Today is an absolutely crucial day for Chelsea, and could decide whether the rest of the season is a dogfight with today’s opponents Manchester City to see who comes second in the Premier league, or a battle with Arsenal and Tottenham for the Champions league positions.
At the moment, the Blues are at a tipping point. A win today at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester will put us just a single point behind Roberto Mancini and last year’s champions. That would put us in a clear race with City, and also pull us clear of the chasing pack.
However, Chelsea are currently just one point ahead of Spurs and two ahead of Arsenal. Spurs travel to West Ham tomorrow, so anything other than a Chelsea win today would give them the chance to go above us in the table. After such a promising start to the season, failure to get in the Champions league would be an absolute disaster and prove once and for all that Roman Abramovich should have stuck with Di Matteo.
At least Benitez can pick Demba Ba today, instead of the misfiring Torres. City did not play in midweek, so may have a slight advantage, but at least Hazard’s late goal meant we avoided extra time. The pressure should be on the home side today, as their title challenge is slipping away, so hopefully we can exploit that and heap more misery on them.