Chelsea began the weekend with a three-point lead over fifth place in the top-four race.
Chelsea finish the weekend also with a three-point lead over fifth place in the top-four race, despite dropping two points against relegation-threatened AFC Bournemouth. Magic!
When Olivier Giroud scuffed a shot from beneath the penalty spot it was only inevitable that, given how this season has gone, the cosmic forces that operate football would enact swift and heavy punishment. It’s how Chelsea’s season has gone: we miss a chance, every player on the other team gets injected with those super stars from Mario Bros. Bournemouth used theirs to score two goals in three minutes to turn the match completely around.
It’s been extremely annoying to see this pattern repeat — over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over — but if there is any solace in the moment, it’s in misery’s extreme adoration for company.
Despite all of Chelsea’s frustrations, including having won only two Premier League matches in 2020, the two teams with the best chance to snatch fourth from our trembling hands have endured their own curses.
Tottenham currently do not have a decent healthy striker (neither do we) and their best forward, Son Heung-Min, fractured his elbow some point before his 94th minute winner against Aston Villa. (Still, Spurs signed speedster Steven Bergwijn in January and he already has two goals in four matches for them; meanwhile Callum Hudson-Odoi has been out for a month and Christian Pulisic hasn’t played since New Year’s Day).
However, it’s hard to top Jose Mourinho’s when he’s in full misery mode, so let’s instead just rewing and laugh at his rationale for losing to Chelsea through two goals from rust-covered Giroud and Marcos Alonso.
“Look at Chelsea, played striker of the world champions. On the bench was the second striker of England after Harry Kane, in the stands the second striker of the Belgium national team. We have zero strikers the pitch, zero on bench or zero in stands. We have two in the hospital.”
-José Mourinho; source: Reuters
Even with that loss, Spurs (40pts) remained only four points behind Chelsea and one point above their day’s opponent, Wolves. Tough opposition, but Mourinho lives for these games, no?
No. Diogo Jota and Raúl Jiménez scored in the 57th and 73rd minutes, respectively, to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 win, claiming all three points.
Now it’s Wolves who are within a result of the Blues (though Chelsea have a narrow one goal lead in goal difference).
Unlike Spurs, Manchester United had managed to defeat Chelsea in recently and could’ve closed the gap to just one point — with a better goal difference — with a win over (Manager of the Month nominee Carlo Ancelotti’s) Everton today.
It took all of three minutes for United to succumb to misery’s siren song, with (Best England Striker Left Standing) Dominic Calvert-Lewin blocking a De Gea clearance into the back of the net. LOL.
United would share the points after their new signing, Bruno Fernandes, scored another goal.
All this means that Chelsea, after failing to beat Bournemouth, inexplicably maintain our three point lead over 5th (and now 6th) place. Manchester United’s next league match is against Manchester City, Tottenham’s is Burnley, and the week after they play one another.
1/1: Chelsea draw, we lose— Sibs (@SibsMUFC) March 1, 2020
18/1: Chelsea lose, we lose
21/1, Chelsea draw, we lose
1/2: Chelsea draw, we draw
1/3: Chelsea draw, we draw
Chelsea have given us 5 opportunities in 2 months and not a single point gained.
However, now that Wolves are in the fray, their upcoming fixtures are less funny: Brighton, West Ham, Bournemouth, Aston Villa.
Chelsea, in theory, have a winnable run as well, despite a meeting with Manchester City sandwiched between Everton and Aston Villa, and West Ham and Watford. The Blues’ problems of course have been inconsistency, injury, and turning bottom-half-of-the-table sides into titans.
how other team sees bournemouth vs how chelsea sees bournemouth pic.twitter.com/Pav9Gw41XX— khalz (@CFC_Khalz) February 29, 2020
Still, it could all turn around in one matchday, so it’s best to take the time now to laugh.
The Blues finished third last season as the ultimate winners of a most amusing slow boat top-four race. We’re once again paddling the fastest, except no one’s got oars and we’re all just using one hand — plus one left leg of a leg wing-back.
Chelsea, even this weird, annoying, sputtering version that’s somehow claimed four points from three Marcos Alonso goals, continues to cling to 4th place. Sure, defeating your rivals and taunting them mercilessly is fun, but so is laughing hysterically at them tying their own shoelaces together while you, just beyond their reach, continue to slip on the same banana peel.