What a week it has been for Jose Mourinho’s men. On the brink of a Champions League exit before late drama on Tuesday and now they have the Premier League chase in their own hands. Up next for the Londoners is what should be a routine three points at home to Sunderland. Three days later they come to blows with Atletico Madrid in the semi-final clash before a season-defining trip to Anfield. Mourinho is about to earn his money in the coming weeks, he has the near impossible task of juggling Chelsea’s quest for silverware. But if one man can do it, it is the former Porto boss. Time and time again this season he has undermined his side’s title charge but now even he may be beginning to get butterflies. The players will know just what they can achieve but Mourinho will do his best to keep their players feet on the ground. Liverpool may be seen as favourites to clinch the title and have the advantage of Chelsea returning from Spain ahead of the clash on Merseyside but Chelsea are unbeaten after Champions League ties this season. On the other hand Liverpool are currently on a 10-match league winning streak. Records are there to be broken and either one of these must come to an end sometime soon but which one will it be?
Stamford Bridge’s new hero Demba Ba again came to Chelsea’s rescue after his Champions League exploits in midweek. At times at the Liberty Stadium, the frontman showed just why Mourinho has heaped his faith in him. Pace, movement, link-up play – the striker displayed it all but could not provide the killer instinct with a glancing header prior to his goal. Despite the miss, he kept his head up and longed for the ball – it was this determination which eventually put him through on goal and allowed Chelsea to come away with three points. With Fernando Torres looking unlikely to regain his form of old, and Samuel Eto’o misfiring after coming on, the burden will lie with Ba. He has proven that he can do the business in the league from his time at Newcastle but being a Chelsea striker is a different cattle of fish. By getting the nod from Mourinho, comes a great deal of pressure. But Ba has kept the Blues season on track this week and has showed that he is more than up for the challenge. Will he be able to sustain his form? Only time will tell.
Not too long ago, relegation would not have been at the forefront of Garry Monk’s mind but a run of poor form has seen his side slowly but surely stoop into danger. He will know more than most that his troops must dig deep to avoid what could only be described as a disaster if they were to go down, following the dizzy heights Swansea have hit in their stint in the top flight. Next up is a crucial encounter against Newcastle, followed by home ties against Aston Villa and Southampton, before a visit to Sunderland on the last day of the season – a match which could determine the future fate of both sides. The Swans currently lie in 15th position, three points off the dreaded drop-zone, but they suddenly have a tough job on their hands to remain in the big time. There is no doubt that fans have seen enough of the side to realise that they are capable of producing the goods at this stage of the season but the question will be whether or not the players can hold their nerve.
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