Saturday 1 December
Chelsea U18 2:0 Reading U18
George Nunn and Thierno Ballo scored in a routine win for the U18s. Reading did hit the woodwork but this was comfortable after the break.
Tammy Abraham was at it again as he netted Villa’s second in a 0-3 win at Middlesbrough.
Sunday 2 December
Chelsea 2:0 Fulham
The Cottagers rocked up for their usual defeat – Fulham haven’t beaten us at the Bridge in the top flight since 1964 – and left with little but friendly banter and a wave from Claudio Ranieri.
Pedro scored an early cracker after N’Golo Kanté robbed the ball in midfield. The cut inside the defender and finish though were all Pedro’s own work.
Fulham showed some daring, drew a couple of saves from Kepa but we had gears to go through and Ruben Loftus-Cheek scored a second after shaking the game up after he replaced Kovačić just after the hour.
André Schürrle missed the match after tweaking something in training so Claudio couldn’t name an unchanged side… insert your own joke about Ranieri not being able to name an unchanged side here… boom-tish.
The win moves us back up to third after Spurs threw away a 1-2 lead to lose the derby 4-2 to Arsenal. Typically Spurs looked switched on and eager against us last week and shambolic and incompetent against the Gooners. We didn’t close the gap on Liverpool though after Everton contrived to let in a winner two minutes after the injury-time was used up against the Reds.
Chelsea 1:0 Reading
The women moved up to eight points behind leaders Arsenal who lost to City. Ji So-Yun scored after the break but we could have had a half dozen more against a strong Reading side.
Monday 3 December
With Christmas just around the corner and a fine performance in a two-each with Manchester United at the weekend, Southampton took the heartless decision to sack Mark Hughes and his assistant Eddie Niedzwiecki loses his job too. Less than a year into his rescue mission, the move is a big two-fingers to Hughes and Eddie Neddy, who kept them up last season and despite their erratic transfer activity looked to be getting better performances from the team in the last two or three matches.
The evening balls out of the bag exercise was held at Stamford Bridge with Ruud Gullit drawing the home teams and we popped out early with Nottingham Forest the plum tie. Solihull Moors will host Arsenal (if they scrape through a replay with Blackpool)
England will host the 2021 Uefa Women’s European Championship after an announcement today. If you think it is a bit strange that England won a bidding process at Uefa forget it, we were the only candidate and even then it took a few months.
The men will play their Nations League semi-final against the Netherlands in Portugal in June next year. We haven’t faced the Dutch since Euro 96 in a competitive fixture.
Tuesday 4 December
Chelsea U21 2:1 AFC Wimbledon
The Checkatrade Trophy is proving an inspiration to the academy players again, semi-finalists last term they too another big step in knocking out League One opponents.
Charlie Brown handed us the lead, slightly against the run of play, from the penalty spot before Daishawn Redan extended it with a second-half strike. The Dons pulled one back through Anthony Wordsworth who then blew any chance of a late come back by hacking down Tariq Lamptey and receiving a straight red.
Cesar Azpilicueta put pen to paper for another four years. The Basque defender turned up in 2012 and has been a fixture in two title winning sides and has an FA Cup to boot.
Wednesday 5 December
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2:1 Chelsea
There is little you can do when referee’s decide you ain’t going to win. We dominated this match so completely that the ref felt sorry for the home side and stopped awarding decisions against them.
We weren’t clinical in taking the chances we made as Andreas Christensen, Loftus-Cheek and Cesc Fabregas all started a Premier League match for the first time this season.
Our play was scintillating for most of the first-half. RubenLotus-Cheek’s shot deflected in and we looked to be on our way. Willian’s free-kick was tipped onto the bar by Patricio, with Wolves content to try to hit us on the break.
It was then that the referee took control of proceedings. First a defender went straight through the back of Willian as raced into the box. No penalty, no card for a challenge that would have earned both anywhere else on the pitch.
Early in the second-half and he was at it again as, this time, Morata was clattered from behind as he went to tap into an empty net. No penalty, no red for denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity. Farcical refereeing can happen to anyone but we are subjected to so many biased, incorrect, incompetent and down-right fraudulent decisions from referees it is a disgrace. For every decision we get at least ten clear shouts are ignored. For every time a Chelsea player dives we receive at least ten bookings for simulation that, on later examination, turn out to be incorrect.
Wolves scored from their only two efforts on target, in the build-up to the first of these Willian was hauled to the ground, again no free-kick.
With Man City at the weekend and already ten-points the difference, it looks like this season is going to be one of rebuilding and adapting afterall.
Chelsea 7:0 Yeovil Town
At least there was some cup joy for the women as Drew Spence and Bethany England both scored two after Adelina Engman had opened the scoring. There was an own-goal in there somewhere as well before Erin Cuthbert scored the other.
Friday 7 December
Chelsea U23 3:2 West Ham United U23
The development squad earned their first home win of a confusing season with a late come back. We were 0-2 down in the second-half before Luke McCormick came on to take charge of midfield. He scored two himself and set up another for Daishawn Redan.
Saturday 8 December
Chelsea 2:0 Manchester City
We clawed our way back into the top four by beating City and by the expression on their faces they couldn’t work out how it was done. It was done by Eden Hazard playing as a false nine just like Conte’s approach last season. Where we differed this term was in taking our chances as N’Golo Kante and David Luiz celebrated their first goals since the leaves started to fall.
City had plenty of the possession but David Luiz seemed determined to keep them at bay and we showed none of the complacency that cost us in midweek.
The racist abuse suffered by Raheem Sterling is shameful. The fight against racism has been going on for years and it appears, if the comments were racist, that we still need to fight against it. It isn’t enough to say that Raheem deserves our respect for his humility and intelligence, his contribution to the England squad and his skill. Everyone deserves protection from racism whatever their accomplishments.
Sunday 9 December
Brighton & Hove Albion 0:4 Chelsea
Brighton held out until late Goals from Magdalena Eriksson, two from Bethany England and another from the influential Ji So-Yun. The win moves us up to third and only five points behind leaders Arsenal.
Chelsea have suspended the four men at the heart of the racism row. One apparently steadfastly claiming he called Sterling a “Manc cnut” not a black one and it will be up to the lip-readers to sort it out.