While knockout fixtures like these have their importance, as you either win or go out. Similar things could be said about the future of Jose Mourinho, which depended heavily on this fixture. Amid a poor run of form in the Premier League, Chelsea had the chance to ease pressure on their manager in case of a win. However, as the score-line might tell you, 120 minutes of hard grueling effort went into vain for the blues as pressure increased manifold on their manager.
Here are 3 things we learned.
- Not for the First time in his Ownership – Roman Abramovich will have to go against the fan’s wishes
If you look at the history of Chelsea under the Russian ownership that one thing that has come as abundantly as the trophies is the managerial changes. A small amount of these changes – like the sacking of Andres Villas Boas, settled really well with the fans, however, a majority of them was like a bolt from the blue for the Chelsea folklore.
From the sacking of Jose Mourinho in his 1st tenure at Chelsea to combining Carlo Ancelotti with the same fate just 2 hours after a match, Roman Abramovich needs to introduction when it comes to ruthlessness. As long as the Russian thinks that the new manager will do well, he pulls the trigger regardless of the consequences coming from the crowd.
Thus, while the Chelsea travelling crowd was singing the name of Jose Mourinho for the most part of 120-minutes on Tuesday, even they might know that the decision regarding the future of the Special One would be made in the higher echelons of the club.
2. Injury to Diego Costa might be disastrous for Chelsea
With 2 defeats in their last 2 games, the game against Liverpool which will take place at the weekend has gained an unprecedented importance for the blues. Mourinho stopped Liverpool from their best chance of winning the Premier League in 2014- and now, Liverpool could make sure they return the favor with a win on Stamford Bridge.
In addition to all the factors that are pointing that the game will go against the wishes of the Chelsea faithful, the injury to Diego Costa might hamper the plans for Jose Mourinho. The fixture is arguably the most important one in the 2nd spell of Mourinho at Chelsea with defeat surely paving the way for his early exit once again from Chelsea.
3. Eden Hazard is looking like a man drained of confidence
While football is never a game of ifs and buts, a mere glance at the extra time suggests that Chelsea should have won the game in the additional 30-minutes against Stoke. They got chances one after the other, however, thanks to the rueful form of their leading player Hazard, Chelsea failed to make any sort of impact on the scoreline.
For a player who is still searching for his 1st League goal of this Season, the penalty miss is the worst thing that could have happened to the Belgian against Stoke. With his confidence already on a lower side, the last thing Hazard needed was to share the blame for the exit of Chelsea from a competition that was their best chance of winning a title this Season.