Wednesday 1 January
Brighton & Hove Albion 1:1 Chelsea
Cesar Azpilicueta has captained Chelsea 100 times now and marked the occasion with a tap-in within ten minutes to seemingly send us away with the points.
It was however another leggy performance from the young squad and there is little you can do about the Brighton equaliser – a flashing overhead kick.
With Arsenal beating Manchester United and Tottenham losing we are still ahead in the race for fourth but we will have to find a run of consistent form to get anything from the season beyond the good vibes around the stands.
Friday 3 January
Danny Drinkwater’s incident packed but unsuccessful loan with Burnley has come to an end. Injured in a nightclub scuffle Danny didn’t have much of a chance and Chelsea will be looking to sell him or place him on loan at another club.
Sabri Lamouchi, head coach at Sunday’s FA Cup visitors Nottingham Forest, has said his team stand no chance of beating Chelsea: “”I’m not a dreamer, I just want to be realistic.”
We did beat Forest 2-0 at the same stage last season but coaches are supposed to be a little more inspirational.
Chelsea U18 2:2 Arsenal U18
Marcel Lewis opened the scoring with a shot he can only have learned from watching the Karate Kid over Christmas and Joe Haigh added to the lead but a couple of late strikes meant our dominance wasn’t rewarded with all the points.
The FA Cup dawned on the New Year with Newcastle struggling to a draw with Rochdale and Brighton slumping out at home to Sheffield Wednesday.
TV managed to pick the dullest games for live screening with Manchester United failing to have a single shot at goal in a nil-each with Wolves.
Sunday 5 January
Chelsea 2:0 Nottingham Forest
Callum Hudson-Odoi is making his claim for regular first-team starts louder. His goal here on six minutes settled the nerves and his running, backed by Reece James, stopped Forest getting as much as a toe-hold in the first-half.
Hudson-Odoi supplied the shot that deflected for Ross Barclay to remind us how good he can be and, while they had a penalty ruled out by VAR, all the positive work was coming from the Blues.
And what a touch to dress the team in a replica kit to mark the 50th anniversary of our first FA Cup win.
The minute delay to kick-off to raise awareness of mental health, was somewhat lost on the crowd because 2pm is such an odd start time in the first place.
Chelsea 3:1 Reading
The media scrum around Sam Kerr’s first match for Chelsea threatened to overshadow the occasion but we managed to refocus after falling behind and Kerr played her part in distracting the defence getting their goalkeeper sent off and generally lending an air of expectation to her every touch.
Beth England started up front and scored the equaliser before the rebound from a Kerr shot was curled in by Guro Reiten, with Erin Cuthbert firing the third.
Arsenal and City both won to keep it as you were at the top.