soccernet blog
March 28, 2012
Posted by Phil Lythell on 03/28/2012

Chelsea find themselves on the brink of yet another appearance in the semi-finals of the Champions League, something that was all but unthinkable after the disaster in Naples just over a month ago. The 1-0 win in Benfica is another step on the road to redemption for the squad and a reminder that the club are still a force to be reckoned with even if they do not instil quite the same fear in the opposition as previous vintages once did.

March 22, 2012
Posted by Phil Lythell on 03/22/2012

This season there has been one player who has divided opinion among Chelsea supporters more than any other. You will not be surprised to hear that the player in question is a striker but perhaps you might raise an eyebrow when you realise that I am not referring to someone who came to west London for a British record fee of £50m.

March 18, 2012
Posted by Phil Lythell on 03/18/2012

I would like to apologise for the lack of posts since Wednesday’s epic 4-1 victory over Napoli but I have spent the last few days basking in the residual glow that such a night brings. I've seen more than a few re-runs of the match and it gets better and better with every viewing.

March 13, 2012
Posted by Phil Lythell on 03/13/2012

Chelsea are used to entering the final quarter of the season with pressure and expectation laden upon their shoulders but this time it is of a different kind. The previous eight seasons have all seen the Blues fighting for the Premier League title and eyeing a maiden European Cup yet this time it is a top four finish and progress to the last eight of the Champions League – a mandatory requirement - that is preoccupying all those connected to the club.

March 7, 2012
Posted by Phil Lythell on 03/07/2012

While it was definitely refreshing to witness a 2-0 win and an improved display over Birmingham City, it's hard to know what to take out of a victory against an injury-ravaged lower league team.

A poor playing surface ensured that the first half performance remained disjointed. Having spurned the chance to take an early lead when Juan Mata was unable to get the ball out from under his feet with Salomon Kalou standing in front of an empty net, that familiar uncertainty appeared to engulf the men in white once again until Ramires helped to drive Chelsea forward after the half hour mark. In a positive twist, the momentum was not relinquished until Mata saw a penalty saved for the second time in the tie to give the hosts a faint glimmer if hope with the score at 2-0.

March 4, 2012
Posted by Phil Lythell on 03/04/2012

So Chelsea have fired Andre Villas-Boas causing Twitter to spontaneously combust while simultaneously tearing up the plans for the latest blog post I had just sat down to write.

Such considerations aside, the decision for the 34-year-old's removal comes as little surprise with Gareth McAuley's 82nd minute winner at The Hawthorns proving to be the last of several nails to be hammered into his coffin. A series of draws against lesser opposition, home defeats to title rivals, implausible team selection against Napoli and an ill-advised interview on Portuguese radio were all presented as evidence ahead of the latest execution at Stamford Bridge.

Phil Lythell Phil Lythell is a Chelsea season ticket holder and lifelong Blues supporter stretching back to the sepia-tinted days of Kerry Dixon and Pat Nevin. Author of Chelsea-centric blog, Phil has spent his entire life living within a 20 minute walk of Stamford Bridge which has cost him a fortune but has also kept him from those interminable queues outside Fulham Broadway Station giving him more time in the pub to discuss the latest glorious/calamitous/insipid match.

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