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CHELSEA CHATTER

Man United revenge, Ross Barkley frustrations, and more…

Hello! What do we have here? Three wins from three and a trip to Wembley booked…

No one, myself included, saw the result against Man City coming which ultimately gave Liverpool the title. Surely they have to play the kids against us on the penultimate game of the season as a way of saying thanks?

The win against Leicester set up an FA Cup semi-final against Man United, a team we have already lost against three times this season. Gulp.

BEING FRANK

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How refreshing is it having Frank being so honest in his post-match press conferences?

The first half of the Leicester game was our worst half of the season with Lamps calling it lethargic… not the word I would have used.

He made a trio of cut-throat changes with three youngsters, Billy Gilmour, Reece James and Mason Mount all being hooked at half time.

Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic changed the game in the middle of the park with the former scoring the decisive goal.

It might knock the confidence out of the young boys, especially Gilmour, who was way off the pace in the opening 45 minutes but it was needed to win the game.

He made key changes in the Villa and City games which saw us take six points from six in the Premier League and his ruthless wholesale changes in the west Midlands helped us to book a trip to Wembley to face our kryptonite, Man United.

COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER, COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE

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At least we didn’t draw Man City in the semis…

For the fourth time this season we are set to lock horns with Man United and the Norwegian PE teacher.

Three times we have lost, two at home and once on the opening day, an embarrassing 4-0 loss in Manchester.

Both sides are in great form heading into the semi-final, and with it being the only domestic honour either side can win, you can be sure the game will be incredibly competitive.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is yet to lose to The Blues as United manager, winning three and drawing one of the four games he has managed against us.

It will be our 25th game at the new Wembley, which has generally been a happy hunting ground for us throughout the years – the victorious 2018 final being the last time we played the Red Devils at the home of football.

I believe we have better players and a better manager than United but that hasn’t stopped them being a thorn in our side this season.

We have knocked first placed Liverpool and third placed Leicester out of the Cup so fifth placed United should be a breeze, right?

WE ALWAYS HAVE A SAY

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If we aren’t winning the Premier League, we are often dictating who does.

In 2013 we denied Liverpool and gifted Man City the League while in 2016 it was Leicester who benefited after we denied Spurs at The Bridge.

This season we returned the favour to Liverpool with an unlikely 2-1 win against Pep Guardiola’s Man City.

If you were watching Sky Sports that evening you could be forgiven for not knowing the game was played, there was far more focus on what Kenny Dalglish had for dinner.

We countered brilliantly on the night with Christian Pulisic, who is looking sharper than ever since the restart, scoring a wonderful break-away goal after a gift from Benjamin Mendy.

Kevin De Bruyne did it (again) against us but a late penalty from Willian gave Liverpool their first title in 30 years… a bittersweet evening.

SOMETIMES MAYBE GOOD SOMETIMES MAYBE…

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I have been standing up for Ross Barkley all season and still do to this day, well, kind of.

His 45 minute appearance against Leicester summed up his season under Lamps perfectly, he scored, he wasted possession but he looked busy and involved in the game.

And that is what I like most about him, even when you see him waste a great counter, he has often run 30 yards with the ball to get there.

He can skip past two midfielders then fluff a ten yard through ball – infuriating, yes, but the fact he can make that space and run so well with the ball makes him a unique midfielder for us.

Jorginho looks like he will be leaving with Frank once again not playing the Italian but showing faith in Barkley instead.

I think the longer Barkley plays under Lampard, the better he will get. For now at least, I am very much team Ross.

MINI-LEAGUE MADNESS

Some poor selections cost me ahead of the FA Cup quarter-final week.

Kepa didn’t play, Mount and Abraham didn’t bring home the points and only Raheem Sterling got me any significant points this week.

Up at the top of the Chelsea Chatter mini-league, James Forshaw’s lead is back to just three points after Garry Browne’s side registered 26 points.

Chelsea have got some favourable fixtures coming up, all starting with West Ham away on Wednesday night… brighter days just around the corner. I hope.