Monday 3 August
Young Franco Di Santo has joined Blackburn Rovers on loan until January. He has already made 16 substitute appearances since his move from the Chilean side Audux Italiano. He will be at the back of the queue at Blackburn as they have Nikola Kalinic, recently signed from Hajduk Split, Benni McCarthy, El-Hadji Diouf and Jason Roberts.
Tuesday 4 August
Chelsea XI 4:0 QPR XI
Good mix of youth and experience totally dominated a young QPR team. The hastily arranged friendly between these two must be the second most played fixture in the history of the game, as they come to us for a scratch match and we return the favour.
Hilario; Hutchinson, Bruma, Mancienne, Van Aanholt; Cork, Sinclair, Mellis, Ballack; Kalou, Sturridge started the match. Daniel Sturridge had plenty of first-half touches and shots but the goals didn’t come until the second-half. Jacob Mellis volleyed in Sturridge’s cross. Kalou scored the second after Scott Sinclair floated in a corner. Ballack, Kalou and Sturridge all played an hour before being replaced by Sala, Philliskirk and Borini.
Towards the end Fabio Borini scored from the penalty spot after being brought down himself. One of the most impressive displays of the day came from Jeffrey Bruma whose thrusts forward caused QPR problems all afternoon, he scored the fourth with a neat finish round their goalkeeper.
Wednesday 5 August
Didier Drogba signs a new three-year deal. He starts the new season on 97 goals for Chelsea and will now be with us until 2012.
Michael Mancienne, Ryan Bertrand and Daniel Sturridge are in the England U21 squad for the friendly against the Netherlands on August 11th.
Reports about Salomon Kalou’sbirthday bash make for sorry reading, even Princes of the realm had to make way for the party and the bill was allegedly an extravagant £120,000.
Thursday 6 August
Scott Sinclair has joined Wigan Athletic on loan for the season. Scott has been the bright young thing around the Bridge for a few years now and at 20 will get his chance to prove his mettle in the Premiership.
Meanwhile Jose Mourinho has been complaining about our attitude to transferring players to him: “It’s very difficult for a Chelsea player to come to me,” he complained ahead of the Italian super cup, “in the summer we were told he (Deco) was almost free to come. Two weeks later, when they know Inter are interested, it goes zero to five (million) and for Carvalho from five to 15 (million). Something like that,” all of which sounds a little sour. The idea that we would give Deco away and put a Aldi price tag on Carvalho sounds a little like Jose has been listening to the player’s agents not the club.
Back at the Bridge squad numbers are out and it is as you were, Yuri Zhirkov takes 18, Ross Turnbull 22, and Studge (as we’ll have to get used to calling him) wears 23.
Kalou’s party was a little less exciting than made out apparently. The booze bill was nowhere near as reported and was paid for by friends. Salomon doesn’t drink.
Friday 7 August
Patrick van Aanholt has joined Coventry City until January, the 18-year-old defender is out on his first loan.
Sunday 9 August
Chelsea 2:2 Manchester United
(4-1 on penalties)
An important hoodoo might have been laid to rest but this match held so much more than our first penalty shootout win since Ipswich Town in the League Cup 11 years ago, when that cup was still sponsored by Coca Cola.
It is apt that the FA renamed this match the Community Shield because there was precious little charity on show, we scored when they thought we should have played the ball out and Alex Ferguson accused everybody of incompetence or cheating or both. You’d have thought it was a Champions League semi-final given the way United carried on.
Both sides were near full strength and Chelsea, with Zhirkov injured and Sturridge left out were pretty much as you were from last term.
Chelsea didn’t start well, Ferguson will have been especially pleased with the ease with which his rejigged midfield dealt with Ancelotti’s diamond formation, the diamond wasn’t sparkling as Lampard was marginalized too far forward, and Essien, never a natural out wide, and Ivanovic struggled with every attack with Nani and Evra playing round them almost at will. Ivanovic was booked for his third poor challenge in as many minutes.
Nani opened the scoring with a hopeful shot for which Cech much have been unsighted. United carved us open time and again, Cech had to make smart saves from Berbatov and Park.
It wasn’t all one way, before they scored Ivanovic had a chance from a corner cleared off the line and Drogba managed a smashed shot that Foster dealt with well.
We had muscled our way back into the game and the equalizer came from that fox in the box Carvalho, no really, good work from Lampard squirted the ball to Malouda and as Foster took his eye off the ball to concentrate on the huge frame of Didier about to barge him into the net, the ball broke to Ricardo Carvalho who dealt well with a chance that could have gone wide.
There was controversy in buckets as we took the lead; Ballack body checked Evra, who rolled around like he was dying, as the ref waived play on, the ball broke for a Chelsea and we streamed forward for Lampard to score from Drogba’s ball, with half the stadium whistling for us to put it out of play. Some of the locals in the Pineapple were clearly unaware that this was a friendly and the result doesn’t ultimately matter, screamed about cheating. Play to the whistle, boys, play to the whistle.
We dominated from then on United had run out of ideas and steam and just as we were cruising to a win Rooney burst onto a Giggs pass and leveled.
It did little to delay the destination of the Community Shield as United contrived to miss all but one of their penalties. Cech didn’t even really have to try as first Ryan Giggs tried to drill one down the middle and found the Czech ‘keeper’s legs and then Evra, pumped up from the injustice of the Ballack incident and his subsequent booking for a revenge tackle, trickled the lamest penalty since Pat Nevin against City and the Shield was ours. Lampard, Ballack, Drogba and Kalou all scored for us.
Try telling anyone that it is a meaningless preseason match.