Friday, May 26, 2017

Chelsea closing in on the Premier League title

Belgium playmaker Eden Hazard was again Chelsea's star man as the Blues won 2-1 against Stoke on Saturday

Belgium playmaker Eden Hazard was again Chelsea’s star man as the Blues won 2-1 against Stoke on Saturday

Chelsea recorded a 2-1 victory over Stoke City at Stamford Bridge in the late kick-off on Saturday.

It was not a convincing victory, but it was a vital one that kept the Blues in complete control of the title race.

The win came despite Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam scoring an extraordinary goal from around 60 yards out, which has been called the best goal in the history of the Premier League by some.

Rivals

The victory took the Blues seven points clear at the top of the Premier League table, despite rivals Arsenal and Manchester United picking up victories earlier on Saturday.

The pair gained ground on Jose Mourinho’s team, but that point’s advantage was quickly restored and the Blues also have a gain in-hand on the Gunners and the Red Devils.

Blow

It was not all good news for Chelsea though, as star striker Diego Costa damaged his hamstring and will be reportedly be out of action for a fortnight. Costa started the game on the bench and came on at half-time for Brazilian playmaker Oscar.

However, the Spain international was on the pitch just 11 minutes, before being substituted and replaced by Didier Drogba. Costa’s injury will come as a blow for Chelsea, but it seems he will not be out of action for long.

The injury is not likely to curtail the Blues’ charge to the Premier League title, with French striker Loic Remy looking like a reliable replacement after scoring in his last two appearances for Mourinho’s team.

The Blues also have the very big presence of Didier Drogba also available to them even if the striker is in the twilight of his career.

Strong

For much of the campaign Chelsea have looked like the strongest team in the Premier League. In every department of the team they seem stronger than their rivals at the top of the Premier League.

The Blues have the second best defensive record in the Premier League this season, as only Southampton has conceded fewer goals this season. They have also scored the most goals in the top-flight with 63 goals.

Mixed

The biggest strength for Chelsea is that they can mix it up, as well as producing breathtaking pieces of skills. This is an earmark of a typical Jose Mourinho team. They do not just win with pretty football.

Chelsea have a tough and physical side to their game and can grind out results against the more physical teams in the league, maybe that is what sets them apart from their title rivals. They could never be accused of fleeing a battle.

The likes of Nemanja Matic, Branislav Ivanovic and John Terry are no doubt players that opposition teams hate to play against. They have physicality as well as talent.

Outstanding

Belgium playmaker Eden Hazard was once again outstanding against Stoke, scoring the opening goal and creating the winner goal for Loic Remy. The Belgian international has now scored 12 goals in the Premier League and also collected eight assists this season.

Hazard is regarded as one of the best players in the Premier League and his stats from midfield this season backs up that claim rather strongly.

The 24-year-old has the sort star quality that every successful team needs. He is a match winner and a player who can produce those aforementioned moments of breathtaking skill. Under Mourinho he is also now working far harder for the team.

Favourites

Chelsea are by far the favourites to win the Premier League title this season at odds of 1/16. Those odds confirm that not many people believe that the Blues will suffer many slip-ups for the remainder of the campaign.

The task is simple now for Jose Mourinho’s men, win all their remaining games and they claim the title come May. However, they could even afford to drop a few points along the way.

The Premier League crown is well within the grasp of the men from south west London and it really is hard to see any other team claiming the title at the end of the season.

Can anybody catch Chelsea in the Premier League title race?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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