Three reasons why Chelsea can win the Champions League
Gregor Vasconcelos examines why Chelsea can win the Champions League
Chelsea have corrected the major flaws from last season
While Chelsea were good at managing big games, they often struggled playing against teams who set up more defensively and would cut out their spaces. They had problems creatively and lacked a striker who could step it up for the big occasion. The summer additions of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas have added the missing ingredients for the Blues. Their top scorer last season was a midfielder, Eden Hazard, with 17 goals. This time around, Costa has already matched that. Fabregas has also rediscovered the form that eluded him at Barcelona and has 19 assists in all competitions. The additions have unburdened Hazard, who was at times a sole shining light of creativity in a team that was a well-oiled machine, but lacked a defining spark.
Matic is no longer cup-tied
While Chelsea’s attack has been drawing plaudits for all the right reasons, it wouldn’t be able to function as effectively without another vital piece of the puzzle. Since his arrival from Benfica in January 2014, Matic has been a revelation, providing the perfect screen for the back four and giving them the perfect platform to build from. His absence has been as keenly felt, as that of Fabregas or Costa when they’ve not played this season, just look at the defeat at Newcastle United. Last season, he was badly missed as he was cup-tied after playing in the group stages with Benfica. Chelsea still managed to reach the semi-finals then, so who is to say they can’t go a couple of steps further with their loyal guard dog?
Mourinho will be hungry
For his standards, it has been a while since Jose Mourinho last won the Champions League. Five years to be exact. Not winning it with Real Madrid must be one of the greatest frustrations of his career, especially seeing Carlo Ancelotti win it immediately after his appointment. It must be second only to the fact that Mourinho never won the Champions League with Chelsea either, despite being brought to Stamford Bridge to do just that. Once again, he saw the club’s win from afar, this time under the guise of a less experienced manager. There have been a few near-misses, but Mourinho will be as hungry as ever to win it with the club he is closest associated with and leave behind the nightmare of missing out on 4 semi-finals in a row.