Chelsea suffered a second slip-up to their title challenge in as many weeks when they fell to Manchester United at Old Trafford by a score of 2-0 on Easter Sunday. With the loss and Tottenham’s win over Bournemouth, Chelsea’s lead at the top of the table has now shortened to just four points.
The loss was a combination of being tactically dominated by Jose Mourinho’s United team and the Chelsea players themselves showing an apathetic lack of the will and concentration necessary to play in a match of such magnitude. The events that took place on Sunday were a rare occurrence as Chelsea have been brilliant all season.
However, Spurs are on an eight-match winning streak in the league while Chelsea have lost two and drawn one in their last eight. The Blues, who have sat comfortably at the top of the table just about all season, have had a few hiccups of late and Tottenham have capitalised.
This scenario now sets us up for a rollercoaster ride of an ending to this season. After yesterday’s result, it is now firmly a two-horse race for the Premier League title between Chelsea and Tottenham. Even better, they play each other this weekend in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. Talk about a dramatically convenient way to weigh up which side is more title-worthy.
Judging from the reactions of many Chelsea fans on Twitter after the final whistle at Old Trafford, you would not have thought their club was four points clear at the top of the league table. Blues fans who are nervous after Sunday’s loss must be reminded that with Tottenham’s remaining fixtures, it may very well be their turn to slip up.
In their six remaining matches, just two will take place at White Hart Lane. On the road, they’ll face Crystal Palace, West Ham, Leicester City, and Hull City, which have the potential to be tricky. After all, it was Palace who defeated Chelsea at Stamford Bridge just a few weeks back. In their two remaining home fixtures, Spurs face Arsenal in the North London Derby and Manchester United, who dominated Chelsea two days ago.
It can safely be said that Chelsea’s remaining fixtures will be a bit more kind to them, as they face both the 19th and 20th placed sides Middlesbrough and Sunderland, respectively, at home. Yet, as good as that looks on paper, it must be noted that the two sides will be fighting for their Premier League lives as the season comes to a close. Aside from that, Chelsea face Southampton, Everton, West Brom, and Watford, who are all within the top ten but below the top five in the league.
Chelsea’s lead at the top of the table may now be reduced to four points with Spurs looming, but they are still in the driver seat and there is still a month’s worth of football left to be played.