Chelsea, Philly & More | Case of the Mondays
With seasons coming to a close, teams are racing to finish first or, at the very least, not last — but it's not going quite so smoothly at either end of the table for a few teams, who will be feeling a pretty bad #CaseOfTheMondays this morning.
For a few months now, pundits and fans everywhere were all but calling Chelsea the 2016/17 Premier League victors. But now, on the back of a 2-0 loss to a Zlatan-less Manchester United that allowed Spurs to close the gap to 4 points, that seems a little less certain. With both keeper Thibaut Courtois and Alonso missing, Manchester United were able to capitalize on a Chelsea team that hasn’t really had to test out their squad depth this year. And with Diego Costa still not firing and Alonso very effectively man-marked for the entire match, Chelsea could find no response.Of course, Chelsea are still favorites to win; 4 points is a decent lead, and Tottenham’s remaining schedule — with Arsenal, Manchester United, and a tricky away trip to Crystal Palace left to play — is slightly more difficult than Chelsea’s. Alonso, who was out to illness rather than injury, and Courtois are also set to return soon, perhaps even by this weekend’s FA Cup semi-final against none other than Spurs. But Chelsea’s important misstep and Tottenham’s unwavering dominance will certainly make the last 6 weeks more interesting.
It’s the same old story for the Philadelphia Union: a big fat loss, their second in a row at home and fourth straight overall; and though some draws were peppered in before that, the Philadelphia Union have not won outright in 233 days (14 matches).This time, they were dominated all match and then embarrassed at the end by a David Villa’s wondergoal that caught Blake very out of position. Many fans streamed out early and those that remained booed the team and head coach Jim Curtain at the final whistle.The season still has a long way to go, but the way the team is playing doesn’t give hope that anything is going to just change magically overnight. Some fans are calling for the coach’s head, but the organization seems to be sticking behind him. They might be able to turn it around against Montreal, whose first and only win of the season came last weekend — but if they don’t, nobody will be surprised.
TONY ADAMS & GRANADA
As Granada found themselves struggling with not many games left in the season, they appointed Arsenal legend Tony Adams last week to help lift them out of their relegation woes. If his first game is any indication, though, he won’t.Adams’ tenure started with a terrible choice of suit and has only gotten worse, first with some questionable training methods and then with an embarrassing 3-0 home loss to Celta Vigo at the weekend. It marked the team’s 20th loss of the season, pushed their goal difference down to -41, and keeps them formidably in 19th place.
With only 6 games left, can Adams turn it around?
This weekend’s 0-0 draw against Chivas marks the 5th Liga MX game in a row that Pachuca has been held scoreless. After only 11 goals in the Clausura’s first 14 games, Pachuca are officially tied with Veracruz for the worst attack in Liga MX.Pachuca might still sit in the top half of the table — in 8th — after the result, but their limp attack should worry fans for another reason: the upcoming CONCACAF Champions League final against Tigres. The last time Pachuca scored was in the last round of this competition, but against an MLS side. And Tigres have been scoring aplenty; they’ve scored in their last 3 in Liga MX and last 4 in all competitions, the most previous two results of which were 4-0 and 3-0 victories. The one thing that should keep Pachuca fans optimistic is that their lack of scoring has been paired with a tight defence that has held recent opposition to either 0-0 draws or slim 1-0 victories — but will they be able to hold out a fierce Tigres side for 180 minutes while they either figure out their own attack or push on to penalties? We’ll find out tomorrow in leg 1.