Montpellier 0:2 Chelsea
The women are making this season a special one as they survived scares to score two away goals in France. Ji So-Yun opened the scoring minutes into the second-half and Erin Cuthbert added a second from a neatly angled header just after she had come on as a substitute. The defensive performance was immense as Millie Bright pulled off a great block on former Blue Sofia Jakobsson. The post helped out at both ends of the pitch as we ran out deserved winners.
The second leg is on Wednesday next week.
Friday 23 March
The Netherlands 0:1 England
Ah, the process starts all over again, each cycle is just the same, as the World Cup approaches our optimism grows, so a scruffy win over demoralised and weak opposition suddenly looks more like world-beating form. Lingard scored the only goal of a game we dominated but couldn’t put to bed. The Dutch have a long journey back from a wretched position but at least had a Chelsea trained player in their squad in Partick Van Aanholt.
Elsewhere, Olivier Giroud put France ahead in a match they lost 2-3 to Columbia. N’Golo Kante played the whole game.
Willy Caballero made his Argentina debut at the age of 36 as they beat Italy at the Etihad in Manchester. Davide Zappacosta came off the bench late in the game for the Italians.
Victor Moses scored a penalty as Nigeria beat Poland 0-1 in Wroclaw. Kenneth Omeruo came on late but Ola Aina stays on the bench.
Willian again shows his recent great form as Brazil trounced Russia in the revamped Luzhniki.
Paul Clement, meanwhile, has been handed the poisoned chalice at Reading. Our former youth team coach takes over the Royals after Jaap Stam bit the dust earlier in the week.
Saturday 24 March
The FA, the home of equality and inclusion, have decided to bulldoze the ramps at Wembley and replace them with stairs. Yes, you heard it, the gormless, vandals at the FA have decided that doing away with the towers wasn’t enough to alienate fans from their traditions now they are pulling down one of the last remaining links with Wembley’s past and all to make life harder for wheelchair users. It is as if they are making this shit up as they go along.
Sunday 25 March
Chelsea 2:2 Reading
With a heavy week of Champions League behind us it is a small miracle that we fought back from two down and really should have won it. Goals from Ji So-Yun and Jonna Andersson clawed us back from a penalty and a second on the break as Reading proved they can compete at this level.
For all the happiness that we managed a draw, the result opens the door to Manchester City to overtake us at the top of the table.