Chelsea proved to every Barclays Premier League supporter that any game can be incredibly difficult and decisive on Wednesday. After a high flying win last weekend against a respectable Newcastle United squad, Chelsea crumbled to the pressure away from home against a mid-table club, which is uncharacteristic for them. Yet again, Chelsea’s form was in jeopardy after Chelsea were scored on to make it 1-1 at The Hawthorns.
Although the score remained the same, Chelsea’s past form was not on Mourinho’s mind after the match, it was the two points his side dropped. One major point that Mourinho has constantly exclaimed is that Chelsea “can not kill games” when the score is 1-0. This leads him to believe that his squad lacks the finishing touch to win, which was evident in the match against West Brom.
The vital instinct to kill games is crucial to a teams success, especially against clubs outside the top half of the table, and this week it was no different. Although Chelsea failed to capitalize on their 1-0 lead over West Brom, Liverpool showed tremendous quality to kill a game when they travelled to Craven Cottage.
The Reds were down 2-1 with 20 minutes left in the match, when Philippe Coutinho’s shot fortunately rebounded into the back of the net to make it 2-2. With 20 minutes plus injury time, Liverpool had a choice: do they hold on and hope for a counterattack, or do they press for goal and kill the game.
Of course, after their dominating performance last weekend, Liverpool pressed the game. Then, just as their chances were beginning to fade, they won a penalty when Daniel Sturridge dribbled into the heart of Fulham’s defense. He was taken down, which left Liverpool’s skipper, Steven Gerrard, to dispatch a hard struck penalty into the top left corner.
The emotions were clear to everyone spectating the game; it was vital. Gerrard handled the penalty as smooth as a babies bum. The composure Gerrard posses is a trait that more Chelsea players need.
This passion and desire to kill off a match is what José Mourinho is looking out of his Chelsea squad. However, they are still in the top spot after Manchester City did not play because of weather conditions. Another threat to Chelsea’s chances, Arsenal, were held to a 0-0 draw by Manchester United. Despite having a setback, it could not have come at a better time for Chelsea because the other title challengers had the same problems.
Next weekend, there is no better way for Chelsea to get back on track as they gear up to face a strong and competitive Everton side.