With nothing in the Chelsea air but pitch owners – for or against – the international scene did its best to divert our attention back to the game: Florent Malouda’s France sneaked a fortunate draw with Bosnia to creep through. Petr Cech’s Czechs made it to the play-offs by beating Lithuania 4-1. Spain crushed Scotland but neither Mata nor Torres got a game. Jeffrey Bruma played again, a first competitive start, for the Netherlands as they lost 3-2 to Sweden. Neither of Belgium or Serbia made it through so Lukaku and Ivanovic can have the summer off.
Thursday 13 October
Bruce Buck has been meeting some of the CPO holders ahead of a mass leafleting at the Everton game. John Terry, as chairman of the CPO, has talked on the website about how positive a move would be: “All the fans who bought shares in Chelsea Pitch Owners have played a very important part in the history of the club. I am the president of CPO so I understand what it is about. I wouldn’t be coming out, speaking publicly and backing the club, if I didn’t believe in it. I could quite easily say nothing and let the club do their thing but I’ve been here for so long and I’ve spoken to the owner on numerous occasions. He is Chelsea-mad and wants us to be in with the Barcelonas, the Man Uniteds, and we know that doesn’t happen overnight.”
Friday 14 October
Today is a second anniversary – so, um, something paper, or is it cotton – the second anniversary of Andre Villas-Boas taking his first coaching job when he signed on the rescue Académica de Coimbra from the bottom of the Portuguese league.
Milan Lalkovic’s loan at Doncaster has come to an end. The young Slovakian earned rave reviews from staff at Doncaster but didn’t get many minutes on the pitch for the struggling Yorkshire side.
Saturday 15 October
Chelsea 3:1 Everton
We have been in the habit if drawing home games with the toffee nosed half of Liverpool but a few moments of marvellous Mata and the game was sealed before half-time.
We started like the international break was still on: play progressed slowly and all attempts at added spring tended to fizzle out with a misplaced pass or defender’s resolve.
Everton came with the purpose and intent to break with numbers to catch, and keep, us off guard. So, it was the recalled Obi John who saw most of the ball in the opening stages.
Didier Drogba was looking cumbersome, at one point he turned Jagielka only for the defender to track him and block. Perhaps the big Ivorian is starting to feel his age?
Our attacks continued to look anaemic until Mata floated the ball over the defence for Ashley Cole who managed to shin the ball across for Sturridge to plant a simple header. 1-0.
After that our attack held a little more threat but it was still a surprise to get a free-kick just before the break and find Everton standing still and watching while Frank Lampard’s delivery is headed in by John Terry. 2-0.
Immediately after the restart they had a shy that hit the outside of the post but it served as a reminder to fans and players not to go to sleep and while we still struggled to break Everton down, there was rarely a time they seriously threatened.
The best goal of the game followed as Drogba broke from the centre-circle, fed Mata out on the left and his cross was tapped in by Ramires with three helpless defenders around him. 3-0.
You can forgive the Chelsea players for switching off to a degree. They were three up without breaking a sweat and Everton’s huffing and puffing seemed to be going nowhere. Until that is a young Greek striker called Vellios slid in to convert Drenthe’s cross. 3-1.
The goal flattered Everton and we never looked like conceding another, in fact, Lampard should have restored the cushion but could only fire straight at Howard.
Oriol Romeu got another cameo and looked sharp in breaking up play and moving the ball on quickly. He will learn that he doesn’t have to do everything himself in time.
AVB showed all his usual growling pride in a successfully negotiated hurdle that takes us a point behind United and three behind City who meet next weekend.
The CPO protests were sporadic inside the ground but enthusiasticallyreceived outside. A banner on the subject was apparently refused admission.
Portsmouth youth 1:2 Chelsea youth
A victory for the fledgelings at the sixth time of asking will cheer everyone up down at the academy. Good recent performances haven’t yielded many points but goals from Amin Affane and a debut goal for new signing Islam Feruz secured the points.