Monday 17 December
Manchester United U18 4:3 Chelsea U18
We have been knocked out of the FA Youth Cup. That is such an unusual event it takes some time to remember that the last time a Chelsea side lost a Youth Cup game was the 2012/13 final against Norwich.
Goals tonight from Tariq Lamptey, Tino Anjorin and Daishawn Redan were not quite enough to haul us back into the tie.
Leicester City U23 2:1 Chelsea U23
Another poor result for the age group teams as Charlie Brown’s first-half goal was all we managed to go down to a rare away defeat.
Malmo in the next round of the Uefa Cup. It took nearly all day to draw all of the Champions League and Uefa Cup so may were asleep long before our tie was drawn. Valentine’s day for the away leg in Sweden and Thursday 21 February for the home leg. We’ve never met Malmo in a competitive game before.
Arsenal drew BATE Borisov.
Our Under-19 side drew AS Monaco in the Uefa youth league. Monaco are group runners up, to Atletico Madrid, and the winners of the Champions pathway meet group runners up with the winners meeting group winners in the next round.
Tuesday 18 December
Agent Mourinho’s work at Old Trafford is done. They finally realised that he was trying to lead them into the wilderness with United in 6th eleven points behind Chelsea and nineteen behind Liverpool.
Given the United board failed to buy any of the five players Mourinho identified as targets during the summer, you felt this axe was going to fall at any moment after the start of the season. It is just amazing they let him do this much damage before they acted.
With leadership like that Manchester United will be in the doldrums for a few years yet.
The women have drawn Reading at home in the Continental Tyres cup.
Bruce Buck posted an open letter about the y thing. He reiterated that Tottenham’s self-identification with the Jewish community does not excuse use of what he called the Y-word.
It isn’t that Chelsea fans are actually being anti-Semitic, they are after all just anti-Tottenham songs, but the club have asked us to stop. And it looks like their determination will have to be met with compliance. They have asked fans who cannot embrace the diversity the club represents (Jewish owner, American chairman, Italian coach and a playing staff drawn from a host of different countries) not to come to the matches any more.
The club seems determined to crack down on these songs and it might be time we stopped singing them.
Wednesday 19 December
The League Cup draw handed Burton Albion to Manchester City so we have Tottenham. At Wembley first sometime in early January.
Friday 21 December
Peterborough in the Checkatrade will be on Wednesday 9 January.
Saturday 22 December
Chelsea 0:1 Leicester City
Losing at home to Leicester, Merry bloody Christmas. In truth, they created the better chances.
Wednesday 26 December
Watford 1:2 Chelsea
You never know which Chelsea you are going to get these days as two Eden Hazard goals were enough to win, move back to fourth and catch City by three points as they lost to Leicester.
Afterwards, Eden said he was delighted to get to 100 goals for the club and that he wanted “to score more for this club and then try to be a legend like Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and John Terry”. Which sounds like he will be signing that new contract any day now.
Friday 28 December
Peter Hill-Wood, the former Arsenal chairman has died aged 82. Hill-Wood took over at Arsenal in 1982 and oversaw the move from Highbury to Ashburton Grove.
Sunday 30 December
Crystal Palace 0:1 Chelsea
This was an impressive win as a clearly jaded Chelsea hauled themselves over the line and controlled Palace to the extent that they didn’t have a shot on target.
It wasn’t all plain sailing but David Luiz found a clean through ball for N’Golo Kanté’s run behind the defence. Many have openly questioned Kanté role in Sarri’s side but his reputation meant Palace consistently failed to track him.
Monday 31 January
Bumper financial results, weirdly published on the day fans are least likely to notice. The headline figure is a £62m profit after tax on an overall turnover of more than £400m for the first time.
As always most of the profit comes from a huge rise in television income and a return to the Champions League. But near full houses and all the gambling/tyre/frozen-yoghurt/airline partnerships pulled their weight.
Wednesday 2 January
Chelsea 0:0 Southampton
Another dreadful attacking performance means we dropped another two points. It makes one goal for one against and five points dropped over Christmas. Without Kanté’s strike on Sunday, we’d be in real trouble.
Yes, we should have had a penalty – it would have been granted if a Liverpool player was pushed over in the box like that – and we had a perfectly legitimate goal ruled out for offside by a linesman who was guessing and giving the benefit of the doubt to the defence. Which, obviously he is not supposed to do.
We did a proper bit of business in the afternoon – snapping up Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund. USA international Pulisic has been regarded as the wunderkind of German football since he made his debut at the age of sixteen.
The £58m price tag makes him the most expensive American footballer. Dortmund will keep him for the rest of the Bundesliga season.
There has been some debate about whether Pulisic has been bought to replace Hazard or to play alongside him but if we are to show real ambition it has to be the latter.
Thursday 3 January
Manchester City won the battle of the big beasts with Liverpool, meaning our point yesterday closed the gap at the top rather than widened it. We are now only 10-points behind Liverpool.
Meanwhile, Bayern München has offered over £30m for Callum Hudson-Odoi. The 18-year-old, who won the U17 World Cup last term, has made six appearances this year scoring one goal. That he has the makings of a great player is obvious but he is reluctant to sign a new deal with Chelsea because of what he sees as restricted opportunities.
It is hard to argue that he would be developing more quickly with regular Bundesliga football but would he be? Dominic Solanke left us for a better chance to play at Anfield but has now signed with Bournemouth for £19m.
Friday 4 January
The women unveiled Ann-Katrin Berger as our newest goalkeeper. The German international signed on a free from Birmingham City. (And no, Yekaterinburg is a city in Russia)
Kyle Scott is back from Telstar and Ruben Sammut returns from a loan with Falkirk. Meanwhile, Jared Thompson will spend the rest of the season keeping goals for Warren point Town.
Saturday 5 January
Chelsea 2:0 Nottingham Forest
In the end this was a professional dismissal of form opponents with some flashes of brilliance and a few moments to forget.
Callum Hudson-Odoi provided two excellent crosses which both resulted in Alvaro Morata goals. Odoi looked the real deal today and both Morata and Giroud would probably prefer his regular delivery from wide than the jinking trickery of Hazard and Willian. There is a lot to be said for quality ball delivered early.
The afternoon was more notable for the farewells of Cesc Fabregas – who is magic, if you hadn’t heard – he missed a first half penalty with the opposition keeper a step off his line and half the Forest side encroaching but he waved goodbye at the end and it is a mark of his genius and humility that Chelsea took this former Gooner to their hearts. Fabregas is expected to join Monaco this week on a free.
If it is his last appearance for us then we wish him well.
The FA Cup 4th round draw is after the Wolves v Liverpool game on Monday.
Chelsea U23 0:1 Blackburn Rovers U23
A slow start to the second half of the season as Blackburn played the better football and created better chances. A shakeup is needed for the U23s who appear to be drifting.
Leicester City U18 2:3 Chelsea U18
No such problems for the U18s as they raced into a 0-3 lead and held off a determined home fightback. Marcel Lewis got two either side of a header from defender Jack Wakely.
Sunday 6 January
Chelsea 3:0 Everton
A full house saw the women start the year as they finished the last with a convincing win over a stubborn Everton side.
We remain five points behind leaders Arsenal having played a game more. Which makes next week’s trip to Arsenal all the more important.
Transfer rumours all surround Tammy Abraham who has bagged dozens for Villa but looks to be on his way back so we can loan him to Wolves in the Premier League for the rest of this campaign. If the switch goes well we might save ourselves £70m on a new striker. Fifa has to OK the deal.