Chelsea's "Double" Dream Nears Reality As United Fall and Pompey Rise
Wow! What a Sunday it was. It could not get any better for a Chelsea fan.
Early in the day, Manchester United draws 0-0 with Blackburn Rovers. The slip-up by United gives Chelsea the chance to go four points clear at the top of the league when they host Bolton on Tuesday at home.
The Blues' had convincingly brushed aside a tired Villa 3-0 on their way to the FA Cup final on Saturday. A clash with the Spurs' on May 15 had been anticipated, but what unfolded today at the Wembley was rightly described as a touching fairy tale.
Portsmouth, whose worsening financial problems forced them to administration a month back, were confirmed relegation to the second division on Saturday after the Hammer's 1-0 win against Sunderland, gave a display of a lifetime that earned them a 2-0 victory against the Spurs' and took them to the FA Cup finals twice within two years.
The team that benefited most from this weekend's outcome was Chelsea. After Saturday's win against Villa the Blues' captain, the inspirational John Terry told in an interview that the double was within their grip. Truly, thanks to United and Spurs' a "Double" this season no more looks a distant reality.
United's title hopes are all but over for this season. The Red Devils' had thought the worst was over after their Champions League exit but more horror awaited Ferguson and his men at Ewood Park. Well-organized and disciplined defensive display by the Rovers' got them a well earned point against the toothless United.
Manchester United's over-dependency on their in-form striker Wayne Rooney was exposed again as the United strikers failed to score against a stubborn Rovers' defense. Their "expensive mistake" Berbatov failed miserably and was unable to outshine the physical Rovers' defense. The Bulgarian is surely set to get the boot come this summer. With the clumsy draw, United virtually handed over the title to Chelsea.
After United's fall at Lancashire, if the Blues' had thought it was over they were surprised again much to their joy a few hours later. Wembley witnessed a touching fairy tale as the relegation confirmed and cash-strapped Portsmouth rose from the ashes and earned a well deserved yet shocking 2-0 victory against the inconsistent Spurs.
The morale-boosting victory took them to the final of the FA Cup at Wembley on May 15 where they will face the current league leaders Chelsea. It will be Pompey's second FA Cup final in two years.
Chelsea boss Ancelotti must be surely a happy man. Chelsea would not have preferred playing the Spurs' at the FA Cup final. But they had not expected that their wish would come true in such a way.
The Blues' have defeated Portsmouth twice in their Premier League face-off this season. Chelsea won the last one 5-0. They will surely be happy to face Portsmouth.
With Chelsea capable of opening a four-point gap at the top of the table against United if they win against Bolton at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday the Blues' supporters may be looking at a possible "Double" haul this season.
But it is not all decided as yet. Arsenal are only three points behind and Chelsea cannot afford any more slip-ups as that would hand over the advantage to the Gunners' who have a comparatively easy fixture.
Moreover, Chelsea needs to be wary of the resurgent Pompey, whose performance yesterday was nothing short of spectacular. Chelsea can expect a vengeful Portsmouth who will be looking to avenge their defeats as well as end their season on a high.
But even considering these factors, Chelsea are clearly on the verge of securing their third Premier League title and sixth FA Cup. The confidence is back again within the team and the Blues' will surely try to end their season on a high with the "DOUBLE."
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