Chelsea lost 2-0 in the weekend’s game against Manchester United, but they are still clear favorites for the title
Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. April 19, 2017
Chelsea’s defeat in their last Premier League game, against Manchester United was not a halt, but merely a delay in their bid to win the competition this season.
They have been playing so good lately, that any points dropped by Antonio Conte’s side have become flash news.
Although it was a harsh defeat (Chelsea didn’t manage any shots on target), it wasn’t the only one this season. Previous defeats have seen Arsenal winning 3-0 and Spurs 2-0 against Conte’s men.
Given the fact that before the 30th Round, Chelsea was 10 points ahead and now the distance to Tottenham is only 4 points, many have ecstatically claimed that the title race is relaunched. However, there are at least 3 reasons why Chelsea should be able to win the title:
- Conte always fixes his errors
Every time he has lost a game, Antonio Conte has acknowledged his flaws and corrected immediately. After the defeat against Arsenal (0-3 in September) he switched the system from 4-1-4-1 to 3-4-3, resulting in a winning streak of 13 games in Premier League, with only 4 goals conceded.
After 0-2 against Spurs in January, he immediately saw the need and benefits of rotating the squad. Since then, Willian/Pedro/Costa and Fabregas/Matic have shared appearances. The next 8 games in Premier League have returned 6 wins and 2 draws.
After the defeat on Old Trafford last week, Conte might want to focus on motivating his squad and working on the mentality of the players, ensuring that they don’t give in to the pressure.
- The remaining fixtures are clearly benefitting Chelsea
Chelsea’s remaining games: Southampton (H) Everton (A) Middlesbrough (H)
West Brom (A) Watford (H) Sunderland (H)
Tottenham’s remaining games: Crystal Palace (A) Arsenal (H) West Ham (A)
Manchester United (H) Leicester (A) Hull City (A)
The only tough remaining game for Chelsea seems to be the away game against Everton. Although it can be argued that Southampton, Watford and West Brom are also tough opponents, they all have no worries in the standings and will probably won’t pose too many threats.
On the other hand, Tottenham has 2 big matches against Arsenal and Manchester United, teams that will have everything to fight for in order to reach Top 4. Furthermore, in the last round Tottenham is facing Hull away, a team that might play their last chance to avoid relegation at that time.
- Chelsea still has an advantage of 4 points
And this allows them to play their game, knowing fully that they only depend on themselves and not on any other external factors. The football style and quality that they have shown so far should serve them well for the remainder of the season. The 4 points advantage allows them to play without the pressure of a bad result.
In conclusion, considering the fact that Chelsea would need to lose 4 points while Tottenham would need to win all their games for the title to go their way, the fate of the season has only been delayed a bit, with Chelsea still clear favorites to win the trophy.