Wednesday 1 November
Chelsea 2:0 Blackburn Rovers
The returning Benoit Badiashile pounced on a loose knockdown to open the scoring and burst some of the anxiety. That Blackburn took that as a signal to create chances was a little worrying. No VAR review of the handball and thankfully they put their best chance wide.
Cole Palmer seized on another loose ball to feed Sterling for a neat curled finish for the second.
It helped that Enzo and Reece both returned, and that Reece didn’t limp off. Both he and Badiashile lasted an hour. Alex Matos came on for a home bow. He came off the bench against Fulham.
Newcastle United at home in the quarter-final.

Friday 3 November
Chelsea U21 2:2 Fulham U21
A frustrating night as we should have wrapped this up. Both goals from Leo Castledine. But he was denied a hat-trick by an offside flag and Fulham didn’t give up, equalising late on.

Saturday 4 November
Aston Villa 0:6 Chelsea
The staggering news that Emma Hayes is to leave at the end of this season was numbed, somewhat, by this result.
Fran Kirby reminded us what a special talent she is; playing in her strike partners, linking play and shooting. She is the complete player.
Kirby could have had a hat trick in the first ten minutes. We made so many chances that it took Millie Bright to finally put us ahead, with a left-foot bloot. Kirby fired home a loose ball for 0-2 but the chances kept coming, and going.
Fran had another chalked off for offside just after the break. Johanna Rytting Kaneryd then ran half the length of the pitch to score on the break and Aggie Beever-Jones replace the limping Kirby just before the hour. Ashley Lawrence scored her first for the club before Beever-Jones broke free on the left and was unchallenged in finishing the fifth.
Niamh Charles thumped in a sixth to complete the scoring.
He news about Emma Hayes departure came as a shock to everyone. The statement said she was leaving to take up “a new opportunity outside the WSL and club football”. Thinly disguised code for the US women’s national team.
Whatever she achieves in the rest of her time here, Emma has moved Chelsea from also rans to perpetual champions. On a wider focus, she has changed the sport in which she works, driving on standards and pushing the club and the FA to improve the game overall.
There simply is no replacing her; good luck to whomever gets the job.

Sunday 5 November
Joe Edwards is favourite for the Millwall job. Our former U21s boss and first team coach has bobbed to the top of a long list to replace Gary Rowett.
Andy Myers, currently our loans coordinator, has been invited to be his assistant.
We are not sure if we could cheer for that Cold Blow Lane mob, but we wish the coaching staff well.

Monday 6 November
Tottenham Hotspur 1:4 Chelsea
Very difficult to describe the chaos in the first half, or the chaos in the second. Five goals ruled out, three of ours – one handball and two offside. They went ahead with a deflection off Levi Colwill, who wasn’t as committed to closing down as he might. We started a little off the pace but a snorting tackle from Destiny Udogie, who lunged in on Raheem Sterling and could have taken his leg off but just missed, seemed to wake us up. Yellow card.
We got back into it after Jackson was adjudged offside when Caicedo’s drive went through his legs but before the ball broke to the Ecuadorian, Romero slashed a tackle into Enzo’s fibula. Straight red.
Cole Palmer’s start in blue means he is writing himself into the team. But even then, his kick was touched onto the post, before ricocheting in.
The high stands at the Spurs Dome allow a Subbuteo view of the pitch and the basketball style play of the start of the second period turned to Chelsea’s advantage when Udogie tried a second lunge on Sterling and saw a second yellow.
Nicolas Jackson’s first headed chance from the freekick was somehow scooped off the line by Højbjerg but he didn’t have to wait too long.
Chances kept coming. Reece James flashed a chance wide Cucurella messed one up on the break but too many balls were slightly overhit, runs mistimed. Eventually James found a through ball to Sterling who squared to Jackson for his first.
Eric Dier thought he’d levelled but another offside flag made it five goals ruled out on the night.
It seems churlish to criticise a referee who sent off two of your opponents but he fell for every Tottenham wheeze. They threw themselves to the ground trying to get more Chelsea bookings… and the referee obliged. He handed out freekicks where there was no contact, booked Jackson for being near a Spurs player who fell over, just before Colwill exploded, Malo Gusto for being near a Spurs player who fell over, Mudryk for contesting a 50/50 ball with their ’keeper and Les Ugochukwu, and nobody saw what that was for. Almost as if he felt he owed Tottenham a bunch of favours.
But the referee’s fussiness broke up our rhythm and Son had a chance to level just before Jackson scored his second on the break and then his third and then had a chance for four but blazed over.

Joe Edwards was confirmed as Millwall boss earlier. The Lions were considering Nathan Jones, former Southampton and Luton boss, but Edwards has an impressive CV. We wish him well, while still wishing Millwall ill; cognitive dissonance.

Tuesday 7 November
Oxford United 5:0 Chelsea U21
Oxford shrugged off losing their manager, Liam Manning who is off to Bristol City, to beat our U21s soundly. We didn’t defend well, couldn’t make much headway in attack and in the end looked poor.
The Us are flying in League One, beating them to go through was probably always going to be too tough.

Wednesday 8 November
David Fofana scored for Union to earn a draw in Naples. It was the first time in months Union Berlin haven’t lost.

Thursday 9 November
Raheem Sterling missed the England squad, again. Reece James misses out because he hasn’t played 90-minutes since his return from injury, Conor Gallagher and Levi Colwill are both in the squad.
Excluding Raheem from this squad, whatever noises Southgate makes, suggests that is it for the winger… unless Gareth is replaced.

Sunday 12 November
Chelsea 4:4 Manchester City
Anthony Taylor was never going to help us but he handed City the lead when Haaland pulled Cucurella back to gain an advantage and fell when he felt the left-back pull back. It wasn’t a penalty.
It presaged a dramatic game. We got back on terms when Thiago Silva flashed in a corner and led when Raheem Sterling tapped in James’ square ball.
City equalised before the break with an unmarked header.
We were behind when Haaland bundled in, without touching the ball with his hand. We levelled again as Nicolas Jackson added to his growing confidence by latching on to a loose ball and finishing before their ’keeper could react.
They were ahead via a deflection but we were awarded a late penalty. Cole Palmer – boyhood City fan – didn’t hesitate and blasted the ball into the top corner. Save that. Armando Broja came off the bench to be fouled for the penalty.
Once again we are not reporting on a match but listing the incidents. Ciy fouled every time we had the ball. A push by the player immediately behind the opponent in possession, means that player is off balance and the second City player can win possession. They cheat and referees collude in that style of play.

After the match on Sky, Micah Richards said “This Chelsea side… there is something special, something brewing… they’ve got the right manager, young players, who want to create something… I just love them.” The ex-City defender said all that.

Everton 0:3 Chelsea
We never quite got into gear. An early goal from Jessie Fleming, her first of the season, promised a lot but stubborn Everton meant and age passed before Sam Kerr tipped in a Joanna Rytting Kaneryd cross and Aggie Beever Jones smacked her, now traditional, goal off the bench. This one probably the pick of her three this term.
Everton were at it today and deserved on at least. A brilliant Berger was converted but from an offside position.

Leeds United U21 1:2 Chelsea U21
PL2 Cup action and Deivid Washington finished two on the break as Leeds pressed and we caught them on the break.
They didn’t get anything until 15-minutes from the end but we rode out a nervous finish.

Tuesday 14 November
The US women’s national team has confirmed that Emma Hayes will be their next coach. She will take charge in May as soon as the domestic season has finished.
Emma cut her teeth in US soccer as head coach of the Long Island Lady Riders and then the Chicago Red stars. She really impressed behind the scenes in New York and Washington as a consultant before Chelsea offered her a job in 2012. She hasn’t looked back.

Wednesday 15 November
Real Madrid 2:2 Chelsea
Emma was furious after her side were denied a comfortable win in Madrid.
Although the host had taken a fortunate, deflected lead, we controlled the game and found the equaliser through Niamh Charles’ header.
Same Kerr put us ahead only for a tackle, clearly outside the penalty area to be given as a spot-kick.
There is no VAR in women’s champions league and had there been our winner would not have been ruled out as offside, when Charles timed her run, as she came from deep when the pass was played.

The Guardian are reporting that Roman Abramovich used offshore companies to pay agents and even Antonio Conte during his ownership. The Premier League is looking into payments involving the transfer of Willian and Samuel Eto’o. The disclosures are complex and it is not clear if FFP rules have been bent or broken but with the Owners fessing up to Uefa it seems we should expect a points deduction.

Friday 17 November
Everton have been handed a 10-point deduction by the Premier League for exceeding the profit and sustainability rules. The deduction is the steepest punishment ever handed down and puts the Toffees in the relegation zone and off the bottom only by goal difference.
If Everton got a 10-point hit, they’ll probably relegate us for the recently reported irregularities under Roman, and wind-up City, demolish their stadium and sow the ground with salt.
The Premier League made much of this decision coming from an ‘independent’ commission but when you select and appoint the ‘independent’ commission, set their mandate and explain in advance what outcome you expect, how independent is the commission?

Leicester City away in the third round of the FA youth cup. Dates to be confirmed.

Saturday 18 November
Chelsea 5:1 Liverpool
At Stamford Bridge, in front of a big crowd, with a hattrick hero, it is easy to see the legacy Emma Hayes is leaving at Chelsea
Part of that is the measured way she introduced Lauren James to the squad and the striker is really starting to repay that patience. Scoring the first after a sweeping move, Lauren then crossed for Aggie Beever-Jones to head in and negate the Liverpool equaliser. James’ second, in the second half, was driven in from an angle, her third bundled in on the break. Sjoeke Nüsken struck the fifth from Johanna Rytting Kaneryd’s cross.
However much we love Kingsmeadow, the women’s team look at home playing at the Bridge.
So much happened, we nearly overlooked Sophie Ingle setting a new WSL appearance record. The Wales midfielder, 32, has played 184 league games, as well as 120 internationals. She will set a big record for those that follow. Millie Bright, who was rested from today’s much changed line up, is close on 177.

Sunday 19 November
Scotland, under Steve Clarke, qualified for the Euros next summer, after a spirited 3-3 with Norway.

Monday 20 November
England slugged a 1-1 from North Macedonia and topped the group as Italy and Ukraine drew 0-0 despite a clear foul on Mykhailo Mudryk right at the death. Ukraine will have to go through the play offs.

Tuesday 21 November
Newcastle United are free to loan players from the four Saudi clubs co-owned by the PIF after attempt to ban the corrupt practice fell one vote short. It is not clear of our Owners voted to enable us to loan players from struggling Strasbourg.

Thursday 23 November
Chelsea 4:1 Paris FC
Paris have some notable European scalps already this season so we had reason to show them respect. Nobody told Sam Kerr and she battered us into an early lead, put us back ahead and wrapped up her hattrick by lobbing the keeper at a stretch.
Sophie Ingle added the fourth in injury time.
Paris created some chances as we got sloppy in possession, Emma was tearing out her hair.
BK Häcken beat Madrid in the group’s other tie, which means we are two points behind the Swedish side, who we meet next, after the international break.

Saturday 25 November
Newcastle United 4:1 Chelsea
Where were we? Oh, yes, dreadful performance with a few flashes of quality but out muscled and easy dispatched. Raheem Sterling an honourable exception with a brilliant freekick.
Better we move on from this shambles quickly.
Newcastle had a number of senior players out injured, trusted a 17-year-old in midfield and walked all over the owner’s project.
We have said the same or similar after each international break. There never seems to be real progress.

Sunday 26 November
Chelsea 5:2 Leicester City
Leicester made this a real fight and the referee allowed them to. Lauren James scored early and then forced an own goal. But Leicester hit back and Sam Kerr needed to restore a two-goal cushion. But back they came as a striker ran into our ’keeper and was rewarded with a freekick, which was scrambled in.
In the second, Lauren chipped a second and a late, Aggie Beever-Jones, strike lent the scoreline a touch of respectability.
An international break follows.

Terry Venables has left us at the age of 80. Terry moved to Chelsea when he was 15 and starred in two FA Youth Cup victories in 1960 and 61. Always an influential figure he helped us to promotion in 63, won our first League Cup in 64/65 but fell out with Tommy Docherty and was sold to Spurs.
He took his coaching badges when he was 24 and managed, with nous and tactical flair in England and at Barcelona. If he had been trusted as England manager we might have won something but he was sacked after a semi-final appearance at Euro 96.
A great figure in the game as a player, coach and pundit. He was a real cockney wide boy all his life. He will be missed.

Monday 27 November
Sam Kerr has pulled out of the Australia squad for internationals against Canada next week. Sam hasn’t fully recovered from the injury that kept her our of the early stages of her home World Cup. This time she has a foot injury.

Tuesday 28 November
Chelsea U21 1:4 Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace U21
A friendly in which we were handed a pasting. Unlucky for a deflected opener, watched as a slaloming run added another. Deivid Washington headed us back into the contest but, while we pushed for an equaliser, we also conceded a penalty to trail 1-3 at the break.
They added a fourth on the break in the second. We weren’t terrible, but it was difficult to pick positives out of an ordinary night.

Friday 1 December
England 3:2 Netherlands
Thrilling stuff as England fought back from 0-2 down with Lauren James setting up two of the goals. We needed a two-goal lead to top the group so qualification for the Olympics is still in the balance. England play Scotland, while the Netherlands face in form Belgium next Tuesday.

Saturday 2 December
England have been drawn to play Serbia, Denmark and Slovenia in group C at Euro 24. Scotland got Germany but on form will fancy qualifying with Hungary and Switzerland along side them in group A.

Sunday 3 December
Chelsea 3:2 Brighton & Hove Albion
It wouldn’t be Pochettino’s Chelsea without turning a comfortable, dominant performance into a struggle but this is a home win.
We started very well, creating chances with Sterling flying we took the lead from a corner when Badiashile hooked the ball back in and Enzo Fernandez headed in.
It was two minutes later as Levi Colwill needed the bleep from the goal-line technology to confirm his first goal for Chelsea.
Things then started to get fractious after they pulled one back Gallagher slid in o win the ball cleanly from Billy Gilmour only to see a second yellow just before the half-time whistle. There was contact but it wasn’t a booking.
Caicedo then tried to get himself sent off for a second, after picking up a first for dissent he charged into several tackles that could have seen another card. Discipline is a real problem with this squad at the moment.
Enzo Fernandez slotted a penalty to restore the two-goal cushion, when Mudryk was clattered and VAR sent the ref to his monitor. Only for a prolonged display of attack against defence see us hold out despite a very late goal back.
The ref proved his competence at the end by awarding Brighton a penalty for handball when a cross cannoned into Levi Colwill’s face. VAR corrected him.

The FA Cup third round draw handed us a home tie against Preston North End. Proper football club, who have had a good start to the season, even if the wheels have come off in the last few weeks. Ties as always first weekend in January.

The U21s game against Middlesbrough was called off at the last-minute die to a frozen pitch. That is a long way to go, for a long journey home.