Chelsea win Champions League title behind goal by Kai Havertz

By Erin Walsh  |  Last updated 5/29/21

Chelsea have been crowned Champions League champions for the first time since their 2012 miracle victory over Bayern Munich after beating Manchester City 1-0 in the 2020-21 final on Saturday. 

Kai Havertz‘s first-half goal was enough to stun Pep Guardiola’s side at Porto’s Estadio Dragao in Portugal. The 21-year-old snagged a great through ball from Mason Mount that split the defense and passed it into a wide-open net just moments before halftime. 

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EPL Previews for the Weekend; 10/22-10/23

Written by InhaleSports Contributor Josh Mason

Despite my absence, the Premier League season has ticked on and I hope you have been keeping up because there has been narrative here, there, and everywhere. Last time we spoke, Manchester City had won all their games, Chelsea had yet to lose, and Big Sam was still England’s manager (!!!!). But do not fret or feel too out of touch, for some things haven’t changed; i.e. Sunderland are still awful.

AFC Bournemouth vs. Tottenham Hotspur

What a week it was for Bournemouth who smashed Mike Phelan’s Hull City 6-1 in his first official game as permanent manager; he must have been longing for the days of caretaker status… Eddie Howe’s men have the ability to play beautiful football, as you know by now, but its their desire to play it every week that is admirable. People will be quick to focus on Wilshere, but they do have some great players throughout the team, with Junior Stanislas’ sumptuous footwork and Callum Wilson’s massive talismanic potential helping to spearhead the attack. They will come into this game against a slightly (read “really significantly) more resilient Spurs team, however. Since I’ve been gone Tottenham were going about their business in a subdued yet consistent fashion, until they stole the show against Man City with an utterly dominant 2-0 win, giving Pep his first loss. In addition, Son Heung Min won player of the month as he happily stepped into the shoes of injured Harry Kane, who has this week returned to training. Against West Brom they were held due to an exceptional Ben Foster performance, and ex-lillywhite Nacer Chadli; if you don’t believe in the former player curse, then I have no time for you. Bournemouth will try and play on the ground, but I think they will struggle with Spur’s high press.

0-2


Arsenal vs. Middlesbrough

Arsenal have looked the real deal in the past few weeks, with normal bogey team Swansea providing no match, and arch-rivals and serial conquerers Chelsea providing even less. The Chelsea performance from Arsenal was one of the best I have seen in a long, long time with the Gunners being absolutely clinical in taking apart the admittedly flakey Chelsea back-line; it was like watching a butcher skin a lamb, ruthless yet artistic. It is no surprise that these performances have coincided with Ozil and Sanchez looking elite, as you would expect, but what has happened to Theo Walcott?! Granted there are still times it seems like he couldn’t hit a barn door, like last week when he needed one more to get a hat trick, the fact that he even has the opportunity to get a hat trick is a major evolution from last year; maybe one day he will do it for England too… Boro on the other hand have really struggled with only one win this season, which was against Sunderland so I’m not sure what to take from that. They haven’t conceded substantially, but they just seem to lack anyone that can take over a game. Arsenal have a couple of weeks before November and their annual slump, so I think they will win this at a canter.

2-0

Burnley vs. Everton

Burnley’s results have been all over the shop recently and find themselves 14th and a point above relegation; par for the course, I would imagine. Everton haven’t won since mid September in the league, and last week escaped the Etihad with a draw thanks to an outrageous performance by Martin Stekelenburg. Romelu Lukaku is on one of his scoring streaks at the moment, and I fancy him to continue that, but I think the Clarets will get a point here thanks to their tenacity.

1-1

Hull vs. Stoke

After a miraculous start to the season, Hull have lost their last four league games and conceded 17 goals along the way. Last week new permanently appointed boss Mike Phelan broke up the Livermore and Davies center-half partnership and saw his team get trounced. With Michael Dawson out, I think he will restore Livermore to the backline. Stoke obviously started the season poorly but haven’t lost in three and appear to be improving as the games go by. I think Mark Hughes’ team will do enough to win this with the firepower and creativity they have up front, and it’s just really hard to see where any goals from the home side will come from.

0-2

Leicester vs. Crystal Palace

Claudio Ranieri’s men won midweek yet again and now have the best start of any English team ever in the Champions league, but their 9 points in that competition eclipses their current lackluster, domestic total of 8. Last year there was a certainty about Leicester, from who was going to start and how they were going to play, that is now gone. It appears the Italian really isn’t sure of his best team, or the best way to incorporate all of his new attacking talent, and when he has tried to play them all it has led to massive gaps in the midfield. The answer to that might to play Okazaki up tip, with the Japanese workhorse playing style giving them an extra body when they don’t have the ball, as well as some ingenuity when they do. The foxes rode their luck to get the win midweek and Palace will provide some worthy opposition. Pardew’s men lost last week for the first time in five, but they were competitive and should have come away with at least a point if it wasn’t for a shocking penalty from Benteke. The Belgian has slotted in well though, and will always be a threat when a decent ball is delivered into the box, with Andros Townsend and Jason Puncheon being the likely suppliers. This will be a tightly fought contest with honors being even after the ninety.

1-1

Swansea vs. Watford

Swansea fought back strongly last week against Arsenal, but were unable to grab an equalizer, despite a few chances. Bob Bradley showed that he can motivate his players well, though he did make a puzzling decision to bring off start performer Barrow who had ripped Nacho Monreal apart all game. Watford weren’t too pleasing on the eye against Boro but did come away with both the win and a clean sheet away from home. Generally speaking, the hornets are one of the more enjoyable teams to watch with Troy Deeney defying logical perceptions of what a high performing athelete should look like, and Roberto Pereyra looking class in behind. These are the sorts of games that Swansea need to get points from, and I think Watford might have a tendency to underperform against lesser opposition. I’m not bold enough to go for a home win here, but believe the Swans will earn a point.

1-1

West Ham vs. Sunderland

West Ham finally won a game after going winless in September, and were even able to keep a clean sheet thanks largely to Aaron Cresswell, who will unjustly miss this game thanks to a sending off for two pretty harsh yellows. Without him this defense could go back into disarray, and they realy need Zaza to start scoring some goals. Positively for the Hammers, Andre Ayew returned to training this past week and they could really do with him back fast. Fortunately for the home side, they are playing Sunderland who are quite frankly, awful. To bar fair the black cats have been hampered by injuries, but they are so poor all over the pitch. I still think Moyes should be kept around if they truly want to rebuild, but they will lose this game. That being said, I still think their one redeeming light, Jermain Defoe, will score.

2-1

Liverpool vs. West Brom

If you missed the Monday match between Liverpool and Manchester United then you got lucky, as it was dire. Mourinho does such a good job of setting his teams up to not concede, but it is truly awful on the eye to watch, especially as a neutral. With that said, it pains me to say that I really enjoy watching the Reds under Jurgen Klopp. Their front line is just so eye catching, flashy, and fast that its no wonder they score so many goals, even though it’s strange to think that Sturridge is almost obsolete now. West Brom were unluckly not to get all three points last week, and have looked decent this year, which might be about as much as the fans can expect. Nacer Chadli has appeared to be a shrewd signing, and a good deal in todays market for only 13 million (only). Though they kept out Alli and co. last week, I can see Liverpool taking out their frustrations on Pulis’ side.

4-0

Manchester City vs Southampton

A game of two teams in opposite form, one good and one bad, this has the potential to be a really great game of football. Manchester City, who looked so, so good for the opening handful of games have since been shut down pretty strongly with a variety of tactics. Whilst Tottenham showed that pressing them can disrupt their gameplan, Everton showed that sitting back could also yield results (even if it did require some insane goalkeeping). The Citizens are still an incredible unit though, and should be even more powerful with Aguero back in the starting eleven if Pep does indeed reinstate him. It’s impossible to underestimate the importance of De Bruyne as well, and with him back to proper fitness they will be a little more cutting edge. Southampton have played really well, with Charlie Austin proving his worth as a goal scorer with his bullish play style beautifully juxtaposed with the pacey Shane Long. At the back, they have a very underrated center back pairing with Fonte and van Dijk, that latter of which I consider one of the best center halves in the country. With injuries to Ryan Bertrand and Matthew Targett they could be very light at left back, which is rather scary when that individual will be coming up against Leroy Sane, Sterling, De Bruyne, Aguero etc. Man City need a win here to bounce back, and they will get one.

3-1

Chelsea vs. Manchester United

This weekend’s biggest fixture is a homecoming for José Mourinho to Stamford Bridge following his sacking at the end of last year. Some are hyping up whether or not he will be hounded by Chelsea fans following the terrible performance of last year and the “betrayal” by going to United, though I think it would be naïve to think he wont be well-received. Chelsea put in probably their strongest performance of the season last week, dismantling champions Leicester thanks to a phenomenal game from Kante and the silkiest assist from Chalobah for Victor Moses, a man reborn. The Red Devils played sternly to get a result at Anfield, with Ander Herrera appearing to have done magnificently to adjust his game in the United midfield. Zlatan has been quiet recently, especially by his standards, but Pogba was able to put in a man of the match performance in a 4-1 drubbing of Fernabache midweek.

This is tactically going to be a very interesting game. Mourinho will likely play on the back foot, and this will be the first time Conte puts his new 3-4-3 formation up against one of his title rivals, and following resounding losses to Liverpool and Arsenal he needs a win here to make a statement. I would not be surprised if there was some argy bargy especially in regards to Costa, and any red card could really swing the pendulum and the result. Under the assumption that no one gets sent off and although I’m hoping to be wrong, I think both managers will set themselves up for a point, and a point will be what they get.

1-1

Premier League Predictions: 9/16-9/18

Written by InhaleSports Contributor Josh Mason

Chelsea vs. Liverpool

Chelsea need to rebound from a strong performance, but poor result last weekend against Swansea. Liverpool on the other hand have momentum after smashing Leciester last week. David Luiz coming in for John Terry could turn out to be a positive for Chelsea, with extra pace needed to face Liverpool’s rapid quartet. If Liverpool catch the Blues on the break, this one could go south really quickly for the home side, but I think Kante is good enough to keep them in the game. One thing looks certain, there will be goals.

2-2

Hull vs. Arsenal

Hull’s surprising start to the season with 2 wins helped earn caretaker manager Mike Phelan the ‘Manager of the Month’ accolade, however their draw against Burnley is probably a more accurate representation of what the team can expect this season. This weekend should see Livermore return to a more familiar midfield role, alongside new signing and ex-Spurs colleague Ryan Mason.  Arsenal are coming in off a poor performance midweek against PSG that saw them lucky to escape with a draw, but Arsene will likely recall their strongest squad for this match to avoid slipping further behind City. With a powerful 11, there should be nothing stopping Arsenal from running away with a convincing victory.

1-3

Leicester vs. Burnley

Leicester got a bit of a walloping last week at Anfield and have found themselves just above the relegation zone. Their inability to replace Kante, which to be fair is probably an impossible task, has left their aging defense looking very exposed. However, since then they have had a strong performance in the Champions League, with new signing Slimani looking very promising, and should come into the game full of confidence. Burnley on the other hand have pretty much settled into the reality of a long, relegation-battle season with a team that has shown glimpses of quality and heart but lacks what’s necessary t stay up. I would expect Leicester to win this one comfortably.

2-0

Manchester City vs. Bournemouth

Man City have been breathtaking so far this season, winning all four of their games and looking even stronger as each game passes. They demolished Monchengladbach thanks to an Aguero hat trick, and though he is still suspended this week, Iheanacho has proved a worthy replacement; the Nigerian international has scored an outrageous 9 goals from 13 shots on target since making his Premier League debut. Bournemouth will be an interesting adversary with Jack Wilshere potentially getting his first start and Callum Wilson coming off the back of his first goal of the season, a deft flick that is well worth a watch. I think City will score early and shake Bournemouth’s game plan, which will help make the game more open but see the Manchester club run away with it.

4-1

West Brom vs. West Ham

West Brom recently announced the future takeover of the club from Chinese investors, and despite his denials, I think it could be the end for Tony Pulis. They have not got the results they need to justify his defensive, see ‘negative’, style of play and he has already lamented the board over its inability to back him; this could be a long season for the Baggies. West Ham’s Slaven Bilic will also be feeling a little heat after losing at ‘home’, I wont get into the Upton Park vs. London Stadium row right now, to Watford 2-4 after going 2-0 up and showboating heavily along the way. A potential ‘Manager of the Year’ title challenger last year, things haven’t gone quite to plan for the Croat. The difference between the two teams is that whilst West Brom have Chadli, West Ham have Dimitri Payet; the Hammers should see this one out and get a vital win that could kick start their season.

1-2

Everton vs. Middlesbrough

After failing to find the net in his opening three and a half games, Romelu Lukaku scored a hat trick in the last 25 minutes last week, and Ronald Koeman’s men have quietly gotten to third in the table. Koeman continues to prove that he is one of the best managers in the league, cleaning up Martinez’s mess and Everton could be in for a solid season under the Dutchman; top 6? Boro lost for the first time last week, but have looked reasonably strong for a promoted side after a really tasty summer transfer window. I don’t think they will have enough to beat the Blues though, who will have a fit again Seamus Coleman ready and raring to go.

2-0

Watford vs. Manchester United

Troy Deeney was livid against West Ham after they showboated their way to 2-0 up, but ended up scoring a worldie following some dreadful Hammers defending. That momentum then lead to a 4-2 victory, and they looked pretty comfortable doing it. The Hornets defense definitely has some work to do, conceding in all four games, but they have a lot about them going forward, and since when did Etienne Capoue decide he was going to start banging in screamers every week? United looked poor midweek, but Mou says he will start a ‘normal’ team for the match in London; bare in mind this is a coach that said he doesn’t like individualizing players in response to Pogba criticism, a week after he lamented Mkhitaryan and Lingard in a post match interview…oh well. Going for United in this game may seem like the obvious choice, but I think Watford have the ability to get something.

1-1

Crystal Palace vs. Stoke

This is the second of our “battle to not be the first manager sacked” matches with Alan Pardew against Mark Hughes. Pardiola finally got a win last week but is still a manger under the cosh, as is Sparky. It looks like Palace will go with pacey wingers and crosses into Benteke, a pretty simple but solid set up that could see the big Belgian return 15-20 goals this season (potential fantasy bargain for those that play). Stoke also made a shrewd signing on deadline day in the form of Wilfred Bony on loan, who is a similar powerful unit, but he has struggled for games in Manchester and could take a while to get going. In a game that both managers will desperately want to win, this has draw written all over it.

1-1

Southampton vs. Swansea

The Saints against the Swans doesn’t appear to be the kind of fixture you want on a Sunday afternoon, but such is the burden of having Europa League Thursday’s. Southampton have struggled early on this season and not yet recorded a win. It seems Claude Puel is still tinkering to find his best starting 11 and despite Charlie Austin scoring twice midweek, the Frenchman has still refused to assure him of his place; an interesting move considering Redmond and Shane Long haven’t exactly lit up the league so far. Swansea haven’t won since the opening game of the season despite leading Chelsea until the 85th minute last week, a flukey lead, but a lead nonetheless. The Swans really lack firepower upfront, but record signing Borja Baston could be finally fit to start this weekend. The Spaniard was very highly regarded in La Liga after scoring 18 times for Eibar on loan, and that kind of return could again be enough to prevent a relegation threatened team from hitting the drop.

0-0

  


Tottenham Hotspur vs.  Sunderland

You may have noticed there’s been a consistent theme this week in regards to Sunday fixtures and draws, but fear not, this game will not be the same. Tottenham got a hard lesson midweek in how to dominate a game and lose at home when they were beaten 1-2 by Monaco, who scored with their only 2 shots on target. Spurs have yet to hit their stride this season, with Harry Kane only scoring his first goal last week and looking slightly hungover from the Euro’s, but they still sit undefeated, in fifth, so what does that say about when they hit form? There might not be any more perfect whipping boys to really get their season going than Sunderland, who just lost 3-0 against Everton. After pushing for a move away all summer, Lamine Kone finally signed a new deal with the Black Cats, though anyone that watched the game on Monday might have thought that the deal was a form of punishment to the Wearside club’s supporters. David Moyes has a project ahead of him, and is the kind of manager perfect for a long-term investment, but this weekend they should get a battering.

3-0

Chelsea Vs Liverpool Preview

Written by InhaleSports Contributor Josh Mason

Second placed Chelsea take on sixth placed Liverpool in what is probably the marquee match of the weekend; so naturally they would play it on a Friday night. Chelsea are coming off a draw against Swansea in which they created oodles of chances that didn’t get converted, and then saw themselves fall behind thanks to a non-called foul on Gary Cahill which he later claimed “you could see from the moon, or row Z”; slight distance between the two, Gary, but we get the point. They were then bailed out by a Diego Costa bicycle kick in the last 5 minutes. Speaking of which, no one in Europe has won more points from games in the last 5 minutes this season, than Chelsea.

Going into the game they are without the injured captain, leader, legend John Terry due to an ankle injury, meaning the maverick that is David Luiz, will replace him. Going forward it is likely to be the same story, with Matic and Kante anchoring the midfield and Oscar, Hazard, Willian and Costa the attacking quartet that has served them so well thus far. Look for an effective cameo from Michy Batshuayi who has played well coming off the bench this season.

Liverpool morale should be high after their 4-1 thrashing of Leicester at the newly enlarged Anfield. Scoring four against one of last year’s best defenses is no easy task, and the result could have been even better had Henderson not missed a sitter, and Leicester not scored off the perfect square ball from Lucas Leiva (seriously, the ball was a peach, just for the wrong team).  The only changes that could come into play is Dejan Lovren returning to the back line in place of the aforementioned Lucas (unlucky Chelsea fans), and Coutinho in the midfield.

Like Chelsea, the weakness of this team stems from the back. Though Clyne is solid on the right, they rely on utility man James Milner at left back, who actually hasn’t played too poorly. Going forward though is where the real talent is. The line up will likely consist of three from Mane, Sturridge, Coutinho, and Firmino and also the surprisingly effective Adam Lallana. Last year there were questions surrounding whether he would even stick around Merseyside for the new season, but he has looked phenomenal since the abysmal England summer campaign in France.

This should be a really exciting matchup and the first real test of new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte. Liverpool have already played Spurs away, drawing 1-1 in a game they probably should have won, and have looked strong in every game. Even in the game against Burnley they had 80% of the possession, despite managing to lose 2-0. Chelsea are definitely the favourites going into this match, with an undefeated record and the knowledge that Conte knows how to set up a defense, but Liverpool has the capacity to destroy the Chelsea back four with its free flowing forward line which has scored the most goals in the Premier League in 2016, with 50. Branislav Ivanovic’s ability to keep pace for 90 minutes might be the difference between a win and an absolute battering for Conte’s men.

This game will be a good indicator of which of these teams could be pushing United and City toward the end of the year, and which one will simply be a supporting act.

Key players to watch:
Diego Costa- Playing on the edge of eruption is his forte, but he definitely toes the line and has previous with Liverpool. Many would argue that he should have been sent off in the last 3 games for second bookings, but when he has stayed on the field, he has gotten on the score sheet. It would not surprise me to see him score and sent off.

Sadio Mane- The summer signing seemed a bit overpriced to me, but every time I have watched him this season he has been in the right place at the right time, and lucky not to have more goals. If he moves across the front line, his matchup against Ivanovic could break any chance Chelsea gets of winning; the boy is rapid.

Prediction: 2-2

Did Chelsea Wait Too Long to Fire Jose Mourinho?

Written by Randy Capps at The Comeback

In the midst of a disastrous Premier League campaign that has the defending champions just one point above the relegation zone in 16th place, Chelsea has fired its manager, Jose Mourinho, this morning.

It’s a move that some would argue should have been made weeks ago.

The numbers certainly make it look that way:


And, of course, there were his bizarre comments after the most recent loss to Leicester City.
“Some of them need to rethink the way they live Chelsea, the way they live football, they live their job,” he told Chelsea TV.

“Chelsea is big, football is more than a job, it’s a passion. Every match on the pitch you should live with an unbelievable passion. How many millions would love to be football players and they can’t be? You shouldn’t waste any minutes on the pitch, you should enjoy every minute and you should give absolutely everything.

“Yes, I feel frustrated with some players and I feel that some others give absolutely everything and don’t deserve to lose.”

I understand why the move has been made. That said, I’m about to offer a minority opinion:

I’m not sure firing him right now was the right move.

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Mid-Season Premier League Predictions

Written by Brian Kang at The Sports Quotient

After a soporific season during which title favorites Chelsea were top since day one, we have been blessed with an incredible 15 games of English football. For anyone who’s not a Chelsea or Mourinho fan, Christmas has come early, as the reigning champions–-who sit just three points off the relegation zone–-are the gift that keeps on giving, losing 1-0 to Bournemouth at home this weekend. And who would have thought that Leicester City, who avoided relegation last season by the absolute skin of their teeth, would take Chelsea’s place at the top of the table with 35 points and only one loss.

As incredible as Leicester’s form is, it’s unlikely they can maintain it throughout the season, especially as injuries inevitably take their toll. Jamie Vardy’s goal streak already came to an end this weekend at Swansea, but to be fair, the other man of the hour, Riyad Mahrez, bagged a hattrick. Furthermore, their record against the top teams isn’t very convincing, but they have a chance to change that in the next few weeks against Liverpool, Chelsea, and City.

You would’ve been put in a straitjacket if you predicted Chelsea to be 15th and Leicester to be top in December. So take these predictions with a grain of salt.

1. Arsenal (Arsene Wenger)

The Gunners have taken a huge blow with injuries to Cazorla, Sanchez, and Coquelin, but they still managed to snag an important three points at home against Sunderland. That being said, they failed to take top spot in the league in recent weeks by drawing at Norwich and losing to West Brom. As soon as the chance came to capitalize on City’s poor form, Arsenal disappointed in typical fashion.

However, the simple fact of the matter is, while Arsenal haven’t improved, their rivals have gotten worse. With Chelsea in tatters, City look to be the only true obstacle for Wenger’s first title in over a decade. It has almost become embarrassing the way these “top” teams have dropped points recently, with City losing 2-0 at Stoke this weekend. But as the cliché goes, there’s no easy game in the Premier League, and that’s especially true this season with promoted clubs Bournemouth, Watford, and Norwich putting in tough performances against all opposition.

The title will be decided by consistency because Arsenal have shown massive improvement in the big games. If Coquelin, Koscielny, Sanchez, and Ozil can all stay fit, then there’s no doubt in one’s mind that this Arsenal team can win what will probably be Arsene Wenger’s last title before retirement.

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A Defensive Clinic: The Story of Chelsea as an Underdog

Written by Mark O’Donnell at The Sports Quotient

Tottenham are better than Chelsea. This should appear obvious from the league table, as Spurs have floated around fifth all season while Chelsea are stuck in the doldrums of the lower-to-mid-table. But Chelsea have the big name players, recent titles, Jose Mourinho and the Champions League, and all of that is pretty hard to ignore. Regardless, Tottenham’s squad is better, and it is important to state and re-state that, because for once in a big match, they played like they were the favorite against a traditionally bigger club. Consequentially, that meant Chelsea played as the away underdog, and they just about killed the entire match because of it.

Cesc Fabregas has long been seen as one of the top creative midfielders in the world, and last year he nearly set the record for assists in a Premier League season. He had some success in this match with switches to put Oscar and Willian into space, but he was the main entertainment in an otherwise boring match for an entirely different reason.

Let’s use that impotence as a segue to talk about Chelsea’s attack. It would be too harsh to call it uninspired, as there were instances of Oscar and Eden Hazard receiving the ball in time and space, but there were two main problems sitting between Chelsea and a goal. The first is that Tottenham defended high, tight, and smart. Their press continually forced the ball back to goalkeeper, Asmir Begovic, and limited him to a 36% pass success rate, preventing Chelsea from maintaining possession and playing out from the back. Even when the Blues managed to find space on a cross-field ball, look how well Tottenham get numbers back and cut off the potential forward options:

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Jose Mourinho Getting Final Chances to Save His Job at Chelsea?

Written by Andrew Coppens at Bloguin

Chelsea are a club in crisis right now, sitting on 11 points and closer to the bottom of the English Premier League table than its usual perch near the top. In fact, the club sits just three points clear of the relegation zone heading in to Sunday’s matches.

It has all added up to immense pressure on “the special one” Jose Mourinho, who is in his third year at the West London club. Many believe Mourinho isn’t long for his job, with the sack coming sooner than later from über-rich owner Roman Abramovich.

However, a report from ESPNFC indicates that Mourinho may have a few more chances to save his job. According to the report, Abramovich is likely to settle Mourinho’s fate at the coming November international break.

That means just two more matches in hand for the self-proclaimed best manager in the world. He’ll have to guide his side to victory in a mid-week Champions League clash with Dynamo Kiev at Stamford Bridge and then take a trip to Stoke City on the weekend.

Chelsea currently sit third in Group G on just four points, one point behind its opponent this week in Champions League play. Last we saw the Blues, they were busy tying Kiev nil-nil in their third group stage match.

A similar result or a loss at home could really dent Chelsea’s hopes of reaching the knockout stage, and certainly would be a further blow to Mourinho’s fleeting hopes of keeping his job at the helm of Chelsea.

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Has Jose Mourinho Wore out His Welcome at Chelsea…Again?

Written by Andrew Coppens at Bloguin

Few would consider Jose Mourinho a mild-mannered, let alone humble, individual. After all, he did give himself the nickname of “the special one.” However special Mourinho may be as a manager, things certainly aren’t working out the way they should be in his second stint as manager of Chelsea Football Club.

A 79th minute header from the lost man in England, Andy Carroll, sent Mourinho’s side back to West London with another devastating defeat. However, Mourinho wasn’t around to see much of it from the sidelines.

With Nemanja Matic receiving a red card in the 44th minute, Mourinho and fellow Chelsea coach Silvino Louro went nuts on the touch line. It led to official Jonathan Moss to see both off to the stands for the rest of the match.

Call it a microcosm or omen, but the reality is, Mourinho’s out of control actions mirror what has happened to his side in his third year of his second stint in charge of the Blues. It’s also hard to ignore the feeling that this has happened before to “the special one.”

A little look at Mourinho’s history suggests that perhaps we shouldn’t be shocked to see the Blues struggling to stay afloat in the race for the EPL title or in the Champions League.

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What Has Happened to Chelsea This Season?

While Chelsea may have avoided their worst start to a Premier League campaign in the club’s history this past weekend, it showed that there is still a lot to improve upon at Stamford Bridge after the club’s 2-2 draw with lowly Newcastle this past weekend. Just one year ago, it looked like Chelsea was going to run away with the 2015 Premier League title. Many people had even called the race over by November. A year later, Chelsea are sitting 15th in the table, just four points out of the relegation zone.

How did this happen to a team that’s been a Premier League powerhouse over the past decade and how surprising is it? Most people’s answer to the second question would be “yes I’m shocked,” but there are some, this writer included, who weren’t buying into the Chelsea hype machine.

There’s no denying Jose Mourinho is a great manager. He’s certainly arrogant, but deservedly so. However before the season I felt that Mourinho’s arrogance would be Chelsea’s undoing this season.

This past summer, the storylines were all about how Chelsea’s rivals Manchester City and Manchester United were reloading attempting to reload in the transfer market, while Chelsea was staying put. The club’s only move was losing an old injury prone striker who could still score goals (Didier Drogba) and replacing him with an old injury prone striker who can’t score goals anymore (Radamel Falcao).

Chelsea’s undoing so far this season has been the depth of their squad, or rather the lack there of. This is partially Mourinho’s fault but more of the blame falls onto owner Roman Abromovich’s outrageous demands of winning everything and not having any patience.

To continue reading this article by Pauly Kwestel at Bloguin, click here.