Side Kick

When Chelsea’s unbeaten run was halted by bogey team

 

With Adebayo Olodan

The English Premier League returned after the international break but not without its own share of heartbreaks.

For Chelsea a faithfuls, it was weekend to be forgotten so soon as our bogey team, Tottenham ended the Blues’ unbeaten run for the third time in about five seasons.

Spurs has consistently displayed an ability to bring the Blues back to earth in recent times and it would have been a surprise if Maurizio Sarri’s men escaped unscathed from last weekend’s high profile London derby.

Hardly has the match began when Maurichio Pochettino’s team shot into the lead with Dele Ali (again) heading home a Christian Eriksen’s free kick as early as the eighth minute. Eight minutes later, it was Harry Kane who doubled the advantage for Spurs. At this stage, it was apparent that the points have been lost by Chelsea. Blues’ woes would have been compounded but for the brilliance of Kepa Arrizabalaga, in goal for Chelsea.

The goal from Son Heung -Min and Oliver Giroud’s consololation did not change anything as the match had already been won and lost in the opening 20 minutes.

Chelsea finally got a reality check and it will be interesting to see how Sarri and his men will respond to the defeat in subsequent matches.

At this stage, Chelsea is already seven points behind league leaders, Manchester City and it is very much unlikely the Blues will catch up with Pep Guardiola’s team as the Citizens does not appear like a club that can drop points soon.

The immediate task for Chelsea will be how to retain their top four position on the log in order to guarantee a UEFA Champions League spot at the end of the current campaign.

The aforesaid task looks achievable especially if Eden Hazard, Jorginho, William, Pedro, N’Golo  Kante and others remain fit for the larger part of the season.

One area the Blues have fell short is the attack where the duo of Alvaro Morata and Giroud have struggled for goals. Between them, they have only managed single digit goals and for a team that has Premier League aspiration, Chelsea definitely deserves more than the Spanish and French stars are offering in attack. To cater for this shortcoming, l expect Chelsea to sign a proven striker in the January transfer window and probably extend the contract of Giroud for another year instead of allowing him to leave for free in the summer.

To be shown the exit door at Stamford Bridge are; Victor Moses, Cesc Fabregas, Danny Drinkwater and Tiemoune Bakayoko who has made no impact on loan at AC Milan.

With those spaces freed, Sarri will have the opportunity of bringing in fresh legs to further compete for the league and most likely a Champions league spot at the end of the season.

 


Falcons indeed Super!

After 120 minutes of football in the semi-finals of  the African Women Championship (AWC), the defending champions, Super Falcons once again proved their superiority by defeating Cameroun via penalty shootout.

After both teams failed to score in regulation and extra time, the Super Falcons triumphed 4-2 over their opponent thereby assuring of their place in the 2019 World Cup in France.

The Super Falcons now have an opportunity to avenge their defeat against South Africa in the AWC final at the weekend.

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