn’t been said. They lack pace and were not able to handle Cancelo and Walker. Alonso especially had a bad time. Stark contrast to Chilwell, and James.

Midfielders

Kovacic, and Kante had good games but they were overrun at times and pressed out of possession. Not the best time for them. Mount came on in the 2nd half and brought some energy but it was too little to late. 

Forwards

The attack was the worst part of the game. Pulisic was non existent but is young and has capacity to improve. Ziyech’s decision making the final third was poor and their is no consistency with him at the moment. Lukaku was extremely poor. The Belgian’s first touch was way off, along with poor decision making and poor finishing. Lukaku could have actually scored two goals but we failed to score any. Hudson-Odoi, and Werner brought some pace to the attack but after conceding any momentum was lost. 

Manager

Tuchel said he was happy with certain aspects of the game. When asked about Lukaku Tuchel said that sometimes the Belgian needs to do the creating himself. Tuchel also stated that the finishing was way off and that the forward players need to be consistent. Tuchel will know there are still several things to achieve this season so he will try to keep the morale high.

A 13 point gap now between Chelsea and City. The title race is well and truly over if you held any hope prior to this game. All Chelsea can do now is try and cut the gap to single digits and win the cups. It would still be a very good season overall. Next up Brighton, COME ON CHELSEA!!!

Midweek Football Review

Some big results!

Carabao Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg

Liverpool 0 vs. 0 Arsenal

The first leg of this Carabao Cup semi-final was a drab affair after Oliver sent off Xhaka for what was not a red card offense. Arsenal had started the game well but post the red card it was attack against defence. Arsenal had key players missing as well while Liverpool showed without Salah there isn’t much to fear. The 2nd leg is setup to be a tasty affair though and the Emirates will be up for it.

Premier League (Games in hand)

Southampton 4 vs. 1 Brentford

Bednarek scored in the 5th minute to give Southampton the lead. Janelt equalised for Brentford in the 23rd minute but Southampton replied back. Fernandez scored an own goal in the 37th minute and Broja added a 3rd in the 49th minute. Adams scored the 4th in the 70th minute. Southampton move up to 11th in the table and have a game in hand while Brentford drop down to 13th with a game in hand.

West Ham 2 vs. 0 Norwich

Bowen scored a goal in either half to seal a win against Norwich. West Ham having played their game in hand move into 4th and 2 points clear of Arsenal. Norwich remain bottom of the table and have a game in hand but sit 3 points from safety. 

Coppa Italia Round of 16

Atalanta beat Venezia 2-0, Fiorentina beat Napoli 2-5, and Milan beat Genoa 3-1. Napoli stumble and are knocked out of the cup while Atalanta and Milan progress. The other games will be played next week.