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Have Chelsea Found Their Winning Ways?

Have Chelsea found their winning ways after beating Borussia Dortmund and winning two straight Premier League matches? It has not been a pretty season for the Blues, losing their coach early in the season while being eliminated from every domestic cup in England. However, it seems like Potter has gotten the team under control and finding their winning ways.  

During the winter transfer window, Chelsea brought on World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez along with Joao Felix, Chukwunonso Madueke, Mykhailo Mudryk, Andrey Nascimento dos Santos and David Fofana. They spent over 364 million euros, more than any club from Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga, and Ligue 1 combined. With these additions, it was expected that Chelsea would turn things around… but that was not the case. 

Chelsea struggled getting goals in the back of the net despite dominating in possession and shots in every match. However, small defensive errors led to one goal that will lose the game for the team. During the first leg against Borussia Dortmund in February, Chelsea dominated in both shots and possession, however still failed to lose 1-0. The two losses against Southampton and Tottenham were a wakeup call for the team to improve its style of play. 

It does not help that they have been without their two main defenders of Cesar Azpilicueta and Thiago Silva. Azpilicueta has been out with a concussion and Silva will miss time with a knee injury. The team had to change its formation to a 3-4-3, having three in the back. Kalidou Koulibaly has done an excellent job keeping the defense in line, with Marc Cucurella and Wesley Fofana alongside him. Because of this, Chelsea have only conceded one goal in the last three matches. 

After defeating Leeds at the beginning of the month, the whole dynamic of the team changed for the better to return them to their winning ways. Their chemistry improved and they were able to find ways to score goals. Coming into the second leg of the Champions League, Chelsea were not the favorites to win despite having the home field advantage. Dortmund had come into the game winning 11-straight matches while holding first place in the Bundesliga.  

Chelsea ended up playing their best match since the new year. Despite lacking possession, the team dominated in counterattacks and found a way to break down the defenders. Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz were the hero’s, sending Chelsea to the quarterfinals of the UCL for third straight season. 

This victory followed a 3-1 win against Leicester on Saturday, with goals from Ben Chilwell, Kai Havertz and Mateo Kovacic. Their three goals Saturday was the most goals they have scored in a single match since October.  

Fernandez has been a great signing for the club, totaling two assists with 25 tackles (16 won) in his first eight matches. Mykhailo Mudryk has had a slow start, but looks to settle in with the team with an assist on Saturday. Despite heavy fouls suffered against Leicester, Joao Felix is healthy and adjusting to playing in the Premier League.  

This is a good sign that the club is back to its winning ways, looking to put their poor run behind them. It still will not get easier for Chelsea, as they must fight to make up ground to qualify for the European football next season. They are 11 points behind Tottenham for fourth place, which seems like a big stretch. They could qualify for the Europa League, only trailing Liverpool by five points for sixth place. Worst case scenario, Chelsea can place seventh and qualify for the Conference League, only trailing two points from seventh place.  

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