Bragging rights in blue
The 2020/2021 season of the UEFA Champions League was a special one for the Blues from London as the team won their second title yet. A brilliant season by Edouard Mendy (who was voted as the best goalkeeper), N’Golo Kante (best midfielder), Thiago Silva, and Mason Mount brought the title back to Stamford Bridge and the fans were left ecstatic. Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund was voted as the best attacker as he had ten goals but Olivier Giroud was close behind with six goals.
Group Stage performance
After such a performance in the tournament, the fans were hoping for a great 2021/2022 season in the UEFA Champions League as well. The team competed in Group H with the likes of Juventus, Malmo, and Zenit. Chelsea started off the title defense with a narrow 1:0 victory over Zenit at Stamford Bridge and followed with a 1:0 narrow loss in Torino. With 4:0 and 1:0 victories against Malmo, the team was ready for the round of 16 but not before demolishing Juventus at home with a big 4:0 victory. The last group game was the visit to Russia where Chelsea failed to win again and the result was an attractive 3:3 draw where Timo Werner saved his team with two goals.
Round of 16
Juventus was the superior team in Group H and rightfully was at the top which left Chelsea in the 2nd position. On the 13th of December at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, Chelsea draw LOSC Lille and the fans couldn’t be happier to avoid some of the bigger potential opponents like Bayern or Real Madrid. The first leg against LOSC Lille ended in a comfortable 2:0 result at Stamford Bridge which had both a good and a bad side to it.
The good thing about it, of course, was the result. This was the fourth game at Stamford Bridge in the UEFA Champions League and it seems like Chelsea is turning the stadium into an impregnable fortress – four victories without conceding a single goal. The worrisome news was that LOSC Lille outplayed Chelsea.
Who knows what will happen in the second leg? If you believe that LOSC Lille’s chances look good then use the second leg Chelsea may be a good home team but is struggling to perform in the away games.
What’s the verdict?
Chelsea got outplayed by Zenit in the last away visit in Group H. The Russian team had eighteen shots against Chelsea’s twelve. The team lost against Juventus with a narrow result. Only a narrow victory in the away game against Malmo. The away results don’t speak well for Chelsea’s performances. The only injured player for Chelsea in this game would be Ben Chilwell so Thomas Tuchel will be able to use his squad’s full depth against the struggling French team. The comfortable 2:0 result at Stamford Bridge may prove to be enough for Chelsea to reach the quarter-finals in the UEFA Champions League but the truth is the team must figure out the problems in the away games sooner rather than later as Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Manchester City are all teams that will not be too kind to poor performance in the away games.