Stamford Bridge, home of the famed Chelsea FC also informally known as the Blues for their blue crest and blue uniforms, is considered as one of the premier stadiums in Europe due to the long and famed history of this football club which dates over a hundred years old and claiming London as its home base. Chelsea is commonly part of the big six in the Premier League so the club is always a challenger not only in the Premier League but also in Champions League or Europa League (depending on its previous season’s accomplishments; generally, only the top 4 clubs make it to Champions League and the next two make it to Europa League). The London Derby games (when playing another London-based team particularly Arsenal and Tottenham), the two Manchester mainstays (Manchester City and Manchester United), and Liverpool are always the most heated games. Most Chelsea fans consider the north London-based Tottenham Hotspurs along with a very close second, Arsenal FC, another North London team, as their rivals.
So the matches can be pretty rough among the extreme passionate fans as they just pulverize each other on chants, insults, and get involved in the occasional fist fight where the London Metropolitan Police have to get involved to break it all up in order to prevent World War III from starting. And I can clearly see on the faces of the police officers that they would rather not deal with such idiocy of getting in the middle of a fight (or riot), property damage, fires, flares, and whatever else might happen at one end of the extreme. Not fun at all, but the Po-Po have to be there as a just in case these rowdy fans decide to go full acceleration Mike Tyson boxing on each other. And don’t think the police are not tough despite England not allowing tax-abiding citizens to own guns and some of the policemen not having guns. In reality, some of these policemen actually have firearms, show in plain view, and they know how to use them with deadly force. And I’ve seen a few burly-looking guys in their force who you wouldn’t take on a real bar fight 1 on 1 so don’t try to pick a fight with you. It won’t go well. And don’t think about running out on the field – the results are just disastrous as you will be taken down by security and/or police to be hauled away to jail.
For the match itself, Chelsea came out roaring with its 4-3-3 formation which they utilized their best player, Eden Hazard, to be the 9 striker instead of being out on the wings. One thing that I noticed is that this Chelsea team utilizes more of a possession-style type of playing style where they keep the ball with safe passes until a good opportunity strikes. The problem with this is that they don’t (or can’t) go to side-to-side like other teams do to get another angle of attack. The players also are terrible at doing crosses so it makes me wonder if the current manager, Sarri, knows this so he’s employed more of a possession-style football in order to keep the turnovers to a minimum and possibly find holes in the opposing defense. Of course, the long ball has to be played but this Chelsea team doesn’t really do that and I feel as if their current team still lacks several key personnel to play the possession style which is they need a striker (9), wingers or at least full-backs who can pass forward and make those cross passes.
Newcastle United played a similar style of 4-3-3 but at times, it felt like they successfully and deceptively played a 5-4-1 or a variation of it by going 5-3-2 or 5-3-1-2. This put pressure on the Chelsea offense as it would sputter because of the face-up defense that Newcastle would push back with. The back 5 defenders also make it difficult for Chelsea to go side-to-side as they are forced to pass immediately instead of dribbling and then finding an angle or open area to make the pass. This resulted in several turnovers made by Chelsea where Newcastle was able to counterattack and push back the opposing team.
In the end, Chelsea prevailed with a 2-1 score but there were times that Newcastle could have equalized particularly near the end of the game during extra time.
After watching that game live, I now have 4 of the Premier League Big Six complete!
Tottenham Hotspur FC
I just need these two teams from northern England to complete seeing all the Premier League Big Six:
My quest to complete the set is surely but slowly getting there! Just breaking down those invisible walls! As most people know that the hardest part is just starting and laziness just breeds more laziness, so the less you do, the less you feel like doing. Nope. I am doing. I am moving!