Chelsea head through to the Final of the Club World Cup after just edging past Al Hilal SFC
The Blues managed to just get a narrow victory against Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal, thanks to a defensive error by the opposition which was exploited by Lukaku.
The game was dominated all round by the Blues, creating several early chances. Especially Hakim Ziyech coming close with another beautiful strike which almost gave Chelsea their 1st.
Have a look at his goal from a more personal angle:
Romelu Lukaku: Right place, right time ⚽ pic.twitter.com/shRwNmiMKj
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) February 9, 2022
Another chance came Chelsea’s way with a cut back put in Lukaku’s way, which the Belgian tried to flick into the back of the net but completely missed the ball.
However, in the 32nd minute of the game, thanks to a horrible mistake by the Al Hilal defender who headed a Havertz cross onto Lukaku’s path a few yards from goal and the striker made no mistakes.
Absolute brilliance from Kepa!
— Chelsea FC USA (@ChelseaFCinUSA) February 9, 2022
The Blues continued to create chances into second half, except for one occasion when Kepa was called into service and made a brilliant save to ensure Chelsea proceeded into another Cup final.
The fans rightly keep pointing how Chelsea’s keeper and backup keeper are so good, it’s almost becoming an impossible task to differentiate between them anymore.
It’s actually ridiculous how good our goalkeeper duo is, everyone was worried about Kepa when Mendy went for AFCON, it’s almost like nothing changed.
— Mod (@CFCMod_) February 10, 2022
Look at what Mateo Kovacic had to say about Chelsea ensuring their place in yet another Cup final under manager Thomas Tuchel:
Into another final. 👊
Thoughts from Kova. ⤵️
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 10, 2022
While the Blues’ problems with finishing chances in front of goals continued, the fact they played more brave and free flowing football means goals will surely come in time.
Lukaku also looked as if he was fated to have another horrible showing but after he managed to bag himself a goal, his performance level and confidence both shot up, something the Blues desperately need.
I dreamt Lukaku scored a hat trick against Al Hilal as Chelsea cruised to the Club World Cup Final.
— Yimzy (@YimzyAgain) February 9, 2022
Some fans before the game were dreaming and it paid off. While the Belgian didn’t bag a hattrick, he made sure the Blues went past Al Hilal to go into the CWC final.
Despite the goal, some Blues weren’t satisfied with his performance and had some jibes to make. Look at this tweet below:
Throw Lukaku into the Al-Hilal fans in the stand at half time
— Dubois (@CFCDUBois) February 9, 2022
Still, the team without their manager still managed to have a pretty good game. Mateo Kovacic once again showed why he’s the future and present of our midfield.
The Croat was awarded Man of the Match, and fans rightly acknowledged his performance in the middle of the park.
Kovacic has easily been Chelsea’s player of the season so far. People talk about the wing-back injuries but Chelsea’s dip in form also coincided with him being injured. He’s always been dangerous in transitions but he’s now also improved his final pass too. Unreal player.
— Raj Chohan (@rajsinghchohan) February 9, 2022
— Adam Newson (@AdamNewson) February 9, 2022
Hakim Ziyech was once again the creative engine in the forward line, and despite coming close to scoring, he had a great game.
His form since the start of the season has completely flipped, finally showing the fans why he was signed by Frank Lampard in 2020. The Moroccan is a magician.🎩
Hakim Ziyech has created 11 chances in his last 3 Chelsea appearances…
𝐖𝐢𝐳𝐚𝐫𝐝. 🧙♂️ pic.twitter.com/tauvF2S0mq
— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) February 9, 2022
And now, onto the next opponent we will be facing in the finals to lay our hands upon the Club World Cup trophy.
We’ll come up against another Brazilian opponent in the CWC final, just like the last time we played the CWC final in 2012. Let’s hope the result is different this time around!
PALMEIRAS. YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CANT HIDE. YOU ARE NEXT. pic.twitter.com/M45SEUkEez
— Dubois (@CFCDUBois) February 9, 2022
Hopefully, the Blues trophy closet will have another addition to complete the trophy collection, something not all clubs, especially some London clubs can brag about, eh?
BEST OF TWEETS: Check out all the reactions, tweets as Chelsea beat Crystal Palace late in the game
Look at all the tweets, reactions and post match thoughts as Chelsea beat Crystal Palace. Scroll down below to catch the match and post match happenings down below.
The Blues went away to Selhurst Park yesterday and emerged victorious from the fixture. Chelsea played a well rounded game, created several chances but just as usual lately, couldn’t manage to convert.
However, the moment of reckoning came late but it did arrive. In the dying vestiges of the game, a long cross by M. Alonso from that fell right on Ziyech’s lap.
Chelsea spent £261m on their starting attack today. Add in the starting midfield and it’s £343m.
Happy we won but don’t let the result paper over the cracks. Our two best attackers right now are two of our cheapest ones. Ziyech, £33m, & Mount, free (and arguably a midfielder).
— Alex Goldberg (@AlexGoldberg_) February 19, 2022
Unaware Palace defenders couldn’t manage to do anything about it by the time they noticed. Ziyech pushed it inside so elegantly, with the ball going from through the keeper’s legs.
However, it was not as if the Eagles had put up a bad show, not at all. They even managed to get clear chances in on goal, with their main line of threat coming from the left wing.
Ziyech in his last 5 games for Chelsea..
– 3 goals
– 3 man of the matches
– 18 chances created
— Conn (@ConnCFC) February 19, 2022
Always great to see a player who is doing well get the props for his performances, and Ziyech’s been our saving grace for sometime. From the goal against Spurs till today, he’s been stunning.
However, with City losing to Spurs this weekend, Chelsea have now closed the gap up a little. The gap now stands at 13 points, with Blues having a game in hand.
so Chelsea’s record of 15 goals conceded in 2004-05 survives for another season (spoiler: it never gets beaten)
— Duncan Alexander (@oilysailor) February 19, 2022
Also, Spurs beating City by 2-3 means another great thing for the Blues. Their record breaking defensive stats in the 2004-05 season survives another season.
Oh, and a little banter never hurt anyone? Look at the fans taking digs at the League toppers Manchester City for possibly bottling their huge lead in the league.
Whilst Chelsea were winning against Palace, wearing the seal of World champions on their shirts, Man City were racking up a defeat against Spurs – a team Chelsea beat three times in one month in January.
Let that sink in.
— Garry Hayes (@garryhayes) February 19, 2022
Look at the blunt change in tone from the German when asked about why Lukaku’s been underwhelming lately. The striker’s not been on form ever since his return to England, and blamed the system played for his performances.
Tuchel is now suggesting the opposite is the reason. Watch down below.
“No, no, no. It’s not about the system.” TT quite openly blaming Lukaku for his bad performance. Big change in tone, Tuchel is no longer protecting him like he had been. pic.twitter.com/f4UY0pUuiB
— Will Faulks (@willfaulks) February 19, 2022
However, now onto the gaffer’s comments about this game and how it will impact their chances in the CL.
Chelsea will be facing Lille in their midweek round of 16 match in the Champions League. Check out Tuchel’s post match comments.
'I'm happy that we made it.' 😁
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 20, 2022
BEST OF TWEETS: Have a look at EVERYTHING that transpired in Chelsea’s Club World Cup triumph
Chelsea clinch their first ever Club World Cup title as they drench the world in blue
Chelsea fans are still on a high after winning the only trophy the Blues hadn’t till Roman Abramovich’s takeover of the club, coming really close once in 2012.
Live footage of the world: pic.twitter.com/IKgEKfWqFj
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 12, 2022
However, now isn’t the time to think of the past but rather to live in the moment. Read down below to relive everything that happened last night!
The first half was very uneventful, with both teams coming close. Palmeiras did get very close to scoring on a counter once but Chelsea have to thank Dudu for misfiring.
Romelu Lukaku has now scored more goals (10) than any other Chelsea player across all competitions this season.
Into double figures. 💪 pic.twitter.com/jdyDU2wPvb
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 12, 2022
The second half and afterwards was all Chelsea, except one mistake in handing over a penalty to Palmeiras. Chelsea scored off a pinpoint cross from CHO which was headed in by Lukaku.
Then the Brazilian side didn’t waste long in coming back into the game as they won themselves a penalty which was slotted in by Veiga.
With all equal at the full time whistle, the game went into extra time. With just 4 minutes left, Chelsea were handed a penalty thanks to a handball in the opposition box by Luan.
"I expected the Palmeiras players to come around the penalty taker. I already told Kai he was going to shoot. I just tried to release the pressure from him, be more calm. With three minutes to go, it's an important moment. It worked!"
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) February 12, 2022
Azpilicueta played some mind games with the Palmeiras keeper by keeping the ball with him, and then handing it over to Kai Havertz. Some mindgames.
Havertz made no mistake to slot it into the corner and finished it off. Luan was then sent off in added time, and Chelsea were crowned Champions of the World.
Kai Havertz is the first player to score the winning goal for a Premier League club in a Champions League final and in a Club World Cup final.
King Kai with the crowing moment (again). 👑 pic.twitter.com/z1rOJka2sC
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 12, 2022
One of the underappreciated players from last night’s glorious win was Antonio Rudiger, he left no stone unturned in making sure Mendy never had to deal with any serious shots.
Some fans are correctly pointing out how crucial he is for our backline, and that he has to stay at Stamford Bridge no matter what!
I’ve said this countless times but please man I could actually cry, just pay Antonio Rudiger what he wants, he’s incredible.
— Mod (@CFCMod_) February 12, 2022
However, one man we absolutely can’t ignore in this victory for the Blues is definitely the man in charge of the team.
Since taking over last year, Thomas Tuchel has completely transformed the outlook of this Chelsea team and has transformed them into serial winners.
His record for Chelsea is already insane in just a year since taking over, is he on his way to becoming our most successful coach ever?
One year and 17 days ago, Thomas Tuchel took charge of Chelsea. Since then:⁰⁰Champions League 🏆⁰UEFA Super Cup 🏆⁰Club World Cup 🏆 pic.twitter.com/pALuhJiyif
— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 12, 2022
Still, we can’t look past some banter regardless of what we win, right?
Look at how the clubs and fans backed Kai Havertz when some people have been questioning his contribution to the team. Always back the players.🙌
Winning trophies. 😏 https://t.co/f4tfXCRYdZ
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 12, 2022
I don’t want anyone to ever call Havertz a flop I don’t even care, man came clutch in the Champions League final and Club World Cup final
— Mod (@CFCMod_) February 12, 2022
Kai Havertz, Lukaku’s path to redemption or Rudiger’s commitment to the club despite doubts over his extension weren’t the only stories to come out of this final.
Edouard Mendy has truly been an inspiration for all of us. The Senegalese international has become the best keeper in the world, and fans see it. Excuse the language, though.
Champion of Africa. Champion of Europe and now Champion of the World.
Mendy was unemployed at 22. The definition of inspiring, what a fucking player.
— Dubois (@CFCDUBois) February 12, 2022
However, Mendy wasn’t the only player to win such huge honors for club and country.
Look at club legends who have also achieved huge things with club and country, cementing their status as one of the footballing greats.
Edouard Mendy is champion of Europe, Africa and the world.
N'Golo Kante is champion of the world for club and country.
— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) February 12, 2022
And until next time, WE’RE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD!
BEST OF TWEETS: Watch Kepa’s ET heroics, Azpi’s cheeky goal as fans react to narrow win in the FA Cup
Chelsea just about made it past Football League One side Plymouth in the 4th round of the FA Cup yesterday, after the tier 3 side got an early lead on against the Blues at the Stamford Bridge.
Despite coming close to scoring real close as Mateo Kovacic was refused by the bar, Plymouth scored off a header from a set piece in what seemed to be the story of their season.
— Plymouth Argyle FC (@only1argyle) February 5, 2022
However, just 4 minutes before half time, Chelsea were able to make sure they were back on level terms with a cheeky backheel goal from captain Cesar Azpilicueta, finishing a well drilled Chelsea move.
After that, it was all Chelsea but they were not able to make any chance count till the final whistle.
— Fast Football Goals (@fastfootygoal) February 5, 2022
Heading into extra time, Blues just managed to score as Alonso finished off another well oiled move from Kai Havertz and Timo Werner to put Chelsea in front for the first time in the game.
All the hard work looked it like it would end up in vain when in the dying vestiges of the game Plymouth won a penalty as Sarr made a blunder by fouling the attacker in the box after he was beaten.
The hero of the day had to be Kepa. Up came the Plymouth penalty taker, who was refused as Kepa caught the penalty after diving to his own left. What a turnaround from his earlier seasons, didn’t let fans miss Mendy.
Kepa loves a penalty save 👐
— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 5, 2022
Fans truly were delighted with the keeper and they made sure it was known. With the save came millions of sighs from fans who were frightened of the prospect of a third tier side pulling off the impossible, which they almost did.
Read below how fans made sure they appreciated Kepa, sometimes maybe a little exaggerated but such high pressure moments are what make and break players.
KEPA THE BEST PENALTY KEEPER IN THE WORLDDDDDD
— Mod (@CFCMod_) February 5, 2022
The confidence Chelsea fans get when we see Kepa in post for a penalty shootout is a feeling Manchester United fans unfortunately can't have. 😄
— Kwame Benaiah (@kwamebenaiah) February 4, 2022
A little dig here and there at our Premier League rivals is all good fun, haha.
However, the game itself should not have come so close in the first place. Chelsea had loads of chances to have finished it off much earlier, but the finishing in front left much to be desired.
Romelu Lukaku vs Plymouth Argyle
31 Touches in 120 minutes
1/10 Duels won
What is wrong with Chelsea’s #9? pic.twitter.com/rs5yWn10MD
— ChelseaFC365 ™ (@CFC365Official) February 5, 2022
Not to put the blame on one single player, but it seems rather obvious that the Belgian does not feel at home in the Blues forward line yet, and other than him it was also an issue with the team.
This was one to forget for Lukaku, however, all blame must not be pinned on a single player. The setup may have also favored the whole team attacking as this one stat shows.
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) February 5, 2022
The story of the day was rather obvious as the defense once again came to the rescue of the team, which the backline has done several times this season already.
In fact, Chelsea’s form started to dip only after Ben Chilwell got injured, which damaged the team’s attacking and defensive flow.
Olivier Giroud single-handedly winning a Milan derby with a brace in 6 minutes on the day Chelsea’s strikers failed to deliver against Plymouth.
— Dubois (@CFCDUBois) February 5, 2022
With Reece out as well, Chelsea were missing the explosiveness on the right flank too. However, Alonso and Azpilicueta made sure that was not the case in this game.
However, we must also appreciate the man behind this team who has managed to keep us afloat in all competitions even with such thing squad depth despite losing players to Covid and injuries.
I’ll be real with you guys Manchester United have a much better squad than Chelsea.
The fact Chelsea are still seriously competing in all competitions with this squad just goes to show you how good Tuchel is.
Appreciate him whilst he’s still here. pic.twitter.com/yaUeilHWGb
— ًEllis. 🇸🇳 (@EIIisV3) February 5, 2022
Now the Blues head into the next round of the FA Cup, waiting for the draw results to determine their next opponent.