With the season now heading towards a period of ‘crunchtime’, a tough set of fixtures stack ahead for Chelsea – with potential silverware on the horizon.
The meltdown of the Super League:
Last week’s Blue Mondays post disclosed the details of the proposed European Super League, with its controversies being the talking point for every sports fan across the planet.
Just 24 hours after the post, the Super League crumbled – with all six of the involved English clubs withdrawing from the competition following protests up and down the country.
This week the focus is back on football as we know it, with a weekly roundup of last weeks results, whilst looking ahead to tomorrows Champions League clash in Madrid.
A blip against Brighton, but joy in East London:
Chelsea’s game against Graham Potter’s Brighton kicked off less than an hour after the club announced their intent to withdraw from the Super League.
Despite the fixture looking like an inevitable Chelsea victory on paper, the controversies looked to have loomed upon the minds of the players – with the game ending in an unenthusiastic stalemate at the Bridge.
Fortunately, Chelsea was let off the hook following West Ham’s weekend defeat to Newcastle. However, this only placed further importance on the meeting between the two clubs on Saturday evening.
However, in typical Tuchel fashion, Chelsea grabbed yet another 1-0 victory – earning their 17th clean sheet from the German’s opening 21 games.
After picking up a valuable three points against fellow top four contenders in West Ham, Chelsea find themselves back inside the top four, with a three point advantage over the Hammers who are shifted back to fifth.
Looking forward to Madrid:
The extra breathing space that the Blues have found allows them to put extra focus into Tuesday’s blockbuster clash against Real Madrid.
The meeting between the two clubs is the first since 1998, with the tie also welcoming a reunion between Chelsea and former player Eden Hazard.
With the first leg set to be played at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium, Tuchel’s side will hope to put themselves in pole position for the second leg eight days later – before potentially reaching the final in Istanbul on May 29th.
For what is a relatively inexperienced squad based around a youthful spine, the challenges posed over the course of the next few weeks may seem daunting. Not only are the Blues set to compete in the latter stages of the Champions League, but they also have a FA Cup final against Leicester scheduled on May 15th.
Balancing these pressures alongside the task of finishing in the top four will show exactly what this Chelsea side is made of. A tough few weeks are ahead for Tuchel’s Blues, making an interesting but heavily anticipated finale to what has been a hectic season.
Written by Ryan Bellenie (@BellenieSport).