Monday 12 December
Peter Brabrook has died at the age of 79. Peter was the youngest member of our first league winning side in 1954/55 and played with us for eight seasons. He will be missed.
Antonio Conte was asked at the press conference ahead of tomorrow’s game whether he was worried we might face a points deduction after being charged with failing to control our players during the late biff in the Man City game.
He said he though the prospect remote and unfair. A points deduction for being attacked by City players would be extremely harsh, given that Chelsea players were the ones trying to clam the situation down
Tuesday 13 December
Chelsea U18 5:0 Cardiff City U18
The FA Youth Cup rolled around again and this was the perfect start in defence of our crown.
Mason Mount got the ball rolling as Dujon Sterling set him up after a poor clearance.
The rest of the goals came in a burst of activity in the second-half with Ike Ugbo, Tariq Uwakwe and Jacob Maddox all adding to Welsh woes.
Given our recent run of success in this competition there must be a degree of pressure on the coach at the start of each new campaign and Jody Morris looks like his side are handling it well.
The failing to control your players committee looked at the evidence through the wrong end of a telescope to fine us £100,000 and City £35,000.
If you watch the footage it is clear that City are instigators of all the violence and Chelsea players are trying to calm the situation down. Nat Chalobah did push Aguero but he was only reacting to the violence of the tackle and protecting his colleague.
In future, if you are going to be tarred with the brush anyway, they might as well grab opponents by the throat and push them over perimeter fencing because they’ll get a smaller fine.
Better news in the evening as Everton finally woke from their slumbers and brushed aside Arsenal with a late header to make it 2-1. A win tomorrow night and we will be six points clear.
Wednesday 14 December
Sunderland 0:1 Chelsea
No Hazard, no Matic, no problem as Cesc Fabregas stroked the ball into the corner five minutes before the break to preserve our winning run and set us six points ahead at the summit. We sit happier than a Christmas fairy with a pine branch up her backside.
We needed Thibaut Courtois to block away one second-half effort with his legs before he pulled off one of the saves of the season just at the death preserved the points. Old boy, Patrick van Aanholt, controlled the ball neatly and volleyed powerfully but our stopper threw out a glove as the ball came through a crowd and deflected behind.
Earlier in the day and Cesar Azpilicueta put pen to a new contract that keeps him at the club until 2020.
Oscar was busy telling anyone who would listen that he’d rather stay and fight for his place rather than join Andre Villas-Boas in Shanghai. The rumoured move would be worth around £60m and for a great player, but one not getting a game at the moment, that kind of cash is difficult to turn down.
Thursday 15 December
Birmingham City have appointed Gianfranco Zola to replace the popular and successful Gary Rowett. Zola is on a bit of hiding to nothing as the Blues were close to a play-off place and the manager was well liked and respected locally. If they do gain promotion fans will say it was Rowett’s team and if they miss out it will be Gianfranco’s fault.
Friday 16 December
Chelsea U23 0:1 Dinamo Zagreb
The development squad looked at sixes and seven tonight and failed to create enough chances. Their winner was a towering header and we will have to beat Swansea next time out and hope Feyenoord can deny Dinamo a point to progress.
The club announced their financial returns for the year and the picture is cloudy – a operating profit of £5m was wiped away by a £75m exceptional cost in compensating Adidas for terminating their contract. The new Nike deal must be stratospheric to make up for that.
Saturday 17 December
Crystal Palace 0:1 Chelsea
Freezing fog and an early start made this a potentially difficult task but we soldiered on. Diego Costa’s headed winner was the first headed goal we have scored all season.
The Brazilospaniard finally picked up his fifth booking of the campaign three months after his last one, as did Kante, and both will now miss the Bournemouth game on Boxing day.
The win was our eleventh in a row, a club record, and hauls us nine-points ahead of the pack with Man City and Arsenal meeting tomorrow and Liverpool not playing until Monday we can all enjoy the league table for a while.
Sunday 18 December
Manchester City cut our gap to seven points by beating a lacklustre Arsenal after trailing at half-time.
Alex announced his retirement from football after failing to overcome injuries. Alex was part of our greatest ever team, well the best before this one, and retires with all our wishes for good luck and advice never to accept the Charlton Athletic job.
Monday 19 December
Everton held out until injury time but shipped a late goal to leave Liverpool six-points behind us in the table.
Tuesday 20 December
Posh in the cup as Peterborough beat Notts County. You’d have seen everything if you only watched the opening five minutes when Posh raced into a two-goal lead and looked like they would run riot but County stopped the rot at least and missed a penalty that would have made things interesting.
We have met Peterborough in the cup before – guffing them 5-0 fifteen years ago.
Wednesday 21 December
Steve Holland has decided to take up a full-time England role as Gareth Southgate’s assistant at the end of the current football season. Antonio Conte said it was a important step in Holland’s career.
Steve has been around in the background since 2009, first as reserve coach and then assistant first-team coach since Andre Villas-Boas – and doesn’t that seem a long time ago.
Thursday 22 December
Chelsea U23 1:2 Swansea City U23
A real Christmas turkey of a performance as we should have had them trussed up and done before the break only to let in a winner with no time left to react.
We wave goodbye to the International Cup as a result. We needed results to go in our favour even if we’d have beaten the Swans but it was a below par performance – Josimar Quintero provided our only spark in the form of a well taken opening goal.
Friday 23 December
Oscar’s departure to China has been confirmed with the price tag quoted veering between £55-60m it is obvious why the club allowed the move.
Oscar has always been a prodigiously talented footballer but one who never really commanded a place in the side.
Our FA Youth Cup date with Birmingham City will be on Wednesday 18 January at Solihull Moors FC – medals will be handed out to every fan that makes that slog.
Monday 28 December
Chelsea 3:0 Bournemouth
They came to stifle and ended up blown away like so much cherry blossom. Pedro dug the winner out of nowhere and curled his effort into the far corner. It was a delicious goal and one that flummoxed the visitors who had worked so hard to stifle our attacking three.
Hazard added a penalty, yes, we were awarded a penalty – it must be Christmas – and Pedro forced a third – absurdly credited as an own goal.
Michy Batshuayi had reason to grumble as we played without a striker in the absence of Diego Costa but the result proved the manager’s instinct sure even if loan move offers for the Belgian international will have to be batted away like a Ben Stokes final over. Meanwhile Pedro was having such an enjoyable game it was a shame he picked up the booking that means he will miss next match against Stoke.
Friday 30 December
The best left-back at the club, Jay Dasilva, is going to prove his ability at the basket case that is Charlton Athletic. Jay will hope to help haul Charlton up the League 1 table from 12th.
Saturday 31 December
Chelsea 4:2 Stoke City
The Potters came with a plan and gave Liverpool and Man City fans a chance to smile for the first time in months but as their second equaliser flew in Chelsea simply ran through the celebrating visitors to restore the lead immediately.
Stoke looked stunned as Willian added a second to his earlier strike after Stoke had equalised Gary Cahill’s first-half opener with only seconds on the second-half clock.
A lesser spotted Peter Crouch then popped up to snatch another before Willian restored the lead and Diego Costa out muscled the defence to add a fourth. Just as they think we might slip we found a way and make it 13 wins on the spin.
Happy New Year one and all.
Liverpool beat Manchester City in the evening kick-off to keep the Reds in touch with us at the top but the distance to the rest is starting to grow.
Sunday 1 January
Jamal Blackman and Jordan Houghton have had their loans extended to Wycombe and Doncaster respectively. Jordan, who also signed a new contract with Chelsea, has had a particularly solid spell at the Keepmoat as Doncaster look to push for automatic promotion from League 2.