Football Sport

Chelsea within title reach

Written by Leanne Lu

The Premier League title race appears to be over. Despite a late surge by Arsenal that suggested a grandstand finish might be coming, Chelsea put the matter beyond any reasonable doubt after downing Manchester United 1-0 last weekend. The Premier League trophy could be theirs as early as 29 April when the West London side visits Leicester City, but even with a stumble or two it’s hard to see the silverware ending up anywhere other than Stamford Bridge.

United’s visit last Saturday proved to be the last crucial fight in title race, although even before that game the chances of anyone catching Chelsea was slim. And Jose Mourinho showed why the Blues are deserved winners – his 4-2-3-1 formation and rigid tactics allowing United as much as 71 percent possession but no real chance in front of goal.

The “Special One” deployed Kurt Zouma in the defensive midfielder position along with Nemanja Matic, who was described as “an animal” by Mourinho after the game. A central half-turned midfielder was designed to restrict Marouane Fellaini, the major force of United’s recent resurgence. Instead, it was another Belgian who produced the decisive moment as Eden Hazard pounced to score a brilliant first half goal.

United couldn’t find the attacking speed and fluency which saw them beat Liverpool and Manchester City respectively. Mourinho proudly declared that “key United players disappeared from the pitch, because we put them into our pocket”.

Mourinho has done this before with Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. When it comes to key moments, the Portuguese has never been afraid of going back to square one – a pragmatic way of winning at any cost. At times exhibiting fluent attacking and others rigid defense, this season, Mourinho deserves plenty of credit for his efforts this season. Chelsea are deserved winners and their best days may be yet to come.