Chelsea Show UCL Title Contender Bonafides in Win over Porto


Time to take Chelsea FC serious at UEFA Champions League title contenders? Yes, absolutely it is time; without a doubt!

The Blues got two precious away goals today in their 2-0 win over FC Porto, and that puts them in a very good place to move forward to the UCL semifinals. If/when they get there, it is looking likely that they’ll face Real Madrid, a side that just isn’t this season what they have been in recent years.

The southwest London side has a clear path to the final, where they are expected to meet Manchester City, the overall favorite of the field right now. Some bookmakers have Chelsea as the side with the second or third most favorable odds, so if City are knocked out via an upset, the Blues would presumably become the new front-runner.

What we saw today, the strong response after Thomas Tuchel’s first Chelsea loss, is an indicator of their UCL title chops.

“We come from a weird match against West Brom, a big loss that we did not expect,” Tuchel said.

“We encouraged them to be a bit more active, a bit more brave with the ball. … The goal helped, of course. We made things a bit too complicated. It was tough for us to make the right decisions. You can’t always expect the best game in pressure situations. I’m not sure you can play your best match against Porto.

“They make you look weak because they play a tough game.”

Chelsea, who got their two goals from midfielder Mason Mount (who had a massive performance) and defender Ben Chilwell, responded about as well as their fans could have hoped after their shock defeat to West Brom. Nobody saw the first loss of the Tuchel era being a match that saw them ship five goals to a relegation zone team, and everybody wondered how they would react in the next match.

That response was very authoritative, and it indicated that Chelsea really mean business this season.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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