Tag Archives: Willian

Chelsea bounce back from mid-week disappointment to defeat Watford

After suffering a surprising loss in the London Derby at West Ham United, Chelsea cruised past Watford with a 3-0 victory to keep a Champions League spot.

The Blues, who held most of the possession during the game, were able to get on the scoresheet first in the 28th-minute. After Ross Barkley received the ball from Mason Mount, he sent a through ball to Olivier Giroud, who used his left foot to find the bottom right corner of the goal.

 

Fourteen minutes later, Christian Pulisic made a nice run into the penalty area, where he was able to draw a foul from Watford midfielder, Etienne Capoue. Willian was then able to convert from the spot for his ninth goal of the season, his second penalty conversion in as many games.

 

After Chelsea ended the first half up two against The Hornets, both teams were unable to capitalize on any of their chances throughout the second half. That was until the second minute of injury time when Barkley found the back net, solidifying his man-of-the-match performance. 

 

The South-London club handled this game with ease, having 70 percent of the possession while taking 21 shots, with nine of them on target. Their counterparts suffered throughout this match, especially on the offensive side, with only seven shots taken (three on target). 

Chelsea will look to maintain their spot in the top four on Tuesday when they travel to Crystal Palace. Watford, meanwhile, will try to avoid relegation when they host fellow strugglers Norwich City at Vicarage Road.

See Premier League table below:

https://247-football.com/2020/06/25/premier-league-table/

West Ham upset Chelsea in London Derby thriller

One team had wins in every match since the restart. The other had not received a single point.  It was the underdog, West Ham United that was able to come away with the three points against an in-form Chelsea side, securing a crucial 3-2 victory.

The Blues dominated the possession game in the beginning of the first half, but The Hammers were the first ones to have a threatening chance. 

Off a corner kick, the home team had thought they had taken the lead courtesy of Tomas Soucek. Ultimately though, VAR denied the goal after Michail Antonio was caught offside.

In the 41st-minute, Christian Pulisic was able to win Chelsea a penalty after Issa Diop conceded a foul in the penalty area. Willian was then able to convert from the spot to take the 1-0 lead.

The lead, however, was short-lived after Antonio Rüdiger made a terrible mistake and gave West Ham a corner. The home team capitalised on the chance and Soucek found the back of the net again, this time without any interference from VAR.

 

Six minutes into the second-half, West Ham were able to take the lead thanks to a goal from Antonio. After trying to draw a penalty, the Englishman bounced right back up and got his shot right past goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. 

 

Later in the half, Pulisic won a free kick in the attacking half after a great run, which caused former Chelsea Academy product, Declan Rice, to receive a yellow card. Willian was then able to score directly off the free kick to draw The Blues level at 2-2. 

 

All signs pointed toward a draw between the two sides from London. Substitute Andriy Yarmolenko, however, had other ideas. On a fast break, Antonio was able to find the Ukrainian, who finished his chance with ease in the 89th-minute.  This secured a a potentially priceless win for The Hammers.

 

The victory helps West Ham move up one spot in the standings as they try to avoid relegation, heading to St. James’ Park on Sunday to take on Newcastle.

Chelsea, meanwhile, who could have taken sole possession of third place after Leicester City’s loss at Everton, will now fight to keep a Champions League spot at home on Saturday against Watford.

See the table below.

https://247-football.com/2020/06/25/premier-league-table/

After a 30 year wait, what has made Liverpool so special this season?

Well for Liverpool fans the long wait is over. Thirty years ago, they lifted the title, that was in the nineties-1990 to be precise but for Reds fans they have had to endure a very long wait until they can rightly be crowned Premier League Champions 2019-20.

They will always be remembered for winning the title in what has been a strange year for sport. Despite not winning the Championship at their beloved home Anfield in front of none of their fans, Chelsea did Jurgen Klopp’s side a favour by beating Manchester City 2-1 at the Bridge. Once Willian confidently despatched his spot kick past Ederson, Liverpool fans could start opening the champagne or whatever else they fancied to toast their heroes.

It is Liverpool’s 19th top-flight title and surely their most satisfying in their long history.  Klopp’s side have produced the most memorable campaigns in the history of the Premier League, having amassed 86 points already with 28 victories, two draws and only one loss- a 3-0 defeat to Watford- along with 16 consecutive wins at home.

Liverpool look on course to break Manchester City’s 100-point haul from last season and have also hit 70 goals to date from their 31 games played.

It isn’t just about the threat they pose in front of goal from their magnificent trio of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino- 40 goals between them but their solid defence, which has only conceded 21 goals in 31 games.

Such has been their dominance this season, at one stage leading the table by 25 points – a record gap between a side in first and second in English top-flight history.

This season it is fair to say it has been a stroll for Liverpool in the Premiership, in comparison to last season when they amassed a staggering 97 points and losing just a single game all season but still had to settle for second best behind Manchester City, who beat them to the title by the narrowest of margins- a single point.

The appointment of the German Klopp has been pivotal in Liverpool’s success story.

He arrived at Liverpool in October 2015 following the sacking of Brendan Rogers. He came to Merseyside having led Borussia Dortmund to two Bundesliga titles.

In his four seasons to date he has led Liverpool to first, second, and two fourth placed finishes in the Premiership along with the coveted title of Champions League winners in 2019.

Aside from the front three, who have scored an amazing 211 goals in three seasons, the addition of a world class goalkeeper in Alisson and centre back Virgil van Dijk were crucial.

He has also improved players including Captain Jordan Henderson- who must be a strong contender for player of the year- and young defender Trent Alexander- Arnold.

The hard work has been completed, but as Manchester City will remind Liverpool if you have waited 30 years to win a premiership title that is a great achievement but it is always harder to defend it.

Next season will be the big test for Liverpool as they start the season as Champions. In the next few months will they be tempted to add to an already impressive squad? Or, will Klopp be happy with this current side, who he feels can be successful for many years to come.

Chelsea defeat Manchester City, help Liverpool clinch first Premier League title

“You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

The famous anthem for Liverpool has been around since April 27, 1963, after the club’s FA Cup semi-final defeat against Leicester at Hillsborough. Apparently, Chelsea got the memo and helped guide Liverpool to their first ever Premier League title by defeating Manchester City 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.

 Entering the match, the Blues were considered the underdogs against the two-time defending champions of the league. A loss for the South London-side would have not only been detrimental in their quest for a Champions League spot but would also mean that Liverpool fans would have to wait to celebrate.

For the opening half-hour of the match, the visitors dominated possession but were unable to capitalize on any chances. 

After Kevin De Bruyne’s free kick was cleared away by the Chelsea defence, a mix-up in the back between Benjamin Mendy and Ilkay Gündogan caused Christian Pulisic to punish the defence with his pace and slot the shot past Ederson in the 36th-minute. 

This goal helped the American’s former manager at Borussia Dortmund, Jürgen Klopp, and The Reds get one step closer to clinching the title as pointed out by The Black and Yellow.

 

The Citizens tied the game up in the 55th-minute courtesy of a De Bruyne free kick that goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga had no chance of saving. This happened due to Riyad Mahrez being fouled by N’Golo Kante just outside the penalty area.

Two minutes after the De Bruyne goal, Raheem Sterling had an opportunity at a counter-attack goal but was denied by the post, giving Liverpool fans a chance to breathe.

In the 71st-minute, Pulisic seemed to have an easy chance to get his second goal on the night but was denied by Kyle Walker, who, slid across the goal line to keep the game even at one.

 Four minutes after that incident, Ederson and the defence looked to have had more goal line stops after shots from Tammy Abraham and Pulisic were denied. However, VAR awarded The Blues a penalty and Fernandinho was shown a straight red for handling Abraham’s final shot in the sequence. This caused Willian to score from the spot, helping Chelsea get a crucial three points and securing the title for Liverpool.

 

Frank Lampard and Chelsea, who have now accumulated 54 points for the season, take on Leicester City in the FA Cup quarterfinals on Sunday before returning to league action on Wednesday at West Ham United. Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola and Manchester City will face off against Newcastle United in the FA Cup on Sunday, before hosting the newly crowned champions on Thursday.

WHY HUDSON-ODOI IS NOT A REGULAR FOR CHELSEA

Many of you keep asking this question to yourselves. Why a rising star like Hudson-Odoi is not playing with consistence at Chelsea?

The 18-year-old winger, who burst into Chelsea first team last season under Antonio Conte has found limited space so far making most of his appereances from the bench. It is surely surprising to see how the youth-team graduate has yet to start a game in the Premier League this season. Only 74 minutes played in England top division, while most of his starts have came in the Europa League group stage. This is a question Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has overheard since the early days of his tenure at Stamford Bridge. Following Bayern Munich’s interest in the youngster the Italian manager had to come up with an answer in order to keep him in London. Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson’s displays in the Bundesliga have not helped either with many of England’s youngsters who want to follow them and seal a move to Germany. Hudson-Odoi tried to do the same handing in a transfer request which the club refused to accept, for how much longer that remains to be seen. Summer is coming closer with mounting speculation over the Germans’ interest in the talented winger. Should Sarri still be in charge when the transfer market reopens that would be a problem he will have to face and that could undermine his future at the club.

Sarri’s unwillingness to play him did not come as a surprise for the ones who know a bit about the Italian’s style of play and methods. In his 3-year spell with Serie A side Napoli he has been accused by press and fans to play always the same XI and to give very little space to the rest of the team with a few players reportedly unhappy about this. An example of this is Simone Verdi (now at Napoli but previously at Bologna) who refused to join them in January 2018 when last season Serie A runners up were looking for a winger to boost their chances of snapping up the title. He refused to join them saying he did want to stay at Bologna to help them avoid relegation. While part of this is true there’s also something else that needs to be said. The main reason why he did not join Napoli last winter despite they were fighting for the title is to be found in Sarri himself and his stubbornness. He knew he wasn’t going to find much space and preferred to wait a bit more in order to carry on developing before joining a much bigger club.

As seen in the first few months of his tenure at Stamford Bridge Sarri heavily relies on a core group of 13-14 players. He can count on wingers like Hazard, Pedro and Willian with Hudson-Odoi currently 4th choice in the pecking order. Now they have signed Higuain Hazard is back playing on the left wing and that has further limited the 18-year-old’s playing time. However whenever he played he showed what he is capable of scoring twice in the Europa League group stage while bagging one and setting up two more in just two FA Cup outings. Despite an encouraging start to the season the pressure is mounting on the Italian. His “Sarri-ball” style has failed to live up with the huge expectations coming from his successfull spell with Napoli. The signing of Jorginho should have turned the whole Chelsea side around being the main reason not to play Kante in a midfield deep-lying position. While Kante’s issue is a matter of discussion with the manager’s view supported by the Frenchman’s greater involvement in the attacking play most of the fans made it clear they want Hudson-Odoi to become a regular for Chelsea. Sarri warned that if the youngster is to play week in week out they need to sell another winger. This sums up his philosophy and the way he thinks about football. As long as Sarri will be in charge at Chelsea it is going to be difficult to see Hudson-Odoi start with consistence. Sarri’s assistant manager Gianfranco Zola pointed out that the youth-graduate featured 14 times for the Blues, not bad for an 18-year-old in a demanding club like Chelsea. Only Ryan Sessegnon at Fulham and Morgan Gibbs-White at Wolves have done better as players born in 2000. If you factor in that Sessegnon and Gibbs-White play with much smaller sides that Chelsea then Hudson-Odoi’s playing time does not look as bad as most of the press have been saying.

Whether Sarri will stay for next season remains to be seen, same for Hudson-Odoi. The Italian and the whole club will need to address this preferably before the summer with Bayern Munich pushing to secure his services. Furthermore FIFA has just handed a two-windows transfer ban to the West London club who will unable to bring in new players up until the end of January 2020 (if their appeal will be rejected). Pulisic will join them in the summer and that could be another problem. Chelsea will try everything to keep him at the club, it is not going to be easy though with many European giants chasing the England international.