Chelsea Weekly: You've Lost That Winning Feeling

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Chelsea Weekly: You've Lost That Winning Feeling
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti after Chelsea's 1-0 defeat against Manchester City

Double Knockout

Who would have thought Chelsea would lose two games in a week?

First, the Carling Cup tie against Newcastle United, then away at Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday.

It's hard to conclude too much from the Newcastle game, as both sides were playing effectively second-string XIs. So we could say Newcastle have a better reserve team. Lucky for Chelsea then that the first team is so up to scratch.

Moving on to the City of Manchester stadium on Saturday, a disappointing result for sure and a hardly stellar performance.

Some have already chosen to proclaim the City game as "proof" Chelsea are no more than "flat-track bullies." I would suggest this is somewhat naive. One result does not make a trend.

If I were to toss a coin and it comes down tails, this does not prove that every time I flip the coin it will always be tails. The next 10 times I flip it, the coin could come down as heads.

In the game itself, there were still a few "what if?" moments.

What if the referee had seen Dedryck Boyata barging Didier Drogba down in the penalty area? (Former Chelsea defender Robert Huth wasn't so lucky, giving away a penalty for a similar incident for his current side Stoke against Newcastle 24 hours later.)

What if Branislav Ivanovic's header had gone in rather than hit the post?

What if Carlos Tevez's shot had rebounded off the post away from the goal?

A disappointing few days for the Blues, but hardly a crisis.

 

But We're Not the Only Ones

A disappointing weekend for Chelsea was saved by all their rivals failing to pick up maximum points as well.

Arsenal lost at home to newly promoted West Bromwich Albion 2-3.

Manchester United had to make do with a point in a 2-2 draw with Bolton Wanderers.

Tottenham Hotspur lost 1-0 to struggling West Ham United.

Liverpool's woes continue as they dropped another two points at home, this time in a controversial 2-2 draw with Sunderland.

So despite defeat, Chelsea remain three points clear at the top of the Premier League but with a vastly superior goal difference to their rivals.

Incidentally, Tottenham have now faced four of Chelsea's first five opponents. So in the games in which Chelsea collected the maximum 12 points, against so-called easy opponents, Tottenham have collected just four.

 

Super Josh

It's hard to write anything about Chelsea these days without saying something about 17-year-old wonderkid Josh McEachran.

Such is the impact he has made in his few brief appearances for Chelsea, some are already asking the question: Can he and Arsenal's Jack Wilshere play in the same England team?

 

French Week

This week Chelsea are preparing for two tough games against French champions Marseille in the UEFA Champions League and then a weekend tie against the only French team currently plying their trade in the English Premier League, Arsenal.

Olympique Marseille have not enjoyed the best start domestically and lost their first Champions League game against Spartak Moscow, but they won't be pushovers.

Marseille have shown themselves to be a hard-working team in the past, and any team able to finish ahead of Lyon in Ligue 1 must be doing something right.

Then it's on to Arsenal at the weekend. I don't think it's unfair to say the Gunners will not be an overly enthusiastic game.

Recent history is against them. Chelsea have won the last four games between the sides.

Arsenal have to travel to Belgrade during the week; Chelsea are able to prepare at home.

Arsenal have a squad of players made out of some kind of paper. They may not be able to field a team on Sunday.

And oh yeah, there's Didier Drogba.

If there's one sight Arsenal fans are sick of seeing, surely it's Didier Drogba wheeling away in celebration.

A record of 12 goals in 12 games against Arsenal speaks volumes about how much the Drog loves this fixture.

He doesn't do much apart from score, according to Arsene Wenger, but Drogba has shown time and again that sometimes that's more than enough.

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