What number of occasions have we heard the phrase ‘unprecedented’ over the past 12 months?
Alright, we get it, we’re being compelled to stay by means of one of the vital psychological intervals within the historical past of the world – cease reminding us how ‘unprecedented’ all of it is.
That being stated, regardless of how dangerous issues get, you may all the time depend on sure groups to churn out the identical outdated meltdowns that they’ve turn into synonymous with through the years. Take Chelsea for instance, they’ve loved their justifiable share of success in current occasions, however regardless of how good issues get everyone knows there is a collapse on the horizon.
Thomas Tuchel’s arrival at Stamford Bridge had seen the Blues embark on a advantageous run of kind – selecting up ten wins and 4 attracts within the German’s first 14 video games on the helm – however Saturday’s embarrassing 5-2 defeat to Premier League strugglers West Brom left their unbeaten run in tatters.
Shortly after the humiliating defeat to Sam Allardyce’s facet, Antonio Rudiger and Kepa Arrizabalaga determined it might be a good suggestion to have a combat on the membership’s coaching floor, with Tuchel finally compelled to ship his compatriot house from the session.
Right here we go! The meltdown is in full swing, that is what we count on to see! Effectively, we thought it was…
Chelsea headed to Sevilla on Wednesday night to face Porto within the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie. Whereas Tuchel’s facet have not too long ago given themselves a superb shot of attaining Champions League qualification by way of their league standing, the possibility to dine at Europe’s prime desk subsequent season may be secured by profitable this 12 months’s competitors.
With a comparatively straight ahead tie towards Porto within the final eight, the Champions League represents an important alternative for Chelsea to e book their place in subsequent season’s version of the competitors, so defeat in Sevilla would have been the proper technique to actually kick-start the collapse.
As a substitute they went and produced an expert efficiency and just about cemented their place within the final 4 of the competitors. Huh? This wasn’t meant to occur.
Tuchel’s facet by no means actually seemed like being examined by their Portuguese opposition, and when Mason Mount produced a second of brilliance to interrupt the impasse it instantly began to seem like a case of will Chelsea rating sufficient to finish the tonight or not?
Whereas the Blues did not actually create an entire host of gilt-edged alternatives, they seemed strong defensively and had sufficient high quality going ahead to maintain the Porto backline busy. A seemingly tepid piece of build-up play sparked into life with ten minutes to play as Olivier Giroud smashed the crossbar, earlier than Ben Chilwell capped off an excellent evening’s work.
The England left-back pounced on a mistake by Porto midfielder Jesus Corona, carrying the ball previous Agustin Marchesin earlier than tapping into an empty internet.
Whereas a two-goal lead clearly doesn’t suggest Chelsea can afford to take their eye off the ball going into the second leg, Porto’s efficiency did little to counsel Tuchel’s facet have something to fret about.
Was it scintillating? No. Have they completely put the tie to mattress? No. Did they produce about as completed a efficiency as you could possibly ask from a facet given they not too long ago suffered their first defeat underneath their new boss and wanted to regular the ship? Completely.
The dedication and need of Chelsea squads of the previous have typically been referred to as into query, with the present squad’s perspective additionally questioned at occasions, however the Blues’ show towards Porto was filled with character and they are often happy with their work.
These actually are unprecedented occasions.