Chelsea were in Wales to play Swansea City, for Saturday’s late EPL kick-off. There were just four games left till the end of the Premier League season. Five games before withdrawal symptoms set in for Chelsea FC fans, including the FA Cup Final.
Swansea City were in some danger: they were 17th in the table with 33 points, one point and one place above the relegation line, and with two games left to play against two clubs below them, Southampton and Stoke City.
They’d picked up just three points in their last five league games, from draws with Huddersfield Town (0-0), West Bromwich Albion (1-1) and Everton (1-1). They’d also lost to Manchester United (2-0) at the end of March, and Manchester City (5-0) in their last game.
The league champions were up in 5th on 63 points, seeing out a disappointing season by their standards. They had a faint hope of catching up with Tottenham or Liverpool in the champions league places, slightly enhanced by Liverpool’s recent draws with West Brom (2-2) and Stoke (0-0), but Conte’s team would probably have to win all of their remaining games to take advantage. […]
Ayodeji Itasanmi (Twitter: @aryhorblueblood) Liberty Stadium/April 28, 2018 It’s now three wins on the trot for the Blues for the first time this year and now four games unbeaten. There will be massive confidence brimming in the team as a result of recent results going into what’s going to be a run of difficult games […]
It was beautiful sunny weather at Wembley, as Chelsea lined up against Southampton for the second time in eight days. The game was this weekend’s second FA Cup semi-final; Manchester United having dispatched Tottenham Hotspur pretty handily, with a 2-1 win in the first.
Southampton were struggling to avoid relegation from the Premier League, but they had done pretty well so far in the FA Cup. They’d beaten Fulham (1-0), Watford (1-0), West Bromwich Albion (2-1) and Wigan Athletic (2-0) to make it to the semi-final stage.
The Saints also had some history in this competition, having won it in 1976. Today though they were up against seven-time winners Chelsea FC. Mark Hughes was going to need a gritty, disciplined performance from his team today, to get past Chelsea to the final.
Since the last rollercoaster meeting between these two teams, Chelsea had earned a creditable 2-1 away win against Burnley, and Southampton had kept their first clean sheet in four games in a goalless draw with Leicester City. […]
Ayodeji Itasanmi (Twitter: @aryhorblueblood) Wembley Stadium/April 22, 2018 We face Mark Hughes’ Southampton side for the second time in nine days when we face off in the semi-final of the FA Cup on Sunday at the home of English football, Wembley Stadium. Antonio Conte and his team will be looking to make it three consecutive […]
Chelsea were up in Lancashire for their Thursday night premier league fixture vs Burnley FC. The visitors were 5th on the log and their hosts 7th, but in terms of recent form, Sean Dyche’s team weren’t just ahead of Chelsea: they were absolute top of the league.
Yes. Burnley were doing better than Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, better than Mourinho’s United, Klopp’s Liverpool, Pochettino’s Spurs and Wenger’s Arsenal. Five wins and a draw in their last six, sixteen points from a possible eighteen. Ten full places ahead of the Blues on the form table, way back in 11th with just two wins and a draw in the same period of time.
When these two teams met at the start of the 2014/15 season, the game set the tone for the rest of the campaign – Chelsea swept Burnley away on the strength of well-taken goals from Diego Costa, Andre Schurrle and Branislav Ivanovic, Cesc Fabregas pulling the strings in midfield. The West London club ultimately went on to win the league that season.
Fast forward to 2017/18, and the league opener was also predictive of Chelsea’s season. Gary Cahill was sent off on 14 minutes, and Sam Vokes and Stephen Ward had Burnley 3-0 up by half time. Marcos Alonso and David Luiz scored, but it wasn’t enough, and the reigning league champions carried on with a disappointing season from there. […]
Chelsea wound up with the points, 58% of possession and seventeen shots to Southampton’s ten. Nevertheless it was a worrying performance for the West London club; the win was really down to a lack of concentration and quality from the home side.
The visitors showed a marked lack of intent, courage and desire until Giroud and Pedro shocked them to life. Morata, Fabregas, Alonso and even Hazard were especially poor in the first half. Up until Giroud’s goal, Hazard’s main highlight was getting booked for tossing the ball at a Saints player’s face.
Perhaps these were symptoms of the uncertainty (or certainty) around Antonio Conte’s future? Nevertheless a win is a win. Next up for Chelsea, an away game Thursday v Burnley, before playing Southampton again on Sunday in the FA Cup semi-finals. […]
Ayodeji Itasanmi (Twitter: @aryhorblueblood) St. Mary’s Stadium/April 14, 2018 This a certainly a prelude to the FA Cup semi-final match between these two teams and it’s also a match that carries significant ramifications in both ends of the table with the Saints fighting for their Premier League survival while the Blues are trying to hold […]
Chelsea played West Ham United in their second consecutive derby this month, for Sunday’s late Premier League kick-off.
Chelsea were coming off an immensely disappointing defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in their previous game. In fact, they had not won a single game against top six opposition in 2018. They might have scraped a win over Arsenal at the beginning of the year, but for a late equaliser from Hector Bellerin.
The league table suggested that Chelsea had the advantage for this game: they were at home and fighting for a fifth place finish, and their visitors were struggling mightily to stay out of the relegation places.
Head-to-head though, West Ham had won three and drawn one of their last six games against Chelsea. David Moyes’ team were slowly becoming a bogey side for their West London neighbours. […]
Ayodeji Itasanmi (Twitter: @aryhorblueblood) Stamford Bridge/April 8, 2018 It was indeed a sad day on Wednesday for everyone associated with Chelsea Football Club as one of our greatest ever players, former captain and assistant coach Ray Wilkins passed away following a heart attack suffered last week. Our deepest condolences go to his family at this […]
Spurs were playing far more positively now. Mauricio Pochettino had probably realized, like many other EPL managers this season, that it was a tactical error to sit back and invite pressure from Chelsea.
This year’s team had not lost much potency in attack compared with previous seasons, but they were extremely shaky in midfield and defence. Apply a little pressure and they were almost certain to cave in.
And so it proved: First, Heung-Min Son had a long range curler parried out by Caballero on 61 minutes.
Barely a minute later Eric Dier went route one, lobbing a through ball over sleepwalkers Christensen and Azpilicueta, to Dele Alli. The English midfielder took one touch to control the pass, and another to finish off the inside of the post, 2-1 to Spurs. […]