Tuesday 3 April
Juventus had to watch the preening self-regard reach new heights as Ronaldo managed to connect with a bicycle-kick as part of his hat-trick in a 0-3 win. The media reacted as if nobody had ever managed to do that before in all of human history.
Bayern Munich grabbed a handy 1-2 away to Sevilla.
Wednesday 4 April
Ray Wilkins passed away. Ray was a huge figure at Chelsea Football Club and will be long remembered. He started back in 1973 and captained the club at just 18. He came back in coaching roles over the years and was assistant manager with Carlo Ancelotti when we won the double back in 2010.
As a footballer he was a class act. In the Chelsea team that stormed to promotion in 1976-77 under Eddie McCreadie he ran the midfield and scored 10 goals. Chelsea went up ahead of the Forest side that went on to win the European Cup twice under Brian Clough, while we lost our manager for want of a company car and drifted. Ray left in 1979 to play for Dave Sexton at Manchester United. His most notable spell after he left Stamford Bridge was as one of the few English players to forge a reputation in Italian football. His spell with AC Milan finished when Ruud Gullit was brought in to replace him in midfield.
Ray was a generous and knowledgeable football man who chatted happily with anyone and everyone about the sport. He couldn’t keep himself out of West London football, managing both QPR and Fulham. He was a regular panellist and co-commentator he was never away from the sport for very long.
Ray Wilkins was only 61-years-old and will be very sadly missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends today.
FA Youth Cup semi-final 1st leg
Birmingham City U18 0:3 Chelsea U18
The progress is as smooth as ever despite some really neat slick attacking by our hosts we scored early and rarely looked threatened.
With the news of ray Wilkins’ passing earlier on the day it was a sombre Chelsea side. Reminded, perhaps, that Ray led a Chelsea side to the semi-finals of this competition in 1973, the blues stormed forward. Tariq Uwakwe bundled in the first, Callum Hudson-Odoi scored the second and Charlie Brown came on in the second to wrap things up. We had plenty of other chances and the second-leg at the Bridge next week should be a formality… but we still expect you to turn up.
Putting our recent non-performance against City into context, Liverpool beat the presumptive champions 3-0 in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final. Liverpool, being Liverpool, the City players might have been distracted by the firework-wielding mob that attacked their bus before the game. Nobody was injured but some coppers were hurt and the bus wasn’t deemed safe after the incident. Barcelona disposed of Roma 4-1 in the other game.
Saturday 7 April
Chelsea U18 4:0 Southampton U18
We are now one point away from the Southern section title and have not been defeated at home for three years. It was a bit of slow start but goals form Tariq Uwakwe, Martell Taylor-Crossdale, Tino Anjorin and Marc Guehi secured the points.
This was revenge of a kind for the U18s as they lost to Southampton away by the same score back in October.
Tammy Abraham scored for Swansea as they grabbed a point at West Brom and Ruben Loftus-Cheek played the full 90 for Crystal Palace as they drew 2-2 at Bournemouth.
Sunday 8 April
Chelsea 1:1 West Ham United
This was a day to say goodbye to Ray and to try to rebuild our season. We managed to do one of those two with dignity and style.
Seeing the ’Ammers walk away from the Bridge with a smile on their face isn’t a familiar sight but this match could neatly summarise our season.
We had the chances to bury them, we played with penetration and precision but found Joe Hart in great form. We are probably the only side who can say they found West Ham’s defence on form this term – this is the lot that capitulated 0-3 at home to Burnley and looked like they couldn’t be bothered, today they blocked and tackled, they were resolute and defiant. Typical.
Cesar Azpilicueta scored a bundled opener, controlling a Morata header from a corner and nicking it into the net ahead of Hart. The rest of our efforts flew wide, or high, and when we did get the ball in the net an offside flag would rise.
West Ham equalised with their second effort at our goal all afternoon. And we lacked the composure to finish the job.
Like we said earlier, typical.