Friday 1 March
Chelsea U21 2:4 Arsenal U21
A fine opening goal, from Deivid Washington, was somewhat overshadowed by the four we carelessly gave away before a closing strike from Jimmy-Jay Morgan. Not a good night.

Saturday 2 March
Brentford 2:2 Chelsea
The huff and puff of Pochettino’s Chelsea has been evident all season. Without Sterling and Mudryk we struggled for bodies forward. Enzo played some good football, but for limited periods, as often in games and our midfield, by the end looked worn out and short of ideas.
Nicolas Jackson mishit and early chance only to then thump in a header to make it two in a week. But Brentford, from a threadbare squad, continued to make chances.
The equaliser came, at the start of the second, as we watched an attack develop but didn’t follow the ball in and Roerslev tapped in an easy goal.
It didn’t wake us up. They hit a post and then the lead from an extravagant Wissa overhead kick, his third go at an overhead in the match. We didn’t seem to notice him practicing. They hit the post again as our defence continued to look ropey.
Disaffection has been just below the surface for months and recognition that Todd Boehly resembles genitalia and “fuck off Mauricio” was a little but harsh on the guy’s birthday. But with only one win, against Championship Leeds United and then only just, in recent weeks it is fair comment.
Disasi headed us level from a Palmer cross but we only created one more chance on the break as our shambles of season, shambled out of Brentford.

Sunday 3 March
Leicester City 0:4 Chelsea
All the talk before this was of where Chelsea goals are going to come from the answer was Catarina Macario on debut after nearly two-years out with injury. Emma thought enough of the Lyon striker to risk signing her in July, despite her ACL problems. It paid off straight away as the USA international scored our fourth.
Natalie Björn opened things up, Mayra Ramires ran from half way to make it two, Johanna Rytting Kaneryd scored the third before Maika Hamano peppered the target without scoring.
Clearly Macario was the story of the night and Emma was pleased from her team as well as her next team that the USA forward took only five minutes to make her mark.
The won takes us above City, who we meet in the league cup semi-final on Thursday.

Monday 4 March
Sam Kerr has been charged with racially aggravated harassment of a police officer. Sam has pleaded not guilty to using insulting, threatening or abusive words that caused alarm or distress to a police officer in January. The trial will be next year.
It seems absurd that Sam Kerr would say anything racist or that a Metropolitan copper could be alarmed or distressed by being called names.
Australian media are reporting that Sam called the officer a “stupid white bastard”. Furious Australian racists have complained that it would be an offensive term if you transposed black into the phrase. Completely missing the fact that Sam didn’t. Can you oppress a racial majority with pejoratives?
It isn’t surprising that we have to explain the very nature of racism to the Metropolitan Police.

Thursday 7 March
Manchester City 0:1 Chelsea
Lauren James scored from the edge of the box to book us a League Cup final place, collective pressing led to the chance. City had a few efforts and bleated about a possible penalty. They’ve forgotten the denial of a blatant spot kick that allowed them the league points a couple of weeks ago.
Emma praised the saves Hannah Hampton made and pointed out that we have a lot of injuries back and front.
The final is at Molineux Sunday 31 March against Arsenal.

Earlier the financial results slipped out with a £90m loss for the owner’s first season. BlueCo lost £653m. The losses will probably mean a fire-sale of Cobham graduates in the summer to balance the books as we don’t look like we can reach European football again in any decade soon.
The club pointed out that turnover has increased and the wage bill fallen, and that scrapping subsidised away travel means we will stay within the profit and sustainability rules.

Friday 8 March
Newcastle United U21 1:7 Chelsea U21
A list of the scorers again, two each for Ronnie Stutter and Leo Castledine, Williams, Richards and Moreira with the others. Dujuan Richard’s goal was his first for the club and Stutter scored a panenka at the death.

Saturday 9 March
Crystal Palace U18 0:1 Chelsea U18
Not the best match but Donnell McNeilly scored a penalty as we continue to push for the title. There is a long way still to go but winning scrappy matches helps.

Sunday 10 March
Everton 0:1 Chelsea
A good performance against a determined and penetrating Everton but Catarina Macario’s strike was enough to take us through to the FA Cup semi-finals.
Macario scored from an Aggie Beever-Jones cut back to keep up her average of a goal a game since returning from ACL injury a week or so ago.

Monday 11 March
Chelsea 3:2 Newcastle United
There have been the occasional hopeful night this season, the test is if we can carry form through to the last ten games. Pochettino needed this result to close up in mid-table, because a defeat would have left us adrift.
The night started well as early as the sixth minute. Newcastle stood off and allowed us to progress up the pitch. Cole Palmer pounced on a half-hearted clearance and his shot was deftly flicked in by Nicolas Jackson.
It was typical that we allowed an equaliser, Cucurella left flat footed and turned easily but there was little Petrovic could have done as Aleksander Isak thrashed one in.
Cole Palmer scored himself to restore the lead, when Newcastle sleepily tried to defend a throw and left a huge gap at the near post for Palmer’s shot.
The pick of the night came from Mudryk, who picked the ball off Conor Gallagher’s toe, tiptoed through a couple of challenges before rounding the goalkeeper to score.
Their second, another long-range crack didn’t create the expected panic. In fact, Petrovic had very little to do in the Chelsea goal and we saw the game out in relative comfort.
That a team in eleventh beat a team in enth and both sides stayed in the same place, is a perfect illustration of where the project is.

Tuesday 12 March
Away to Manchester United in the semi-final of the FA Cup. Tottenham will play Leicester in the other tie. Emma’s squad are bidding to win a fourth FA Cup in a row.

Mia Fishel has had successful surgery on her ACL. Only with us for 10 games of a three-year contract, Mia suffered her injury while away with the USA international squad last month. She will miss the rest of this season and the Olympics in Paris with her new international manager, Emma Hayes. We wish her a speedy recovery.

Wednesday 13 March
Chelsea U18 3:0 Brighton & Hove Albion U18
Donnell McNeilly scored a hat-trick as we finally got the measure of an awkward Brighton. The third goal was the pick as we passed through their press and McNeilly finished the sweeping move.
Up to second in the table with three games in hand on leaders West Ham.

Thursday 14 March
Cole Palmer has made the England squad. Conor Gallagher and Ben Chilwell are also called up, despite Chilwell missing Newcastle with injury.
Palmer has been our outstanding player this season and joins the senior squad for the first time. The games against Brazil and Belgium are on Saturday 23 March and Tuesday 26 March.

Friday 15 March
Chelsea 3:1 Arsenal
After an absurd sock-related delay to kick off we started in front of 32,970. The delay didn’t disconcert Lauren James, she loves Stamford Bridge, opening the scoring tonight as her powerful shot looped in off a deflating goalkeeper.
We deserved the opening as well. It had been bright, with James and Rytting Kaneryd sparking early moves and chances.
Arsenal made a game of it, tried to work forward but looked stuck in gear.
James sumptuous pass enabled the move for the second, as Erin Cuthbert’s shot was tapped in by Sjoeke Nüsken. Arsenal looked for a flag but the German international was level.
Nüsken’s second deflected a Rytting-Kaneryd shot into the corner off her backside. The Swede cut off a cross-field pass and ran from deep in her own half, only to have the ball deflect in. She didn’t look unhappy about it.
Three-down, Arsenal looked as sea but floodgates didn’t open. We still created chances but better pressing and more determined defending allowed the visitors a modicum of pride. But when they did finally score a late consolation, they needed us to do it for them. The deflection coming off Catarina Macario.
We could have been a little more gracious towards our visitors. We made them pay for new socks from the megastore.
Hannah Hampton had another really assured performance in a big game in goal and Erin Cuthbert, as always, ran the show in the middle. She said afterwards that they player had been waiting for this game: “I have a very good memory of the last game and I know that certainly the midfield battle was won by them. I take that quite personally as a player … these games are won in small margins but today we came out and were ready.” This squad will be fighting for everything this season.

Emma Hayes had a bad day as her comments about player-player relationships buried her in criticism. After this match she said that she’d let herself down with the comments but didn’t retract them.
They came as part of a debate about coach-player relationships being inappropriate. But plenty of Emma’s players over the years have had long term partners in the squad. It might be difficult if your striker is dating an opposition defender but it isn’t inappropriate.

Chelsea U21 2:3 Nottingham Forest U21
Caught on the break by a canny Forest side and however we tried to reply it just didn’t want to go in. Dujuan Richards got us back into the match in the first half and a late own-goal meant we had a chance to equalise but Forest defended well. Not every match can be a classic but this struggle will not have been welcome. We are still in the PL2 playoff picture.

Saturday 16 March
Chelsea U18 2:0 Reading U18
Ato Ampah and Charlie Runham with two goals to rescue what looked like, and felt like, a stalemate.

Sunday 17 March
Chelsea 4:2 Leicester City
Comfortable at the half with goals from Cucurella and Palmer but still looking sloppy as we wasted a penalty and a one-on-one and other chances and we contrived to throw the advantage away. A comical and absurd own-goal contribution from Axel Disasi who hoofed a back pass into his own net under minimal pressure. They then equalised with their first real chance as we wobbled on. The VAR penalty review turned a yellow card into a red but deemed the contact was outside the box. Sterling, having missed the earlier penalty, put the freekick into the Matthew Harding upper.
Chants of ‘you don’t know what you’re doing”, met Mudryk’s substitution while Sterling stayed on.
Late goals from Chukwuemeka and Madueke, the first from a Palmer flick the second all his own work, nevertheless they papered over a clumsy and disjointed performance.
Whenever we show any signs of progress, we get a showing like this. Admittedly against a form team but one who have been playing their football in the Championship this year.

We joined Manchester City and Coventry City in the hat for the semi-final draw, with Manchester United beating Liverpool in the late game. ITV decided to keep a possible United/City final by drawing us against the latter. Games to be played at Wembley the weekend of April 20-21.

Monday 18 March
Nottingham Forest have been given a four-point deduction for breaches of the profit and sustainability rules. After Everton’s punishment was reduced from ten to six last month, the panel deciding Forest’s fate seemed to have taken that reduction into account.
Toffees fans will still note that Forest lost far more than they did and walked off with a lighter sentence.

Arsenal will meet Chelsea in the women’s league cup final at Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Molineaux, on a day with no rail service from London to the midlands. The advice is to go to Milton Keynes and whistle.

Tuesday 19 March
Ajax Amsterdam 0:3 Chelsea
Lauren James ran on and netted after the Dutch defence stood still for offside. The VAR check showed that she was on from the initial pass and we had the lead.
Guro Reiten then poked the ball in only for VAR, nit-picking, to rule Sjoeke Nüsken interfering with play. It didn’t much matter as Reiten crossed minutes later for Nüsken to net the second.
Ajax really made a game of it but seemed to have no composure in front of goal. Possibly stuck in the headlights of 35,000 fans in the Johan Cruyff Arena.
Macario came on and measured a cross for Nüsken second on. the night and Chelsea’s third.
It was a very satisfying night in Amsterdam for Emma Hayes and her squad. Ajax’s prowess means we shouldn’t take the second leg lightly but the tie looks over.

Wednesday 20 March
The owners have made Chelsea a laughing-stock according to the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust . In a letter to the owners, they talk about “significant concerns” fans have about the project and that relations are close to “irreversible toxicity”. Amen.
The Trust had serious concerns about the “disconnection felt by supporters towards the majority of the team, the manager, the club ownership, and the board”.
They stopped short of telling Boehly and Clearlake to fuck off back to baseball.
The Trust’s measured letter drew attention to the lack of communication from the owners and board to which the club, in a written response said they endeavour “to have substantial dialogue on a regular basis”. Exactly.
The letter is the most impactful contribution to Chelsea in years. They went on, “The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust regretfully believes that we are close to, if not already experiencing, a significant shift in supporter opinion that could result in irreversible toxicity, almost irrespective of results on the pitch. Unless the situation improves, this seems likely to manifest itself in more targeted chanting, especially at televised games, and quite possibly more organised, overt, and impactful forms of protest by some sections of the fanbase.”
We’ve got a deal on tennis balls and will be outside Fulham Broadway for the Burnley game.

Friday 22 March
Leicester City have been referred to a panel for failing Premier League PSR rules and placed under a transfer embargo by the Football League. They immediately announced plans to sue both. Bridling that they shouldn’t have to accept punishment from a league they are not in and suggesting the EFL don’t have the power to ban them from signing new players.

Oh, and Nike and the FA have said that the tweaks to the St George’s flag on the back of the new kit is not woke and they are not going to change it.
So much of the debate about being English is taken up by people who don’t know what woke actually means and define their patriotism by their hatred of anything other than themselves.
The type of moron who bemoans, as unpatriotic, that we don’t celebrate April 23rd as George’s saint’s day, without being patriotic enough to know why we don’t celebrate saint’s days.

The U21s beat Azerbaijan 1-5 wearing the new kit in the afternoon. Noni Madueke scoring one.

Saturday 23 March
England 0:1 Brazil
Tired and disjoined is fairly common for England sides in March under Southgate. Many burbled about Brazil but although dominant in this match they are struggling to qualify for the next world cup having already lost to Argentina, Uruguay and Columbia.

Congratulations to Chesterfield, promoted from the National League with five games to spare. The Spireites, who were a whisker away from playing Chelsea in the 1997 FA Cup final, are promoted back to the league they left in 2020.
At the other end, long-doomed, Oxford City were confirmed as the first relegated side of the English 23/24 season.

Sunday 24 March
West Ham United 0:2 Chelsea
Aggie Beever-Jones opened the scoring in the second minute and Erin Cuthbert secured the points two minutes from the end of the 90 and in between West Ham could have scored.
Our hosts beat Arsenal recently and had a legitimate goal flagged off as well as missing a couple of sitters.
We go back to the top of the table on goal difference but if we are going to win the league again, as well as the cups we are going for, it might just be staggering over the line.

Monday 25 March
Marina Granovskaia has been linked to offshore payments allegedly made by Roman Abramovich to subvert the FFP rules.
Because the owners coughed to Uefa about things they found in the accounts and paid a fine, the press feel free to link all of this to corruption. Manchester City’s breaches, far more egregious, are still ‘alleged’.
Off the books payments that show up in leaked files, don’t always show the whole picture and it isn’t certain that the club should have been paying money from its accounts.
For example, Marina Granovskaia, worked for Abramovich long before she joined the Chelsea board. Payments and loans to her are not necessarily related to her work at the club.
A couple of the allegations involve Abramovich companies going into business with third parties by buying up part of their company. This looks like an under-the-counter payment to some but is a straight business transaction to others. In one instance Abramovich paid a leading scout to be his closest personal advisor about football. It is not at all clear why Chelsea should have been paying him.
The media are also being sly in reporting Abramovich’s methods and behaviour before FFP came into force, as if it happened after the rules were applied. They never miss a chance to quote Arsène Wenger and Michel Platini about financial doping. Despite that pair’s subsequent behaviour. FFP rules were adopted by Uefa in 2011 and the Premier League in 2013.
But it does look bad. If any of it can be proven, then points penalties, relegation and titles could be stripped.

Tuesday 26 March
England 2:2 Belgium
Another scrappy performance, this time in rescuing a draw with a last-minute goal. Everyone who thinks Southgate can win us the Euros should watch the football his teams play. Slow, unimaginative, restricted sideways are not descriptions of tournament-winning sides of the recent past.

A late Mykhailo Mudryk strike against Iceland saw Ukraine qualify for Euro 2024. An event Russia will not be at.

Wales lost to Poland after a penalty shootout. Wales being at the finals has become a commonplace in recent years but this squad looked thin and punching above their weight.

Wednesday 27 March
Chelsea 1:1 Ajax
A scrappy second half showed how many games we’ve played recently. And, to be fair that Ajax are a really good side. A first half Mayra Ramires goal was enough but we kept giving up clear chances and Ajax kept missing them.
They’ll need some rest before the league cup final on Sunday.
Barcelona and Bran Bergen play tomorrow night for the right to meet us in the semi-final.

Thursday 28 March
It will be Barcelona, as the Spanish giants crushed Bran 3-1 on the night 5-2 on aggregate. It is a match that should have been the final but at this end of the competition you have to play the best.
PSG will face Lyon in the other semi-final.

Saturday 30 March
Chelsea 2:2 Burnley
You couldn’t make this up. Looking shabby and second best to a team playing with ten-men and struggling in the relegation zone. Our midfield stood off and watched them pass through us and the marking at set pieces was shambolic. Welcome back from the international break.
Cole Palmer did well, scored his penalty and put us back ahead and we crafted a few chances. But they looked more like scoring.
There comes a point where it is difficult to see how the manager keeps his job or how the owners keep their seat on the board.
Irreversible toxicity it is.

Leeds United U21 2:3 Chelsea U21
Jimmy-Jay Morgan and Donnell McNeilly had us two up in this one only for Leeds to level before the break. Zac Sturge scored the goal that takes us into the PL2 Cup semi-final.

Sunday 31 March
Continental Tyres League Cup Final
Arsenal 1:0 Chelsea
Losing the league cup to Arsenal is becoming a habit. It knocks on the head unrealistic talk of a quadruple. Emma’s side have been limping through recent performances, exhausting energy levels with every game.
Mayra Ramirez hit the target from 25 yards in the first half, but VAR adjudged Erin Cuthbert to have handled. VAR isn’t usually used in women’s football so perhaps, they didn’t know that her arm was by her side, the incidental touch didn’t lead directly to the goal and hands wasn’t given on the field. So, the goal should have stood.
Arsenal’s Frida Maanum collapsed on the pitch at the end of the 90-minutes and was tended by medics from both benches. She was said to be stable in reports after the game.
Their winner looked like tiredness and while you have to congratulate them they didn’t actually bring much to the match apart from dogged defence.
Emma and Jonas Eidevall appeared not to see eye to eye at the final whistle. Ungrateful little prick.