Monday 12 August
Derby County U23 0:1 Chelsea U23
A late Michael Lavinier goal won the opening Premier League 2 game of the season. A scrappy game saw us dominate possession and keep calm and patient before snatching the winner.
Tuesday 13 August
Manchester City have been found in breach of the same regulation that led to our transfer ban and guess what, they have been let off with a fine. City obviously scare Fifa more than we do because they have been handed a pocket money fine £315,000 while we were banned for two transfer windows.
It stands to reason that City are not punished after they were let off Financial Fair Play rules. City said that in this instance their beach of the rules was due to a misunderstanding.
Weirdly City have form having been banned from signing youth team players by the Premier League and fined in 2017.
At a time when our defence is under scrutiny it is with a heavy heart we learn that Kenneth Omeruo has finally left us for Leganes in La Liga.
Kenneth spent almost all of his time with us on loan but from the start and his international performances for Nigeria – he kept Didier Drogba in his pocket in one of his first games – suggested he was good enough.
Celtic screwed up their qualification for the Champions League by losing 3-4 at home to our old friends CFR Cluj under the tutelage of one Dan Petrescu.
Wednesday 14 August
Liverpool 2:2 Chelsea
Another brilliant performance with little to show for it. We lost the penalty shootout in cruel circumstances when Tammy Abraham’s penalty struck the ’keeper’s foot as he was diving out of the way. It was clear that the Liverpool ’keeper moved early but, we have often said, VAR isn’t fair or objective. In the match, just at Old Trafford, we dominated long stretches and created chances.
N’Golo Kanté was man-of-the-match for many as he not only won the ball in midfield but pressed the side forward. It was a remarkable performance from a player coming back from injury who calmly played 120-minutes.
Olivier Giroud started as well and scored our opener when Christian Pulisic found him with an inch-perfect pass.
We were twice denied with late lineman’s flags as Pulisic and Mount both had efforts ruled out by VAR for offside. We hit the woodwork in the first-half too.
Our equaliser in extra-time was a dubious penalty shout but VAR only had one angle of the incident and decided it wasn’t an obvious error.
The penalties were disappointing as Kepa got down well to get a hand to two Liverpool kicks but couldn’t keep them out.
In the end, we lost the shootout after standing toe to toe with one of last season’s stand out teams.
We are not the finished article yet but this team and manager seem ready to make their mark.
Thursday 15 August
Kick it Out are calling on Twitter to do more to stop racist abuse after racist trolls labelled Tammy Abraham with filthy abusive names after his miss in the shootout.
It is difficult to describe the contempt we have for racists who abuse others on social media, we have even more contempt for racists who call themselves Chelsea fans. You cannot have watched Paul Canoville play and be a racist, because if you can call a player nigger then you cannot support their achievements on the pitch; you cannot have taken any delight in the defensive qualities of Paul Elliot; Ken Monkou, Frank Sinclair; yours is not the team of foreigners like Dan Petrescu or Gianfranco Zola; Chelsea is the club of Michael Duberry, Celestine Babayaro, Marcel Desailly and Mario Melchiot; we are Blues, we supported William Gallas and Geremi, we supported Claude Makelele and Didier Drogba; Salomon Kalou, Ashley Cole, Michael Essien, Obi John and Florent Malouda; we celebrated Nicolas Anelka, Jose Bosingwa, Ramires, and Victor Moses; N’Golo Kanté; we want the best future for Callum Hudson-Odoi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham; we are
Chelsea fans and you are racists and the two cannot mix; this is the club led to the FA Cup in 1997 by Ruud Gullit, we took great pride and great joy in that victory, you cannot, racists have no part in anything this club has achieved.
We take great pride in the club we support and we recognise that every player whatever the colour their skin, the nationality or their religion bring their personality, their dedication and their skill to the team. If you can’t support that then don’t follow Chelsea.
The club have vowed to ban anyone found guilty from the ground permanently and good riddance.
Friday 16 August
Frank Lampard added his voice to the condemnation of the abuse Tammy Abraham suffered on Twitter. He said he was angry: “Tammy Abraham asked me to take the fifth penalty because he wanted to take it, wanted to stand up, wanted to be brave on a big night and the world is watching. At the same time … someone sitting behind a keyboard or a phone said the most disgusting thing possible.”
“I don’t know how it is allowed. Something needs to be done as well as changing mindsets … I’m so angry for Tammy and angry for us as a club because that’s not what we are about. The club does a lot of work against discrimination at all levels.”
Saturday 17 August
Chelsea U18 4:3 West Ham United U18
This was a far more dominant display than the score suggests. Goals from Myles Peart-Harris, Dynel Simeu and two from Armando Broja.
VAR ruined Man City’s winner against Spurs after the ball brushed against a City arm as it flew through to the goal scorer. Ifab’s latest act of vandalism is strangling the game.
Conor Gallagher scored another goal and won a penalty as Charlton earned a 2-2 draw at Barnsley.
Sunday 18 August
Chelsea 1:1 Leicester City
A way to go yet for Frank Lampard’s team but what a start: we created seven or eight decent chances in the opening ten-minute spell. Mason Mount slotted one from his own sharp bit of closing down. He celebrated like he had been waiting for a goal at Stamford Bridge since the age of nine… which he actually had.
Leicester grew into the game and started to dominate possession and then, in the second-half, chances too.
Their equaliser was due in part to the zonal marking we are proving doesn’t work very well.
We just about hung on for the draw as Leicester created the better chances. Frank and Jody have been learning quickly and they will have to work on the defending from set-pieces and closing down midfield when the opposition are on top.
For those who were disappointed that we didn’t win they should remember that we are only three competitive games into a season in which we are blooding a lot of young players, having lost two of our most influential players and employing a novice manager. We were playing a strong side with an experienced head coach who invested heavily in the summer … if you add up all those factors we have had a great start to the season.