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Chelsea Gain Edge in Premiership Title Race

In the first showdown between the two teams most likely to be challenging for major honours at the start of the season, Chelsea took one step closer to the Premiership title on Sunday after beating Manchester United 1-0 in a match many felt that United had to win. Chelsea are now 5 points clear of their rivals, and although there is a long way to go have taken the early lead in the title race.

John Terry grabbed the only goal of the game, heading in from a Lampard free-kick to secure the 10th straight home win and extend Chelseas lad at the top of the table. The game as you would expect became heated at times with referee decisions being a talking point as always but overall the team played well and deserved the victory.

Many of the players have had a better day in Chelsea shirts with few players really shining but it was the team performance that was important and that performance got the victory that could prove crucial at the end of the season.

One bit of bad news though was that Ashley Cole now looks set for a stint on the sidelines after aggravating a leg injury picked up against Atletico Madrid which will mean that the team will need to be reshuffled, possibly with the inclusion of new signing Zhirkov who has yet to play an important role in the first team this season.

Chelsea are now exactly where they want to be and look the strongest side in the league by far at the moment, and with Anelka and Drogba looking more lethal every game they play this season has the foundations of a great one.

Written by Danny Watson, a sports editor who blogs about football kits

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  1. Gunner JD

    November 12, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    I don’t know, ish. I know it’s a long season and a lot of things change over the months, but I’m not sure Sunderland will be involved in any relegation battle, and as far as Burnley and Birmingham are concerned, we’ve already seen glimpses they may be able to generate enough points to stay clear of the drop zone.

    Which means BD, don’t be too willing to overlook that month of games. Chelsea certainly won’t. Those sides are tougher than you’re giving them credit for. Think about what has happened so far this season: You’ve dropped one to Wigan (albeit on a bad day for you), Burnley stole one from Man U, and Liverpool lost to a very decent Sunderland side and a beach ball (and deserved to lose against Birmingham).

    Now, part of this is the big clubs not being completely invulnerable, as all four of the “Big 4” have shown chinks in their armor (some more than others), but there is quality and determination all throughout the PL. If a big club is not focused enough, any of the teams Chelsea are set to face in January could steal points from them (well, except maybe for Hull City).

    Just sayin’.

  2. ish

    November 12, 2009 at 4:02 am

    the reason those teams will be hard is because by that time many of them will be in relegation battle mode. with 10 men behind the ball for most of the game and no players like drogba or essien to smash our way through, its gonna be slightly tricky. in reality chelsea should get 12 points from those teams but those 2-4 dropped points from draws can be costly, especially sunderland who have been doing well

  3. BD

    November 11, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Everyone is talking about how Chelsea will be hurting come January. Hmmmm….that must mean we are playing some real tough teams? Let’s look at our schedule for January…

    Hull CIty

    I think we will be fine…..

  4. ish

    November 11, 2009 at 9:23 am

    its not january i am worried about, chelsea usually do the worst in december, very full fixture list and they struggle. The ACoN will hurt but as long as played dont get injured chelsea should come through, would be nice is sturridge or di santo stepped up at that time. What im worried about is midfield, mikel and essien are great DM’s but i dont want ballack playing that role. The dynamism of essien has done alot for a generally slow chelsea midfield, we need some1 with that kind of drive

  5. The Guvnah

    November 10, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Dont forget that Joe Cole is now injury free and will get even more playing time come January. Like Dennis Wise years ago, Joe is a powder keg of emotion and plays hard, inspiring the rest of the team.

    Now if we could only part with Deco the disappearing specialist.

  6. Bayern82

    November 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    They also do have Alex who can hopefully make a good return soon. Though Essien and Drogba will indeed be missed.

  7. jables

    November 10, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    I’m anxious to see how Chelsea will hold up in January when they lose Drogba, Essien, Obi Mikel, and Kalou to ACN.

    Any other EPL squads losing that many (or more) players in January?

    • NoWay

      November 10, 2009 at 3:55 pm

      Drogba and Essien will be sorely missed, while Chelsea haven’t had Mikel for 80% of their games so far and Kalou has largely played the role of a bench player.

      They will probably need Ballack to stay healthy and Zhirkov to successfully be included in the lineup to continue to play well. The defense should be fine even with Bosingwa and Cole out, but they will need Anelka and Malouda to be able to excel without the presence of Drogba.

      Perhaps Lampard will play an even more important role when they are gone, if that’s possible.

  8. MNUfan1991

    November 10, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    “[T]he team played well and deserved the victory”
    Did you watch the game at all?

    • Bayern82

      November 10, 2009 at 3:38 pm

      Both teams played a gritty game, it may not have been beautiful play from either of the sides, but in the end what matters is the result, whether or not you agree with how it should have gone. Sure the author’s opinion could be biased, but that’s probably the same thing a Man U supporter would write had the game gone the other way.

  9. Dwayne Campbell

    November 10, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Am I the only person who can see Liverpool making a massive comeback? Probably…

    Has anyone else listened to this British soccer podcast called ‘The Pro Show’ ( ?

    It talks about the EPL and soccer in general, its actually pretty hilarious, or maybe its just their accents…


  10. money

    November 10, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Except you forgot about Arsenal

    • Dylan

      November 10, 2009 at 7:41 pm

      patience, it will all become clear
      Sunday, 29 November 2009
      Arsenal vs Chelsea

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