Chelsea Column: Have West Brom unravelled Chelsea’s Champions League dreams?
I’m writing this after the West Brom game, so if I seem a little angry, you might forgive me given how the game played out.
Usually, these pieces are written before the first game of the month, but this one is an exception, so I will be touching on the West Brom game at the end of the article.
Nevertheless, Chelsea still went unbeaten through March, but our position in the league hasn’t improved.
At the end of the month, we sat in 4th, closely followed by West Ham. We did make progress in the cups, however. Chelsea are now in the Quarterfinals of the Champions League and the Semi-finals of the FA Cup.
So, without any further delay, let’s get into the last month of action at Chelsea.
Chelsea rules Merseyside
I said at the start of March that if Chelsea beat Liverpool and Everton then our chances of top 4 could be guaranteed.
After two very good games, Chelsea took six points away from Merseyside.
The first game away against Liverpool was an impressive display. It wasn’t without a bit of VAR controversy when Timo Werner’s goal was ruled offside. It was a fantastic goal, and it was such a shame that he was a few inches offside.
But it was Mason Mount who scored a fantastic goal which would be the winner for Chelsea. Mason has really come into his element this season and is truly a fantastic player. I do hope that he is given a good opportunity at the Euros, because he’s been a star player at Chelsea this season, and also brilliant on international duty.
In the next game against Everton, we really saw Kai Havertz come into his element. He had a fantastic game. It’s been difficult for Kai coming into the Premier League, but finally we are seeing the player we paid £72 million for. His performances, not just for Chelsea, but also Germany have been incredibly impressive.
It was a big feat for Chelsea to come away with 6 points, and both games were a great watch. It was a shame that the next game against Leeds ended in a 0-0 draw, but you can’t have everything.
Can Chelsea get to the Champions League final?
When Chelsea were drawn against Atletico Madrid in the round of 16, I was very nervous. Atletico were top of La Liga and looking very strong. It would be a massive result if Chelsea were able to pull it off.
However, when Giroud got that wonder goal in the first leg, I knew we would go through. In the second leg, we were solid as a team and it was no shock that the second leg went in Chelsea’s favour.
The first goal came from Hakim Ziyech who has been impressing me lately in his new attacking midfielder role. He and Mason Mount have really started to gel, and their partnership is creating a lot more chances than what we saw in Tuchel’s early days as manager.
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The nail in the coffin came from a 92nd minute goal from Emerson. Chelsea had done what I thought was impossible, but let’s face it, Atletico were never really in either game.
The draw for the Quarterfinals and Semi-finals really fill me with hope for our Champions League campaign. Next up is FC Porto, and despite the fact they knocked out Juventus, I believe we will beat them.
After that, things get trickier. If Chelsea are to get through to the Semi-finals, then we will face either Real Madrid or Liverpool. While Liverpool’s form hasn’t been great, their Champions League campaign has been very successful.
As for Real Madrid. Well, it’s Real Madrid. Regardless of how they are doing, they are always a very tough opponent, but I think we could take the challenge to them. This isn’t me being biased. The way Chelsea play under Tuchel is still evolving and getting better with time and could be enough to see us to get the final.
What went so wrong against West Brom?
It was a poor display up and down the pitch. Mendy refused to dive for a single shot. Silva got himself sent off within half an hour. Werner missed every chance going and overall, it was a painful game to watch.
I really don’t think much more could have gone wrong in that game. We were a goal up before the sending off and from there Chelsea broke down. Heads dropped across the team and West brom were allowed to run rampant.
This was the first loss under Thomas Tuchel, and it couldn’t have been worse timing. Chelsea are in a very close fight with West Ham, Liverpool, and a few others for a top 4 spot. We can’t afford results like this.
Our next game is against Porto in the Champions League and we need to go into that game on a good run of form, but this game has made me doubt the side.
If this team went out and played Porto with the same performance, you’re looking at a 7 or 8-0 loss.
This result cannot be allowed to be repeated and if it does then you have to seriously question what is going on with this team.
You can’t go two and a half months unbeaten and then capitulate without some serious questions that need to be asked.
So, what now?
Like I’ve already said, this result cannot be repeated again this season. There is far too much at stake.
As for top 4, this has been put into major doubt. West Ham are on fire at the moment, and we have to pray that results go in our favour if we hope to get Champions League next season.
Champions League is a must if we want to sign big players in the Summer.
From here, we need to bounce back and challenge for the top 4 and even the FA Cup. If we were able to get to the final it could be a nice way to end the season.
At a glance, our run-in isn’t too difficult but based on the game against West Brom, I feel like every game is going to be a struggle from now on.
I hope that things will improve and that’s all I really can do.
If you want see any more from me then check out view-from-the-crowd.com or search for ‘View from the crowd’ on YouTube.
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