Chelsea took a major step toward dethroning Manchester United in the Premier League by beating them 2-1 at Old Trafford. Joe Cole and Didier Drogba (pictured) scored before Kiko Macheda could pull just the one back for United. Obviously the home side were not at full strength with Wayne Rooney missing the game due to the injury he picked up mid-week in the Champions League. Still, even on games, Chelsea are two points clear at the top and have a two-goal advantage in differential. Obviously this game does not guarantee a Premier League title for the Blues but it does give them that half-step over United going forward.


7 thoughts on “Chelsea Win the Big One

  1. Just came accross your blog, nice job mate! I invite you to check out mine @ http://soccercrave.wordpress.com/
    and tell me what you think about my articles as well. I like that you keep yours short and cover a wide range of news. Keep up the good work, and BTW go chelsea !
    Regarding this game, Chelsea controlled the game, this was more a tactical win from Carlo, he played the right cards against Fergie. Just like Mourinho did to Chelsea a few weeks ago. The midfield was compact with Malouda and Cole only providing width, although Malouda seemed to be the only one allowed a free pass by the boss to focus on attack. All other players had more defensive duties (appart from Anelka). Deco looked good for once, and I thought Mikel was the most underrated player of the game. He broke up plays all night, and that’s what he’s paid for.

  2. Nice one. And thanks for the compliments. Unfortunately I couldn’t see this game as it started very early in the morning here on the American west coast. But Malouda has really been a major difference this season for your Blues. Any thoughts on whether Joe Cole will be back next year? Also, Mikel is one of the more underrated players on that team. I don’t think he’s very well known but he’s great in exactly the way you described.

  3. Good question… Joe Cole will definitely get better if he plays consistently for a while. The only issue is Chelsea cannot afford the time it will take for him to get back to his old self. If he stays with Chelsea, he will never get back to his old level. It’s better for the club and himself to leave for a club that will play him week in and week out, there he can regain confidence and display some of the potential everybody knows he has. I could see him do great with a club like Everton. They could use his pace and creativity, and he could help them break into the top 5 or 6.
    Here is my article about the game:

  4. I agree with you that Joe Cole would be a nice fit in some other clubs with Everton being a good option (if it’s realistic, I don’t know). But would the Toffees be any better off with Joe Cole in the line up every day than they were with Landon Donovan over the winter?

    You mentioned in your post that you’d like to see a different winger come in at Chelsea to replace Cole. Who do you have in mind? It seems like they can play pretty well without him and when he’s there it’s a nice bonus. Obviously his wage demands will be higher than the Blues will want to pay for a player who is not an every day starter. But the midfield they have now is good for at least one more season, depending on who Ancelotti retains.

  5. that’s one of my favs topics: the team formation/lineups ..
    Joe Cole to Everton is realistic I think. The toffees have a strong midfield but can do with a pacy/tricky winger. They lack that right now, and that’s why Donnovan did so well there. Chelsea like Jack Rodwell and will probably try to sign him away from them in the summer. The kid is one for the future and looks like a strong versatile defensive-minded midfielder who could replace Ballack on the long run. Joe Cole could be let go on a free transfer at the end of season if his contract is not renewed so they could swap Rodwell for Cole + cash. Everton would be better off with Donnovan coz he’s played there already, and they know he fits in perfectly. The problem is he is Mr MLS and after a few unsuccessful trials in Europe with Bayern I don’t see him leaving the MLS for good. He will be back on loan next year but only after the MLS season is over. That’s no long term solution for the toffees. Villa is another side I think that could benefit from him I can see Ashley Young down the left and Cole down the right, that would be a pretty good combination, plus this is another strong team that needs a few more quality players to compete for a top 4/5 status.
    I personally don’t like Chelsea’s midfield right now and that’s b/c I’m already looking beyond this season. Deco is not consistent, Cole neither, Ballack is dead to me. Only reliable midfielders: Lamps, Essien and Mikel (nowadays). None of them is able to stretch defenses, which is what we need if we play a 4-3-3 style. Malouda is the only player on the squad to do that, that’s why all our goals come from the left side. I’d like to see a young tricky winger playing on the right side. I like angel Di Maria, and Neymar. I also like Jesus Navas from Sevilla be he is not open to any move abroad. Di Maria is my preferred option; I’ve been following him with Benfica, and he can cut defenses right open. With both him and Malouda on each side, defenses won’t know how to handle chelsea’s offense anymore or what to expect (think about Ribery and Robben for Bayern . How well is that working?)
    What do you think?

  6. I really liked Di Maria when watching him against Liverpool in the Europa League. And Jesus Navas is pure quality. But I guess you’re suggesting that Chelsea dump the diamond in favor of a 4-3-3? Obviously they’re not required to play the diamond but isn’t Ancelotti really into it? Or does he just use it because of the particular players there at the moment?

    You’re totally right that some used is needed, particularly in the midfield, if Chelsea are to remain among the elite clubs both in England and Europe. If they could get Jack Rodwell in exchange for Joe Cole (who we’ve established they’re just not using) that’d be a coup for Ancelotti and company. But I could see Abramovich wanting a bigger name guy.

    Do you know if Ancelotti is keen to use an inside out winger? And by that I mean a right-footed guy on the left or left-footed on the right? For example, Robben is left-footed which makes his cutting runs in from the right all the more devastating. Or is Ancelotti locked into a very traditional usage of players?

  7. It’s funny actually that a lot of people think that Ancelotti is still playing the diamond formation. In reality he quit playing that formation backat the end of December, when Chelsea was struggling. Sir Alex said at the beginning of the season that this formation would not work for Chelsea coz Ancelotti doesn’t have a world class midfielder who can play at the top of the diamond like he had in Kaka at Milan. He was right about that. After trying Lamps, Cole, Deco and even Malouda in that role he finally went back to the original 4-3-3 around the beginning of the year. That’s the formation he’s been playing ever since. He has been playing a front three consisting of Malouda-Drogba-Anelka/Kalou/Cole. If he gets the kind of players he needs in midfield, he might try the diamond again, but he needs somebody like Marek Hamsik/Jovetic/Gourcuff to play at the top. Otherwise, I think he will stick with 4-3-3 and get an additional winger to supplement Malouda. He has used inside out wingers before, I think it will just depend on the player himself. A player like Di Maria looks equally at ease on the left as on the right vs a player like Malouda looks out of place when on the right. Abrahamovich will want big names, you’re right about that, that’s why Di Maria is a likely target I think; but there will also be lower profile targets like Rodwell, more looking to the future.

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