English Premier League: 5 Reasons Chelsea Can Still Win the Title
With only three league games remaining it is looking increasingly more possible that the Blues could pull off a miraculous return to the top and clip the heels out from under Sir Alex Ferguson's Red Devils.
Despite all the controversial happenings, it doesn't change the fact that the Blues are now on the verge of holding onto their title.
They also stand the chance to assist in preventing Manchester United from earning a single trophy for the first time since 1998 if the Red Devils fall in the Champions League in either the final or their next tie, and the Blues win the league.
But just what are the ways it could play out? Lets discuss the five things that could let the Premier League Trophy stay at Stamford Bridge.
5. Aaron Ramsey
Recently returned from two loans in the English Championship for both Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City, 20-year old Arsenal and Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey might very well have saved Chelsea's season Sunday afternoon.
A strike in the 56th minute was all that was required for the Gunners to take down the table-topping Red Devils in front of a packed house at the Emirates.
Ramsey provided the strike in only his fourth game for the club all season and he looks to have learned valuable experience during his loans earlier in the year.
His first league goal for his club since Dec. 30, 2009 against Portsmouth could perhaps be one of the most important goals of this season in regards to the league title.
The Blues victory over Tottenham Saturday was fueled with controversy. Frank Lampard put the Champions ahead, but the goal looked to have been saved by Heurelho Gomes, who stretched to stop it from crossing the line.
However, without goal line technology to aid the officials, it was awarded to the England midfielder and the Blues came level 1-1 on Tottenham after having been leading through a goal from Sandro Ranieri.
The game looked surely to end as a draw and then luck struck again for the Blues as a 50/50 decision for Salomon Kalou to be offside saw the flag stay down despite the Ivory Coast International looking to be clearly behind the defense.
The Blues took a 2-1 lead on the 89th minute as a result of the non-call.
Spurs haven't able to catch a break in the last few weeks, and their falterings and bad luck have assisted everyone but themselves as they have let Chelsea get back in the race, and have now lost fifth to Liverpool at the moment on goal differential.
3. Goal Differential
Chelsea and Manchester United sit level on plus 38 goal differentials in the league table. If the Blues can edge out the leaders next week, they will have the points lead and the differential lead.
After the two teams face off, it is down to a two-game sprint to win and score as many goals as possible against the final teams they see.
Chelsea face Newcastle United, and Everton in their last two of the season. Both of those squads are sure to stay up, and Newcastle is the only one that has a chance to step any further up the table to claim a top ten finish. Everton is pretty secure to hold out in seventh or eighth, depending on Bolton's last three games.
With that said, the Blues face teams who are pretty much set to settle out their season and try to strengthen for next year. Newcastle showed they just don't have the power upfront since Andy Carroll left, and could provide the Blues a chance to score anywhere from three to five goals if they come out attacking.
The Red Devils face a different set of teams in their last two games. Blackburn Rovers and Blackpool sit 16th and 17th just above the drop zone and any lost goals or points could spell the end for either of them if things go badly.
Although Newcastle and Everton are higher quality opponents, they aren't backed into a corner like both the previously mentioned clubs.
Blackburn put together their first victory since January on Sunday as proof they want to stay up, and their possible current talks with Rafael Benitez could give the players motivation to avoid the drop and swipe a point from the Red Devils.
Blackpool also nearly upset Sir Alex when he took his squad to the Seaside and Ian Holloway would love to get the three points back that they missed. Their resilience in their last two draws prove they aren't done yet.
2. No Distractions at Stamford Bridge
With the £50 million man, Fernando Torres, finally breaking his duck for his "Big Club," and them having already been eliminated from the Champions League, and the FA Cup, there is nothing left but the pursuit of a title defense for the Blues.
With the freedom to focus on the title, they can prepare to make the most of their last three games.
Manchester United on the other hand still have a midweek tussle with Schalke 04 at Old Trafford to deal with before they can look back at holding onto their lead at the top of the table.
After Sunday's painful defeat to Arsenal put another chink in their armor, they will hope to regain some confidence before the following Sunday's match up because...
1. Chelsea Come to Town
Chelsea have the title in their sights next Sunday when they go to Old Trafford to face off against table-leading Manchester United.
A victory will draw the two level on points with only two games left, and the only thing left to separate them will be their goal differential if they both win out.
The Blues have perhaps the tougher run in, but United will have to battle it out through teams fighting relegation, which could spell bad news for them if they fail to rise to the occasion as they have at critical times this season.
At this point, if the Blues can win at Old Trafford, the title will be theirs to lose and United's to chase.
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