Saturday 1 October
Crystal Palace 1:2 Chelsea
They wanted Thiago sent off, oh how they wanted Thiago sent off, but what they got was a knockdown from the big Brazilian for Aubameyang to swivel and open his account with the equaliser.
The handball incident that saw Silva booked was a farce. Palace had taken the lead when our flat back four were caught square and Edouard ran through to volley in.
We had dominated possession up to that point but Palace grew in confidence and when Jordan Ayew clattered into Silva you fully expected a freekick. That Thiago batted the ball away with his hand as he was pushed down was incidental. But the whole focus of the commentators and pundits was that he should have been sent off.
Ayew used both hands to push the Brazilian to the ground without making any attempt to win the ball. But that is fine this season deliberate physical assault is fine, until it is done by a blue shirt.
We could have taken a lead when Mason Mount fired wide after a backpass was fielded by the Palace ’keeper.
Conor Gallagher tried not to celebrate after lashing in goal of the month to hand us a late winner. It was a corker to have to keep your cool and not celebrate against the side you spent last season on loan.
Chelsea U21 2:2 Leicester City U21
Charlie Webster finished a neat first-half move but saw Kasey McAteer equalise from a cross that drifted in. Omari Hutchinson volleyed us back into a 2-1 half-time lead. But a late, deliberate, McAteer goal saw a share of the spoils.
Crystal Palace U18 3:2 Chelsea U18
In a busy month for the club, we managed three matches in one day two of them overlapping and two against Palace.
Two up and in control we lets this one slip. Leo Castledine from the spot and Harrison Murray-Campbell put us further ahead. But is was level just after the. Break and we shipped a late goal.
And Kaiden Wilson signed his first professional contract today, well done to him.
Sunday 2 October
Indonesian police killed 125 football fans at a local derby in Malang. A few supporters disgruntled at a lost to local rivals tried to invade the pitch. The police then turned on the crowd and fired upwards of 20 tear gas cannisters into a packed stadium. Reports suggest 42,000 tickets sold in a 38,000-capacity ground.
Victims were crushed by exit gates the bowed outwards under the pressure.
Wolves sacked Bruno Lage after their defeat to West Ham yesterday.
Manchester United decided not to press, close, tackle or anything else in losing 6-3 to City.
Monday 3 October
The women had a rough draw in their Champions League group. KFF Vllaznia Shkodër are Albanian champions, while we also face Real Madrid and PSG in group A. Matches start at home to PSG and the final is at PSV’s Philips Stadion in May.
Tuesday 4 October
Oxford United 1:2 Chelsea U21
Mason Burstow scored a delicious thirty-yard chip to draw us level with just ten minutes left on the clock. It was the least the academy squad deserved away to Oxford who took the lead against the run of play and survived a string of scares. Especially, when Omari Hutchinson blasted his spot kick at their ’keeper, who also blocked the shot from the rebound.
Lewis Hall’s winner was well taken too as he found the top corner from distance. Southern group O is now level with all the team on one win and one defeat. Our next shot is away to Leyton Orient in two weeks.
The women are 30-years-old today (if you ignore the successful team from the early 1970s). Having a champions league group was beyond their wildest when Tony Farmer’s new side started in Greater London Women’s League Division 3, with players like Julie Newell and Marina Batten. The progress they’ve made is astonishing.
Wednesday 5 October
Chelsea 3:0 AC Milan
Reece James caught the eye as Chelsea dominated Milan and jumped to second in the Champions League group.
Nerves were in evidence before this as we began the evening bottom of group E but the majestic calm and experience Thiago Silva showed in snuffing out Milan’s early attacks, stripping the ball from the dangerous Rafael Leāo and intercepting passes through to Giroud. Milan shoulders seemed to slump and they never recovered once the Brazilian dominated at a string of corners and Wesley Fofana tapped us into a lead. Fofana limped out moments later to be replaced by Trevoh Chalobah. The youngster had a couple of rusty moments but Silva was constantly talking him through the rest of the match.
At 38 Silva will not be with us for long but his class is leaving a legacy.
James stamped his own growing authority on the second half. His cross was turned in by Aubameyang and then the young England-wing back scored his own to finish the Italians, lifting his finish into the roof of the net from Sterling’s pass.
Milan offered surprisingly little going forward but it would be a mistake to expect as easy a ride at the San Siro next week.
Chelsea U19 1:1 AC Milan U19
We needed to win this one to stand much of a chance after taking only one point from two matches with Salzburg and Zagreb. In the end we did well to rescue the draw.
A wet and windy day at Cobham didn’t lend itself to flowing football but Milan’s goal came when Curd failed to hold a freekick and Simic tapped in the rebound. Not a lot else happened in the first period but a young Chelsea side started to make headway after the break.
Castledine, McMahon and Soonsup-Bell all had chances before Castledine equalised with a neat finish at the end of our best attacking move.
It is worth remembering that many of this squad are only 16 or 17 in an U19 competition. The progress they make will only really be judged in a. Couple of seasons.
Salzburg won in the other match meaning, although only on 2 points we are only a win behind the leaders.
Thursday 6 October
A third kit has been issued by the weirdoes at Nike. Their kit launch blurb is becoming as poetic and meaningless at perfume adds and we couldn’t tell you what colour that is supposed to be. At least it is plain. Instant Whip brown?
Friday 7 October
England 2:1 USA
This wasn’t the best performance but a significant result as the women’s European champions beat the incumbent World Cup holders. 76,000 watched at Wembley as well. The women have come a long way.
Millie Bright and Fran Kirby represented the Blues, with Lauren James given a minute at the end as sub.
Christopher Vivell has been released by RB Leipzig as their technical director and has been linked with a similar job at Chelsea.
Graham Potter took part in his second team photo of the season. Chelsea lined up for the official snap some weeks after we kidnapped Potter from Brighton on the day of their team shot.
Saturday 8 October
Chelsea 3:0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wolves didn’t really get a kick as a much-changed Chelsea dominated.
Conor Gallagher is intent on taking his chance this season. After scoring the winner last week he was involved in everything this afternoon. Firing narrowly wide when off balance, setting up Havertz and tracking midfield runners into the box to shepherd the ball to his own ’keeper. The boy has energy.
We had to wait until just before the break for the opener, Havertz’s header was the culmination of pressure as Mount and Pulisic both looked to get their goal and pressed for possession and eventually crossed for the almost slow-motion loop.
The goal set up the complacent start to the second half. Wolves didn’t have much but could have equalised.
Pulisic ended their hopes when accepting Mounts clever reverse pass and lifted the ball over the goalkeeper for two. If you’ve recently read Pat Nevin’s book The Accidental Footballer, you’ll know the technique.
Biggest cheer for Armando Broja who took his goal with disdainful skill cutting inside and curling his effort into the far corner. He is a special talent.
Cesar Azpilicueta deserves a mention, in at right wing-back he combined well with Gallagher and Mount. Most of our best attacking came down his flank.
Diego Costa, won himself a warm round of applause when substituted. We dominated possession so much that our former striker barely had a touch but he behaved like a gentleman.
To give Graham Potter, credit – he still hasn’t said anything interesting or enlightening in an interview – he is giving players a chance and this match was the most fun in a while. Carney Chukwuemeka made a late bow as Potter
West Ham United U21 0:1 Chelsea U21
Lewis Hall scored the goal and we rode our luck but this makes it five unbeaten for the academy side. We had the better chances throughout but with Joh Brooking sent off and the Hammers pressing it was a very strong performance to the end.
Chelsea U18 2:1 Everton U18
Two goals from Tyrique George saw us past Everton in the confusing Under-18 Premier League Cup. We had to fight back from a goal down in the most unfortunate circumstances. We will not dwell on the error.
Tuesday 11 October
AC Milan 0:2 Chelsea
AC Milan started with intent, they made runs through us with a left-back playing in midfield but Tomori’s red card and the subsequent penalty dictated the rest of the night,
The referee made his mark early as Mason Mount calmly played a pass away and the Milan player ran into him the ref blew up for a foul. He gave a freekick every time a home shirt fell over. And ignored a late, studs-up tackle on Mason Mount.
It got absurd, Bennacer stood on the ball and yet Kovačić was whistled up for a foul as he advanced on goal.
Just as you thought the ref couldn’t show his favouritism more clearly he sent off Tomori and awarded Mason Mount a penalty. Tomori did pull Mount back but the double punishment seemed too harsh as Mount kept his feet and took his shot. We would have been furious if it happened the other way. Jorginho tucked away the kick, after a long wait, but afterwards the officials seemed determined to award a freekick for every challenge. Booking first Sterling and then Gabbi and Krunić.
Giroud did us a huge favour by heading wide when unmarked in the box but Aubameyang didn’t miss when Mount laid the ball off, his only distraction was Sterling rushing on to the same ball.
The second half was tense but despite our ambition we didn’t manage to make it comfortable. The referee had calmed down.
Conor Gallagher impressed and almost scored his first goal in the competition but we managed to control the game, more or less.
Reece James limped out after landing awkwardly but it is unclear how serious his injury is.
AC Milan U19 3:1 Chelsea U19
Charlie Webster scored from the spot. The youngster has been training with the first-team squad recently. The equaliser didn’t last long as Milan had better legs toward the end when Chelsea looked leggy.
There had been hope that regulars returning after Papa John’s duty last week would make the difference but Milan toughed it out in the first half, defended deep and well and then nicked the lead.
It is not entirely over but we would need to win both of our remaining and have Milan trample Dinamo and Salzburg – both of whom are strong at this level.
Elsewhere and Dinamo and Salzburg drew one-each leaving us, somewhat improbably, top of the group by a point. Away at Salzburg on Tuesday 25 October looks to be the crucial game.
Timo Werner scored as Celtic slumped out of the competition at home to Leipzig.
England drew 0-0 with the Czech Republic, Millie Bright, Lauren James – in her first start – and Fran Kirby frustrated by Kateřina Svitková’s Czechs.
Sophie Ingle and Wales crashed out of world-cup qualifying losing after extra time to Switzerland. Erin Cuthbert is also out after the Republic sank Scotland 2-1. The Scots missed a penalty.
The royal party at the Cup Final can take their full allocation after the coronation was moved to avoid a clash with the Cup Final. Royal planners showed lingering contempt for the game by holding sparkly-hat day when London’s police will already be stretched by premiership and league fixtures.
Thursday 13 October
Emma Hayes has had emergency surgery and will be away until she has recovered. We already know Emma is made of sterling stuff and cannot be kept away for long but her battle with endometriosis turned serious and she had the operation last Tuesday when most of the squad was away on international duty.
Emma will take all the time she needs and Denise Reddy will take on her role picking the team and Paul Green will do the press conferences. Denise is an American with extensive coaching experience from the USA and Sweden. She has been Emma’s assistant since 2020.
Saturday 15 October
Chelsea U21 3:3 Manchester United U21
Down 0-1 at half-time we built up a 3-1 lead with gaols from Lewis Hall stretching to meet Hutchinson’s driven cross, Cesare Casadei towering to head into the corner and Jude Soonsup-Bell. But Casadei’s harsh second yellow right at the end seemed to throw the side and United scored two quick goals to share the points.
Disappointing but most of the second half was a dominant performance the squad can take plenty from.
Sunday 16 October
Aston Villa 0:2 Chelsea
Mason Mount scored both today. The first from a woeful clearing header from Tyrone Mings that fell onto his instep
Kepa had already made a routine save before the goal and the home side took plenty of encouragement from moves that saw them head just over and one move that saw Arrizabalaga save from three shots in one attack.
There were time when we couldn’t stop Villa working into crossing positions and Ings headed straight at Kepa before Sterling hit the bar at the other end.
Mason started the second half with a freekick goal which secured the points. Sterling headed wide with the ’keeper and defence static but we’d done enough.
Elsewhere and Liverpool beat City thanks to Anthony Taylor and VAR. Arsenal were very lucky after the ref awarded Leeds a penalty and sent a Gooner off only to review his decision and, once again, confirm that it is ok for Arsenal players to kick out at opponents.
The players at both Chelsea matches today warmed up with ‘Get well soon Emma” on the back of their kit. A sentiment shared by everyone here.
Everton 1:3 Chelsea
Emma’s absence didn’t hamper the team in this one as Pernille Harder headed up ahead in the first half before we bundled the ball into our own net in front of the toffee’s record crowd.
Guro Reiten was clattered for a penalty moments later and Harder rolled in the spot kick to restore our lead.
Niamh Charles caught them on the break for the late third.
Tuesday 18 October
Leyton Orient 2:3 Chelsea U21
They don’t just teach them how to play but how to entertain.
This match was amazing as we turned up late and turned on the afterburners late to bounce back from 2-1 down in style.
Omari Hutchinson is really settling in well and opened the scoring for us with a driving run and finish which highlighted his touch and ability.
The Os were back in it through an accidental own-goal and a soft penalty. Eddie Beach nearly got a glove on
Looking out of the competition Hutchinson fed Malik Mothersille on the break for the equaliser and then the same two players combined for the winner as Hutchinson squared the ball at pace cutting out the whole of the east London defence.
The game was quite done for incident as Hutchinson cleared a late header off the line.
The Chelsea bus took nearly six hours to get across town for the match, leaving Cobham at 2.30pm for a game that didn’t start until 8.30. Brisbane Road is difficult to find from the station but satnav should have sorted most of those problems.
The win means we top the group on goals scored ahead of Sutton United. We qualify for a home game in the knockout rounds. After recent slips this could be a catalyst for this squad to grow from.
N’Golo Kane is going to miss four months after surgery on his hamstring problem. If the op clears up his persistent hamstring problems it will be well worth it and six weeks of the lay-off will be in the World Cup vacuum. Then all we have to do is get him to sign a new contract.
Wednesday 19 October
Brentford 0:0 Chelsea
On the up side we had the better chances and Kepa made another couple of good saves in yet another clean sheet.
The questions, possibly unfairly, will be around the changed line up. Did Potter take Brentford too lightly?
Armando Broja deserves his chance and Kai Havertz is in form but leaving Aubameyang on the bench until the last ten minutes seems poor.
The one shot on target in the first hour, a rasping Azpilicueta effort beaten wide, wasn’t good enough but Christian Pulisic and Aubameyang had chances. Carney Chukwuemeka could have made a name for himself late on but a draw on the night was a disappointing but fair result.
Yes, we usually go on at some length but fell asleep on the sofa watching this one and couldn’t be bothered to watch the whole match back. The diary is getting old.
Thursday 20 October
PSG 0:1 Chelsea
Millie Bright volleyed in a Guro Reiten cross into the roof of the net after a corner was only half cleared. It was a close game after that but we showed no nerves and little respect for the opposition or occasion. We consistently closed down well and created the better chances.
In a difficult group this was the perfect start.
Cristiano Ronaldo will not be in the United squad for their visit on Saturday night. The sulky, cry baby didn’t want to play as a substitute for
Saturday 22 October
Chelsea 1:1 Manchester United
Graham Potter take some credit for realising his midfield was being outnumbered and changing to a back four. We struggled before the change but took the game to United afterwards and the penalty was just reward, even if we had struggled to make clear chances.
We keep thinking Jorginho is going to trip but he keeps putting them away.
There was a sickening inevitability about their equaliser. After several weeks of clean sheets it seemed absurd to have a header adjudged by goal-line technology break the sequence.
Ben Chilwell didn’t hide his disappointment at the end. “It feels like a defeat” was all he could say.
It is four points dropped in a disappointing week. Time for Potter to show us that he is better than sixth or seventh place.
Chelsea U21 3:0 Blackburn Rovers
Better result for the stiffs as a dominant performance somehow saw 0-0 at half-time but Omari Hutchinson’s turn and surge fed Burstow for the opener on the hour. Hutchinson was brought down for the penalty, which he picked himself up to score, that made it two right at the death.
Not quite the death, in the six-minute overtime Ben Elliot tapped in Jude Soonsup-Bell’s cross.
Mark Robinson’s side are starting to gel nicely.
Sunday 23 October
Brighton & Hove Albion 0:2 Chelsea
Emma is still recovering but steel is still the watchword for her side. We have slipped up against Brighton in recent years, they make us work hard but today goals from Niamh Charles, Beth England was credited with tapping it in, and Pernille Harder saw us keep pace at the top. Arsenal beat Liverpool away and Manchester United scraped past bottom club Leicester.
Tuesday 25 October
RB Salzburg 1:2 Chelsea
This was back to our best. Some of the attacking movement in the first half was everything missing in the last two draws. We started as a swarm against a home side who were on a 40-match unbeaten run.
Havertz looked lively up front, flattened their goal keeper after only a few minutes and linked well with Kovačić and Pulisic.
Passing through their high press was consistently good and at the odd set-piece threat Kepa was solid.
The early hurly-burly subsided we started to dominate possession and lure Salzburg with patient side-to-side passing until Kovačić lashed the ball into the top corner with the whole stadium stunned.
Aubameyang nearly doubled the lead but his header was clawed away by Köhn in the Salzburg goal and Havertz couldn’t get his foot round the rebound. And then we slashed open the home defence only for Aubameyang to tamely hit the goalkeeper for what would have been goal of the round. Havertz headed straight at Köhn and Aubameyang had another good chance as he followed in behind the offside Havertz and Kovačić as we fashioned a chance with almost every attack.
The second half had only just started when we survived a penalty appeal, the ball struck Kovačić’s hand, which reminded everyone how fragile a 0-1 lead is… they only took another minute to equalise, caught on the break, Adamu finishing Wöber’s cross.
Jorginho’s flashing header was again point-blank hooked off the line and Pulisic couldn’t juggle the ball into a shooting position before running out of pitch.
We needn’t have worried as Pulisic found Havertz and he flicked in his shot from the edge of the D. In off the underside of the bar.
The rest of the game belonged to the hosts as we collapsed back into our shell. We needed to endure, Kepa got a few chances to show off, Silva cleared one off the line and endure we did with few real worries.
The win means we top the group and finished group winners when Milan beat Dinamo in the evening kick-off.
RB Salzburg U19 5:1 Chelsea U19
With players away on international duty, a young squad and an awful penalty decision it was nice of the club to organise a rare live stream for this one.
Conceding a soft opener didn’t help but Malik Mothersille headed us level and we looked to be in the match but a penalty for a point-blank hand ball was absurd and yellow card just rubbed salt in the proverbials.
After that and, to be charitable, perhaps we got distracted by the gorgeous mountain scenery. Bit of Surrey are leafy and pleasant but imagine playing in front of the Alps every afternoon.
Wednesday 26 October
Chelsea 8:0 KF Vllaznia
Sam Kerr had a night, four goals and a back flip. Three up at the break as Sam go the first two of her haul and Pernille Harder slotted the other.
Second period and Sam grabbed her hat-trick goal from a corner and a fourth before Harder finished a rebound from a Beth England shot, Katerina Svitkova scored her first in blue.
Harder completed her own hat-trick to make it eight. There was even time for Beth to hit the post – nine would have been greedy.
Sal is the first woman to score four in a Champions League game.
We are top of the group after Real Madrid and PSG drew the other match nil-each.
Saturday 29 October
Brighton & Hove Albion 4:1 Chelsea
This was a disgrace. Potter, of all people, underestimated Brighton and got his tactics backwards.
Brighton’s new manager had no wins and few shots on target before this match but we gifted the game by half-time.
It could have been much, much worse, Thiago cleared two off the line before they scored. Trossard netted but the chance came simply because we were outnumbered in midfield and the home side wanted the ball.
Both own-goals were a bit cruel but Potter didn’t react. He selected Sterling and Pulisic as wing-backs against a determined home attack our defence was left exposed on its flanks time and again. Picking two inside-forwards as wing-backs meant we had no attacking width.
Kai Havertz headed us back into it at the start of the second period but we didn’t build on that.
Perhaps beige is a poor choice for an away strip.
Potter can only have been trying to give a present to his old club. Tactics and motivation were completely wrong, amateurishly so, two attacking wingbacks left us hopelessly exposed and we could have lost by more.
The observation that Potter is a good coach but Tuchel was a great one comes to mind.
We did lose matches under the German but rarely as shamefully as this. The question arises, after we struggled to a draw against Brentford and a weak Manchester United side last weekend, if Potter is even a good coach. To underestimate your old club only weeks after leaving is a disgrace. Picking a side with five attackers as if we would be swarming forward and dominating the match is imbecilic.
“Potter Out” banners are likely if we repeat a showing as awful as this again.
West Bromwich Albion U18 1:2 Chelsea U18
A good win for the youth team. Tudor Mendel-Idowu put us ahead in the first half and Donal McNeilly extended the lead. There was debut for Shim Mheuka, only just 15, and three other U16 players.
Fans sometimes despair when the youth team or reserves turn in poor results but should always bear in mind that we field teams way under the age limit to push player development.
The shaky Uefa Youth League performances this season were just good experience for the squad for next season. Should we qualify.
Sunday 30 October
Chelsea 3:1 Aston Villa
Laureen James opened the scoring and after the blip of an equaliser added a second. She then turned provider for Sam Kerr to scored one on the hour and despite huffing and puffing we had to settle for the three.
Emma Hayes was fit enough to watch from the stands and while she may not be back straight away she is clearly on the mend.
The Brighton side that held up our women and fought so hard last week surrendered 0-8 to Tottenham.
Brighton & Hove Albion U21 2:2 Chelsea U21
A pattern is developing for the stiffs, good leads are ebbing away in injury time and you have to hope the players are not getting superstitious.
First Mason Burstow and then Omari Hutchinson put us into a two-goal lead at the start of the second period. Ben Elliot could have added to the score but fire just wide.
It was an even encounter however and the Brighton equaliser came with just a couple of minutes to go. There was still time to hit their post but a draw was a fair reflection.