If Chelsea are to land their hands on some silverware this season, the Premier League club should draw inspiration from last season's stunning achievements.
It was around this same stage last season, the Blues were in a state of despair as they were lagging behind on the league table and were facing an embarrassing early exit from the Champions League.
In addition to that, they had laboured to earn a replay against Championship side Birmingham in the FA Cup.
After another unconvincing performance in a defeat to West Bromwich Albion, head coach Andre villas-Boas was finally shown the exit door by trigger-happy owner, Roman Abramovich.
In came Roberto Di Matteo - AVB’s assistant - who was appointed as caretaker manager until the end of the season. He immediately started on a positive note with a comfortable victory over Birmingham in the FA Cup replay before masterminding what is arguably the greatest comeback in the history of the Champions League Round of 16: a 4-1 defeat of Napoli at Stamford Bridge to overturn a 3-1 loss from the first leg in Italy (a feat bettered only probably by Barcelona’s 4-0 annihilation of AC Milan this week).
That win over Napoli breathed a new lease of life into that Chelsea team and although they fell short of making a top-four finish in the Premier League, they went on to win the FA Cup and most importantly, the Champions League. A season that had looked destined for a disastrous end had ended with two trophies in the cabinet - a remarkable turnaround, indeed.
Chelsea have found themselves in the same troubled waters this season, although things look quite different this time around. The European Champions crashed out of the Champions League in the group stage and have been demoted to the less-fancied Europa league and, unlike Di Matteo who was a fans’ favourite, currently have a fans’ enemy as "interim manager" in Rafael Benitez.
Just like last season, they are also facing an uphill task to qualify for the Champions League with Tottenham, Arsenal and potentially Liverpool still in with a chance of a top-four finish in the league.
But after fighting back from two goals down to force a replay last Sunday in the FA Cup against Manchester United and defeating Steaua Bucharest 3-1 yesterday in the Europa league at Stamford Bridge to overturn a 1-0 defeat from the first leg in Romania, another phenomenal comeback could be on the cards.
Talk about a team that can never be written off and Chelsea are the perfect example. A top-four finish plus triumphs in the FA Cup and Europa League would mean an equally fantastic end to a season that has been marred with controversy.
Although talismanic super-hero Didier Drogba has left Stamford Bridge, a team that has talents of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar’s quality is capable of anything.
Now is the time to draw inspiration from last season’s remarkable turnaround and silence their critics.
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