Published on April 3rd, 2018 | by Vieri Capretta0
Winners and Losers – Super Zlatan and chastised Chelsea
While Zlatan took over MLS just 48 hours after arriving Stateside, Chelsea’s season went from bad to worse with a home defeat to Spurs
Emphatic, spectacular, dominant, and more importantly, decisive. Ibrahimovic entered the world of the Major League Soccer in a smashing way, answering the call of his new fans by scoring the equaliser and winner in the Los Angeles derby, El Trafico. He would probably have still made a difference for most European clubs, so to see the Swede playing in the States feels like an era that is ending. But Zlatan will want to leave a great memory there, and become a symbol of the league. He started in the best possible way.
When it boils down to winning games, there’s no team like the Bianconeri. For around 80 minutes against AC Milan, they struggled to create any danger to their opponents. Then, in just ten minutes the game was over. Two goals and goodnight, making the most of Napoli’s draw at Sassuolo. Juve are back to having four points advantage at the top of Serie A, a difference that enables Massimiliano Allegri’s men to go into the game against Napoli knowing a defeat will still leave the Bianconeri on top. The ideal situation to have as the crucial part of the Champions League approaches.
Welcome to Stamford Bridge, this is the Dele Alli show. From 1-0 down, to 3-1 up, away in the home of the champions. Tottenham Hotspur needed this kind of result to put themselves in pole position to get a top-four finish, and after the first-half had seen Alvaro Morata put Chelsea in the lead, it was difficult to expect such a comeback in the second 45 minutes. Yet it happened. Right now Spurs have eight points advantage over Chelsea: a difference that could already be enough to have a place in next year’s Champions League set in stone.
From glory to mediocrity, all in one year. Football is this way, of course. It gives and takes a lot, and does so quickly. Conte came into the world of Premier League by powering through and winning the title ahead of the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United – sides with bigger budgets and with two powerhouses in charge like Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho. This year, things are just not going the right way. Losing at home to Tottenham puts Chelsea almost out of the running for a top-four finish: there is only the FA Cup to save this season for the Blues.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) April 2, 2018
To be fair, when the team-sheet came out most people expected something like this: a lot of goals, and for it go very well for Dortmund, or terribly badly. Plenty of attacking players were in the starting lineup against Bayern. The result was a 5-0 score at half-time for the Bavarians, 6-0 at the end of the game. Not exactly ideal.
There are certain games in a footballing season one can simply not get wrong. Or else, everything gets tougher. Southampton needed the three points against West Ham, to get out of the drop-zone and to send the Hammers in it. Losing 3-0 was a demonstration of all the problems the Saints have had this season, and staying up in the Premier League will be almost impossible now.