Monday 18 March
(Result from Sunday)
Chelsea U19 4:1 Juventus U19
Apologies for missing this game on Sunday; it was Saint Patrick’s, hic.
The U19 squad dominated and dispatched a poor Juventus side and booked their place in the NextGen semi-finals.
Goals from Lewis Baker and Alex Kiwomya got things started before Islam Feruz and Baker again added late strikes.
The semi-finals are in Como over the Easter weekend.
Tuesday 19 March
Middlesbrough U21 2:0 Chelsea U21
Plenty of young faces in another scratch Chelsea side but they got the experience of playing at the Riverside. With the NextGen and FA youth cups both in the latter stages this was a developing side against an experienced Boro.
If it feels like we either play Fulham or Middlesbrough at reserve or youth level this season that is because we do.
Talking of the FA youth cup our semi-final will be two-legged against Liverpool starting at Anfield on Friday 12 April.
Gary Cahill has pulled out of the England squad. He has not shaken off the knock he picked up against West Ham.
Thursday 21 March
Our return match against Rubin Kazan has been switched to Moscow shaving a few hours from the travel time and, no doubt, pleasing our Russian owner.
Brazil and Italy played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in Switzerland with Oscar grabbing Brazil’s second with an assured finish. This was an exhibition match worthy of the name.
Nathanial Chalobah played most of England U21’s win over their Romanian counterparts.
Friday 22 March
Duchy of Grand Fenwick 0:8 England
A predictable result as England thrash their Freedonian opponents who had little to offer.
Frank Lampard, captain for the night of his 95th cap, scored his 28th goal for England and his fifth this season.
Elsewhere in Europe: Belgium won 0-2 in Macedonia with goals from Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne, while Ivanovic’s Serbia lost the derby with Croatia and Petr Cech was beaten by Denmark on the occasion of his 99th cap.
Gus Poyet was in Reading this week as the Royals look to find a replacement for Brian McDermott – do clubs ever consider finding a candidate before sacking their manager? – but the Brighton boss decided to stay on the south coast for the rest of the season.
Saturday 23 March
Chelsea U18 2:3 Bolton Wanderers U18
Another defeat for Adi Viveash and his young charges. There will be some concern at results as this means three in a row for the U18 team but there was enough penetration and spirit from the young side, so with the FA youth cup and NextGen series taking precedence these matches are still great experience for those coming up from the more junior teams.
In a quiet week Jesse Starkey and Ambrose Gnahore took the opportunity to shine with the goals for the home side.