For just the second time all season, Chelsea have put together a four-match winning streak. Southampton (twice), Burnley, and Swansea aren’t exactly the most illustrious opposition, but they all count the same.
Not since the beginning of the season have Chelsea managed such consistency. Then, after the opening day shock against Burnley, wins against Spurs, Everton, Leicester City, and Qarabag started an eight-match unbeaten streak, culminating in that excellent 2-1 win over Atlético Madrid. And then, things started to slowly trend downhill — it wasn’t too concerning at first, but after a while it was hard to ignore. Chelsea had won as many games in the previous two months as in these four games in April; that’s how bad things had gotten.
Now we’re down to the final four games of the season, three in the league and the FA Cup final to cap things off. Four more wins would net us not only a shiny trophy but could possibly make the top four race interesting as well — a slip from Liverpool in their final league game of the season would be enough in this case, for example; or a large bit of spursiness, even by Spurs’ standards, would also give us this rather unlikely outcome.
(Before you ask, if Liverpool win the Champions League but finish 5th, they would still qualify for next season’s competition, but unlike Chelsea in 2012, would no longer knock out the 4th-place team. England would just have five teams in the competition. But this is definitely getting ahead of ourselves right now.)
For Chelsea to have even a chance, as slim as it might be — Five-thirty-eight puts it at a whopping 4 per cent — we have to keep winning.
Four more games, four more wins.
It won’t be as easy as the four that just went; beating Liverpool (home), Huddersfield (home), Newcastle (away), and then Manchester United will be considerably more difficult. Which is why Chelsea will have to pay with all the great attention Conte could have ever instilled in them in the last two years, all the motivation, desire, ambition, hard work, and just good old fashioned Effort with a capital E.
“Yeah we have an opportunity. Every game now becomes a final.
“We have to show our pride, show that we really want to make it happen and put pressure on them [the teams above].
“The bad thing is that it’s not up to us but we have to be right behind putting pressure because in football, anything can happen and we have to be there to make sure that if it happens we are there to take it.”
-Cesc Fàbregas; source: Chelsea FC
“Let’s see, let’s see. I thought it would be very difficult a few weeks ago as the teams above us are very, very good and they don’t normally drop them sort of points.
“But we’ll see. A little bit of pressure, I’m sure they’re used to it, but we’ve done our job and all we can do is try and win every game from now until the end of the season and we’ll see where we end up.”
-Gary Cahill; source: Chelsea FC
Like bad-ass mothers who don’t take no crap off nobody, right, Yul Brenner?