Chelsea’s 2-1 victory over Manchester United has sparked life into the English Premier League title race giving Arsenal another chance to close the gap at the top having failed to take advantage of United’s loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Are Chelsea back in the title race? No, the team needs reinforcement at right back, a creative midfielder and a young robust centre forward before becoming contenders. Another issue is their forwards do not produce in the big games. Against Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, Chelsea forwards have scored twice in seven games and both goals were scored by Didier Drogba. Nicolas Anelka has scored six times this season, none against the aforementioned teams. Fernando Torres has flopped against Liverpool and Manchester United. Roman Abramovich must be thinking I’ve spent £50 million on Fernando Torres yet we loan out Daniel Sturridge who has now scored four goals in four games for Bolton Wanderers. Two shy of Anelka who has played 23 games and five shy of Didier Drogba who has played 29 games. Owen Coyle has given Sturridge the belief that he can succeed at this level whereas Carlo Ancelotti would play Sturridge and hope for the best before making him warm the benches again.
Talking about Torres, it took Diego Forlán 22 games before he registered his first goal for Manchester United, Torres is on a four game goalless run. One wonders how many games it will take Torres to score let alone become the best forward in the league as his anaemic performances don’t even justify one ninth of the £50 million price tag.
Another talking point is Nemanja Vidić’s dim witted red card in the 93rd minute of the match. As the late great Sir Bobby Robson would say the act was as daft as a brush. Like his fellow Serbian Branislav Ivanović, at times Vidić values his brawn over his brain. By getting himself sent off, he’ll now miss United’s crucial match against Liverpool and United are already without Rio Ferdinand and Johnny Evans. If Wes Brown replaces Vidić, it will be Brown’s first match since the 13th of November.
The performance of David Luiz comes shouldn’t be surprising given that he was playing this way week in, week out for Benfica and against Everton in the Europa League, Luiz dazzled and at times embarrassed the Everton defenders with his exquisite dribbling ability. Whilst Luiz’s attempts his best impression of Franz Beckenbauer are pleasing on the eye, it may also be detrimental to Chelsea in the future given during his time at Benfica, Luiz had a tendency to lose the ball trying to dribble out of defence. Also Luiz should have been sent off against United, already on a yellow card, Luiz decked Chicharito before hacking Wayne Rooney only for referee Martin Atkinson to the bottle the decision. It would be more beneficial for Chelsea if Luiz played at right back and Ivanović at centre back.
If Liverpool defeat Manchester United this weekend, Roberto Mancini will conceivably regret dropping nine points in the past five games. Mancini will be given the benefit of the doubt in his first season but next season, he will be required to win the league otherwise he may as well start writing up his résumé.
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Written by Allan Jiang
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