Tuesday 10 October
Belgium have gone about qualifying for the World Cup in a quietly efficient manner. Roberto Martinez, tipped here as a candidate for the England post, has fashioned a well-oiled machine in the Low Countries this time they rolled over Cyprus 4-0. Eden Hazard scored two tonight and his brother, old boy, Thorgan added another before another old boy Romelu Lukaku finished things off. Michy Batshuayi tried everything he could think of to score but it was not his night.
France qualified without N’Golo who has a thigh strain and the Dutch won but not by the seven goals they needed. The 2-0 victory over Sweden was Arjen Robben’s last international for the Netherlands he signed off with both goals.
England U21 managed to beat Andorra away but only 0-1. While during the night Argentina managed to qualify having started the night in fifth place they beat Ecuador away but Matt Miazga can have his pick of beach holidays in June and July 2018 after the United States lost to Trinidad and Tobago in their last fixture and miss out to Panama.
Wednesday 11 October
Bayern München 2:1 Chelsea
(2-2 on aggregate, Chelsea win on away goals)
Magnificent. The women’s team really came into their own not just by progressing but in acheiving a performance and result that cements them in the history of the club as a whole. This was their finest hour, so far.
Fran Kirby netted on the break and on the hour (think John Spencer against Austria Vienna in 94). The goal handed us the lead on the night and the away goal meaning the Germans needed to score three… they managed only two. An unlucky own-goal and a tap in after Lindahl uncharacteristically spilled a shot at the feet of the advancing striker.
Their were still fifteen minutes to go and six additional injury time minutes and in that time not only did we hold on we forged a team spirit and a history.
Friday 13 October
Chelsea U23 1:3 Swansea City U23
Remember the name Oli McBurnie, he powered in a first-half hat-trick to send Joe Edwards’ side to a third defeat. Kylian Hazard’s second-half consolation was little comfort.
Saturday 14 October
Crystal Palace 2:1 Chelsea
Oh, fcuk … it seems we will not know which Chelsea will show up to each match this season as we wilted away to a weak Crystal Palace. Palace are rapidly becoming our bogey team as consecutive home defeats to the Eagles gave way to this clumsy Chelsea performance and Palace’s first goals and points of an awful season.
Their first was the result of pinball in the box and a lucky deflection their second the result of an assault in midfield as Mamadou Sakho went straight through Willian to get the ball, hurling the Brazilian to the ground before feeding Wilfred Zaha who shimmied too easily to score. Match of the Day failed to even mention the foul leading up to their goal and to pit it into perspective, if Diego Costa had lunged through a player like that to win the ball last season, he would have been carded and the BBC would be calling for him to be banned.
Tiemoue Bakayoko will be pleased with his header but it was a dreadful afternoon in Thornton Heath. Made worse by the injury to Victor Moses and the gurning smile on the face of Roy Hodgson.
Leicester City U18 2:3 Chelsea U18
Charlie Brown and Martell Taylor-Crossdale scored our equaliser and then the goal that handed us the lead but it was a late winner from Tushaun Tyreece-Walters that ensured the U18’s 100% start to the season continued.
Steve Clarke was unveiled as the new Kilmarnock boss today. Steve was very unlucky to lose jobs at Reading and West Brom where he fashioned decent teams from the bits and pieces he inherited. Out of work since finishing his post as Roberto Di Matteo’s assistant at Villa hopefully now he can stay at Rugby Park long enough to build his own team.
Tammy Abraham piled in a brace as Swansea beat Huddersfield. Both poached efforts reflected well on the young man who, as many have pointed out, would have been very useful at Selhurst Park.