Here’s the thing: losing to Porto at Porto isn’t considered an upset. Porto is consistently in the knockout rounds of the Champions League which means they are arguably one of the top 16 clubs in Europe. It’s not like losing to Olympiacos at home (ahem, Arsenal). All clubs should go into Porto hoping for a draw and delighted if they come out with a win. So Chelsea’s loss at Porto in a way should be a non-story.
But it is a story. And a big headline. Because it’s not just one loss in a match they arguably should have lost sandwiched between a bunch of other wins. It’s yet another loss following a string of other bad results.
So instead of the narrative being: “Porto is an excellent club and it’s hard to beat them in Portugal, we’ll be sure to get the three points when the come to Stamford Bridge.” The narrative is, “Chelsea is in turmoil. Here is another sign that all is not right at Chelsea. They are imploding!”
And there is some truth to that narrative. With pretty much the exact same squad, Chelsea won the Premier League last year. So while it is understandable if they don’t win at Porto, they should come away with a draw. Porto is a top 16 club, but Chelsea is arguably a top 8 or top 5 – or at least was last year.
But that narrative is also too much too soon.
First of all, it’s still September. It’s very early in the season. There is a ton of football, domestically and internationally, left to play. Many clubs start slow and then find their stride and finish strong. No reason to think Chelsea with all that talent won’t do the same.
Another thing in Chelsea’s favor: Mourinho. Some people think he’s the problem. But love him or hate him, he’s a genius. You can argue with that all you want, but his team’s win. He will figure it out. He somehow always does.
Last year Bayern Munich went into Porto and lost 3-1 in the first leg of the quarter-finals of the Champions League. In the return leg in Munich, Bayern put on a clinic and won 6-1.
Again, losing at Porto isn’t an upset. But Bayern proved that they are an elite club and took care of business at home. We’ll see if Chelsea can do the same. If they can’t, then maybe it really is time for the “Chelsea is in turmoil” headline.
Video from youtuber Bruno Viladeste.
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