We are now four weeks into this silliness, and FIFA 14 tells us that Bizarro Chelsea has taken a mere five points from the last four Premier League matches. Of course, out here in the real world, we know that Chelsea has actually earned a much more palatable nine points from the possible twelve.
That said, FIFA 14 was spot on in predicting that Chelsea would score three goals in the Norwich City victory, and was unfortunately very accurate last week in predicting that Newcastle would win and score twice.
As Brian Sears over at sportingintelligence shows, if there were ever a match where three points was assured, that match is tomorrow's tilt with West Brom. With such strong evidence in Chelsea's favour, we almost didn't bother seeing what FIFA 14 had to say about the match, but we're glad we did, as it did not fail to surprise.
Match lights -
- As always, the pre-match banter between Alan Smith and Martin Tyler is one of the bigger highlights of this match. This week, we were treated to a brief history of West Brom. After seeing that FIFA 14 has some rather interesting West Brom-specific commentary, I'm tempted to start playing with more obscure clubs just so I can have an interesting nugget or two in my back pocket for when I inevitably bump into a CD O'Higgins superfan and have more to say than "so, how about that Cristián Cuevas?"
- If you look closely, you can almost make out pixelated Kevin Kostka in the crowd, sporting a split "Chelwich" kit, not unlike the "Red Louis" jersey that a baseball bigamist wore during the recent World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals.
- Despite West Brom starting out with a 9-0-1 formation, Ramires' avatar still managed to find Hazard's in the box for a great chance early on, but alas, a goal was not to be.
- Juan Mata's avatar made quite a few nice passes to Samuel Eto's avatar, who in turn had some nice runs and some solid scoring chances. One such chance in the 19th minute led to a penalty, which JOHN OBI MIKEL(!!!) proceeded to take and slot home, despite a curious Schweinsteigerian stutter. The pundits will surely have a field day with this, and I for one, cannot wait to hear what Fake Mourinho has to say about selecting Mikel to take the PK. It would be one thing if it was Mikel who got fouled, and I could understand if maybe FIFA 14 automatically put the fouled player on the spot, but it was Samuel Eto'o who got fouled (right, the same Samuel Eto'o who has scored nearly 350 goals for club and country). Odd choice, to say the least.
- Ramires' avatar missed a sitter in the 29th minute and looked a bit distressed afterwards. Let's hope that he can shake it off and the miss doesn't hurt his confidence.
- Except for Petr Cech's avatar coming off the line to make a nice save in the 35th minute and dealing with an Anelka header just before the whistle, West Brom couldn't muster anything offensively in the first half, and Chelsea looked fairly dominant.
- Whatever Fake Mourinho said to Ramires at halftime to restore his confidence appears to have worked, because his avatar provided great service to Eto'o's to double the lead in the 59th minute. After Eto'o scored, he got absolutely mauled by what appeared to be Gareth McCauley's avatar. He was extremely lucky that the referee didn't see it, or else he surely would've been sent off. I wouldn't be surprised if the FFA (Fake Football Association) suspends McAuley's avatar for the next few matches.
- A horrid attempt at a clearance by John Terry's avatar gifted West Brom a goal in the 69th minute, but Chelsea were able to hang on for the win.
- For the most part, Chelsea looked like they were in control of the game, but a glance at the match statistics shows that they only maintained 49% possession. Bit curious, that.