Things are getting better for Chelsea FC. It’s not quite the doomsday yet that people were expecting and the media were hoping. We are in the top four of champions league, FA Cup and shortly in the premier league too.We progressed to the semi final of the champions league after some scare. You could see that Chelsea were either tired or complacent in the second leg.
Even before the match could start I did expect Chelsea to labour towards progression. And that sets up a date with Barcelona, again. I think that’s the team that we would have played the most number of times in the champions league in the last 10 years.With Chelsea knocking out Benfica in a not-so-convincing fashion, you have ‘experts’ saying that if this is what Benfica can do to Chelsea, Barca will have them for dinner. How silly is that? Isn’t that lazy and stupid? For the Barca game, the motivation levels will be different and it will be a different tactic for a different opponent. More importantly the stage will different.
Of course Barca are destined to reach the final and win it every season. Only super-natural forces from a UEFA point of view such as Jose Mourinho might come between them. Even I don’t give too much of a chance for Chelsea against Barca. Not because of ability or experience, but because of everything else.
I just don’t see Chelsea eliminating Barca with the second leg at Camp Nou. Look at what they need to overcome – a great team at home and more importantly the whole system loving to see them in the final. There would be red cards for Chelsea. There would be severe play acting by Barca. There would be media saying that this is a battle between the good and the evil of football. Barca will despatch off a 9-man or 10-man Chelsea easily. Messi will score a brace dancing down a depleted and inflicted team and Barca and Messi will be hailed as the best team and best player ever, again. It’s an all too familiar script.
Nevertheless I’d be tuning into watch this spectacle. This should be great football games with these teams playing In different styles with different types of players. Because I believe in miracles. The miracle is not Chelsea beating Barca. The miracle is Chelsea beating the combination of UEFA and Barca.
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s prospects in the premier league has improved. Some favourable results from our rivals (for the third and fourth spots of course) an some good results from ourselves have made a top four finish a possible thing. The game and result against Wigan was very important. Tottenham had just dropped points. We are hoping that Arsenal lose points (hopefully all three) against Man City today. So a win against Wigan was super-important.
The first goal was indeed offside but its high time we had some luck on the football pitch. I’m sorry for Wigan but this is the way it is. The best performances of the game came from Ivanovic and Torres. I’ve not seen a player who always, I mean, always gives his 200% when he’s on the pitch. He can make the odd mistake but he’s never short of energy, enthusiasm and positive attitude. That was a well taken goal and that goal line clearance from him the next minute was just heroic!
What about Torres! Had about half hour to create an impact and boy did he not! Early in the second half I knew what was missing in our attacks. We needed Torres. We were missing him. As soon as he came on you could see the difference he can make to our attacks. His final ball is superb and his movement is top class. In the last minute, it was Torres who knew he was unmarked and he was screaming for the ball. Thankfully it was Drogba because only he could cross with such accuracy in this team to land perfectly for Torres in that occasion. Torres’ exquisite volley should have earned him a goal but luck would have it otherwise. Great cameo overall.
Roberts do Matteo deserves a lot of credit for getting these results. I wouldn’t give him all the credit for the turnaround. The turnaround was triggered by several things – AVB’s exit, Roman’s hard talk with the players, players trying to prove a point etc. but RDM should get the credit for sustaining the form.
As I write this, Man Utd is winning against QPR. But I do hope Man City beat Arsenal. I now have a strong belief that Chelsea will finish in the top four. Now we have a new contender in the form of Newcastle Utd. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chelsea and Newcastle make it to the top four pushing the north London clubs to Europa league. The key match will be the two Arsenal games – the one against Man City and Chelsea later.
If Chelsea does make it to the top four this season, it would be such a miraculous escape and as it looks now, this miracle might just happen. And getting past Barcelona in a champions league semi final with the second leg at camp nou needs another miracle. My mood is very buoyant. I’m very positive about what Chelsea can do. We might just be getting our mojo back. It’s too late but there’s something to salvage from this season. Even then we still need those miracles to happen. Strangely, despite being in our worst season under Roman, I seem to still believe that miracles would happen! KTBFFH!