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Chelsea take one step closer towards the double

Nobody knew what to expect from Chelsea this season after the disaster of last year in which everything that could have gone wrong did go...


Nobody knew what to expect from Chelsea this season after the disaster of last year in which everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong, but the fact that we are now on the cusp of a potential double speaks volumes of the impact made by Antonio Conte. The charismatic Italian has worked wonders at Stamford Bridge to turn our fortunes around as not only do Chelsea find ourselves within touching distance of the Premier League title, but are now in the FA Cup Final after an enthralling 4-2 win against Tottenham at Wembley. I can not speak highly enough of what Conte has done for this club in such a short period of time, and even though there is still plenty of work to do on the pitch, he has been instrumental in putting Chelsea firmly on the road to glory. Bookmaker Ratings may back us to complete the double on the back of how we performed against Tottenham, and if we play like that until the end of the season, then I can see nobody stopping us.

 I have to give full credit to Mauricio Pochettino’s team for pushing Chelsea all the way, and while I can see where people are coming from when they say that the best team lost on the day, we did the most important thing in football – put the ball in the back of the net. It is our level of ruthlessness in front of goal that ultimately won us the game, even if Hazard and Diego Costa had to come off the bench to play their part in the proceedings. The double substitution was an inspired move from Conte as it changed the entire complexion of the match; Spurs had to find a way of combating the physical presence of Costa after nullifying Michy Batshuayi who was largely anonymous once again in a Chelsea shirt, along with dealing with Hazard who has a knack of turning on the style against them. Thankfully for us, Tottenham were unable to answer the questions asked of them as Hazard put in a dazzling cameo appearance to score the crucial third then tee up Nemanja Matic to seal the deal with a wonderful 30 yarder into the top corner. I struggle to think of a better strike in such an important match, or remember Matic scoring a better goal than that – you know it is special when a top goalkeeper in Hugo Lloris had absolutely no chance of stopping it from finding the postage stamp.

As much as I would love the players to bask in the glory of reaching a cup final, we have to put it to the back of our minds and remain focused on the task in hand. Seeing our lead atthe top of the Premier League extend to seven points with victory last night is another step towards the title. I do not buy into the belief that Tottenham have the momentum to catch us; people forget that we are still in the driving seat, still ahead of everyone else and still the team to beat. Our performance in the FA Cup Semi-Final should be more than enough to prove the doubters that Chelsea still mean business and have the quality to beat anyone on their day, as is proved by the fact that we have been top of the tree for the majority of the season. Fans may be advised to look at the bookmaker reviews page on Bookmaker Ratings before backing Conte’s men to beat Arsenal at Wembley on May 27th in order to get the best value as I cannot see the Gunners being able to keep us at bay if we perform like we did against Tottenham.

Lifting the FA Cup would undoubtedly be the icing on the cake for what has been a fantastic season for Chelsea, with any concerns that the team may take a while to recover from last season’s disasters replaced with growing belief that Chelsea are on the cusp of a wonderful double. We still have to get through potentially tough games against Southampton, Everton and West Brom, and while Tottenham still have the North London derby to contend with, Chelsea have to focus on themselves and keep picking up results in the Premier League. Win our remaining five league fixtures and the title is ours…sounds simple enough, especially if Conte keeps the team focused on the task in hand and continues to get the very best from the big game players. Being crowned champions would set us up nicely for our return trip to Wembley where we are likely to be favourites, but while this comes with its own pressure in a final, Chelsea have been in this position many times this season and ultimately produced the goods when it matters most. I firmly believe that winning both trophies would signal a new era at Chelsea under a manager who is creating something special.

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