March 17, 2015

Congratulations, champions Chelsea

by Dan Bilicki In: Soccer

This season is starting to feel a lot like the last title defence for Manchester City.

The champions just aren’t playing up to the level that we know that it can. If anything, it is playing down to its opponents.

Case in point: Losing to Burnley.

This isn’t the first this season that City has taken it easy and ended up paying for it either. You would think that it would have learned its lesson from its drought while Yaya Toure was away at African Cup of Nations.

You have to wonder if the team has tuned out manager Manuel Pellegrini after he had them so motivated last season. And if he’s out after this season – which seems likely after watching this star-studded team struggle against a team that’s still in the relegation zone despite this win  – who would be next in line? Diego Simeone and Jurgen Klopp will be the hot names, of course.

Chelsea, which now has a six-point lead atop the table and a game in hand, will be hard-pressed to choke this title away.

After being eliminated from Champions League in a heartbreaker against PSG, the Blues fought to a draw with Southampton – which benefitted from a very questionable penalty call.

We’ve said it before and things did get a bit interesting for a while, but I think this time it’s pretty safe to declare Chelsea the champions-elect of the Premier League.


Tim Sherwood sure has done a number on this Aston Villa side.

This is a team that had scored just 15 goals all season, but somehow managed to pot four in the first half against Sunderland this week.

Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor bagged a brace each while the Black Cats looked appalling on defence. The win also saw the Villans vault Sunderland into 16th place, just little bit closer to safety from relegation. Getting that nice bit of goal differential going both ways is also a nice bonus.

Unsurprisingly, Sunderland sacked manager Gus Poyet after the loss. Perhaps management had seen the effect a new manager like Sherwood had on Villa and is now hoping for the same with Dick Advocaat.

After all this Villa team that was once a trainwreck has now won three games in a row including two against Midlands rival West Brom.


Here’s some food for thought: Harry Kane has 26 goals in 41 appearances in all competitions this season; Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Falcao have combined for 27 goals in 75 appearances. Makes you wonder how much Kane’s price tag will be when the galacticos inevitably come calling this summer … All of West Brom’s wins this season have been clean sheets. I guess it’s safe to bet against them once they ship a goal … You have to love Rooney’s celebration after video surfaced of him taking a knockout punch against buddy Phil Bardsley. Check it out if you haven’t seen it yet … What a howler by Tim Krul. And it only got worse for Newcastle after that … So, are we agreed that Manchester United’s struggles were all Angel Di Maria’s fault? … Liverpool is probably the one team that you don’t want to face for the rest of the season. The Reds are the definition of in form.


Raise your hand if you had QPR’s Matthew Phillips down for scoring the goal of the season.

OK, now but down your hands, you liars.

While it must be said that it was in a losing cause against Crystal Palace, Phillips’ goal is the one thing that will be remembered about a very average fixture.

It’s not very often that you see a 45-yard unstoppable screamer from a very average player.

When you hear about goals from that distance, it’s usually someone chipping the keeper. That was certainly not the case here.

This shot dipped perfectly into the top corner over the leaping Julian Speroni.

The funniest thing about this is that if the shot hadn’t gone in, Phillips would’ve gotten a lot of flak for taking a shot from just past midfield in a game that his team was losing.

Fickle we are as fans.

Follow me on Twitter @danbilicki

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