Monday 3 August
Milton Keynes 1:2 Chelsea U21
An experimental XI with plenty of older players coached by Eddie Newton and Paulo Ferreira came through the last pre-season game for the U21s.
Nathan Ake equalised after Tom Hitchcock – yes, Kevin’s son – put the hosts in front. Tammy Abraham supplied the winner, as usual.
Tuesday 4 August
Dominic Solanke is the latest to take the well-worn path that leads to a season on loan in Arnhem. Southampton look to have them knocked out of Europe already but Sky will be following their progress this season.
Wednesday 5 August
Chelsea 0:1 Fiorentina
Not the result the packed crowd wanted but we are really witnessing an extended training session. Proudest smile tonight goes to Ola Aina who started and looked the part in his 45-minutes. Ruben Loftus-Cheek almost opened the scoring when his wide run took him through the defence. Apart from a couple of Gary Cahill headers over the bar that was as close as we came.
Thursday 6 August
Todd Kane has joined a Dutch club but not the usual one. Fresh with his new contract Todd joined NEC Nijmegen for the season. It should be the one in which he progresses to the first-team squad.
Mohamed Salah joined Roma for the season. His reception back at Fiorentina when the sides meet in Florence will be interesting.
Friday 7 August
Jose Mourinho signed a new four-year deal as he looks to settle at the club for a good few years.
Saturday 8 August
Norwich City U18 1:4 Chelsea
Thumping start to the U18 season with Ali Suljic opened the scoring before Ike Ugbo scored a hat-trick. This was a new start for the U18s as most of last term’s squad have stepped up. Joe Edwards will be very proud of the first year scholars and schoolboys who made up his team today.
Sunday 9 August
Chelsea 2:2 Swansea City
The warning signs were there: not from the visitors but from the unholy alliance of referees and the BBC.
The turning point came when Thibaut Courtois was sent off for tripping Batfetimbi Gomis and a penalty was awarded. The offence happened right on the edge of the box and the contact appeared to be outside with the player falling into the box.
The BBC on Match of the Day put a freeze frame on the contact declaring the referee got the decision right while their own freeze frame showed the contact was just outside. Expect the usual biased coverage from MotD who last season delighted on declaring that Chelsea players dived while showing footage of the trip.
The side started brightly against a stronger City than expected. Oscar grabbed the first goals when his free-kick curled in at the far post with their ’keeper expecting contact. 1-0.
The equaliser came from a thrilling piece of skill as Courtois tipped a Gomis header out Andre Ayew first shot and then flicked the rebound away from the blocking tackle before firing in. 1-1. Ayew will score dozens in this league with skills like that.
Just as the Welsh were getting into songs about arias Willian’s shot deflected in off the boot of a defender. 2-1.
There was an earlier incident for the referee to deny us a penalty when the defender went through Diego Costa to get the ball. He got a touch but if that incident had happen at the other end he would have blown for the spot-kick.
The game was a useful exercise in defence but it is a bit of a shame to realise that referees are already primed to spoil the party. Don’t expect a single penalty.
Alex Davey joined Peterborough United for a month until the beginning of September. The Posh currently play in League 1 but lost Davey’s first game 0-2 to Rochdale.
Sunday 10 August
Liverpool U21 0:1 Chelsea U21
A goal right at the death stole this and gave a huge boost to Adi Viveash’s new look side. Charly Musonda dominated in midfield and it was his pass in the third minute of injury time that Tammy Abraham steered home.
Chelsea 4:0 Birmingham City
The women celebrated their return from the FA Cup win with an emphatic win made all the more impressive after Gemma Davison was sent off. Fran Kirby scored on her debut as a sub.
Spare a though for Petr Cech, as if to prove that it is not the individual who wears the gloves that is the problem but that Arsenal’s goalkeeper is doomed to be crap, he fluffed a couple of goals as Arsenal lost at home to West Ham.