I can't tell whether Chelsea are really playing better football, or if they're just playing worse opposition. They've suffered only one loss in their last nine games on the trot, I think, but some of their victories have been less than impressive, like a 1-nil home "thrashing" of Wigan.
It was more of the same in the first half on Saturday against West Ham, with Chelsea creating chance after chance amidst the downpour, but lacking the composure necessary to put the final ball in the net. And Chelsea looked less than convincing when the ball was played into their own box, with the Hammers spurning two great opportunities to take a first half lead.
To be fair, the rain didn't really help anyone yesterday, making the pitch as slippery as a billiard table. Demba Ba looked like Bambi on ice as he slid his way past a midefield ball, his long body sprawling in about three different directions at the same time.
Chelsea's internal issues were on full display in the latter stages of the first half, as their players lacked commitment and even just plain old hustle in chasing down balls and, at times, even playing basic defense. Jon Obi Mikel and Solomon Kalou, I'm talking about you. And so was Carlo, although in probably less polite terms.
I think Fernando Torres must be under the deluded belief that he scored the winning goal for Spain in the World Cup rather than knocking in a useless goal against a last place team in a meaningless EPL game. His reaction to his first Chelsea goal brings new meaning to the words "Fantasy Football," and watch for the London-based media to declare him "back," along with Chelsea's title charge.
Bolton and Arsenal looked two relatively evenly matched teams on Sunday -- in fact, so did Chelsea and West Ham, for good portions of their misleading 3-nil victory -- in Bolton's 2-1 victory, which shows you how competitive the League is this year. There are virtually no "easy" wins anymore. The overall quality of the league is as high as it's ever been -- this is no La Liga.....
Booking Tamir Cohen for removing his shirt to honor his father after his late game-winning goal on Sunday seemed a poor decision. I understand the letter of the law, but you could see how much the goal meant to the guy.
After the weekend's results, I wonder if we'll be spared the inevitable Jack Wilshere and Petr Cech quotes this week, about how all their respective teams need to do is win the rest of their games, put some pressure on United, etc., etc., and the Championship will follow. If only it were that easy..... The fact of the matter is Arsenal has not been good enough this year -- hell, let's be serious: they've only beaten Leyton Orient since January, and that was on the second try -- and Chelsea's been much too inconsistent, capturing only seven points from nine games during their post-Ray Wilkins winter in the wilderness period.
So the challengers continue to winnow. It's now one down, one to go, with only Chelsea standing as a serious threat to United's 19th title. C'mon You Reds!