Monday 23 September
Everton U21 3:2 Chelsea U21
Two-nil up and cruising after early goals from Ruben Loftus-Cheek and John Swift suddenly Chelsea were on the back foot and looking edgy a late penalty rebound was enough to sink us in the end.
Tuesday 24 September
Swindon Town 0:2 Chelsea
Well, professional would describe it but hardly exciting. Swindon were good enough to keep Chelsea honest and themselves within touching distance but not seriously threaten Mark Schwarzer’s goal.
The team was as expected with David Luiz and Juan Mata joined by Cesar Azpilicueta, Michael Essien, Ryan Bertrand, Mario Van Ginkel and Willian.
After ten minutes this team started gel with verve and purpose, closing-down quickly, Torres forcing a couple of good saves.
It took a break from early sub Ramires to find Mata in shooting mood and Torres alert enough to tap in the rebound. 0-1
The second was close behind. Ramires, who came on when Van Ginkel appeared to rupture something, chipped the ’keeper after Torres had slipped a couple of tackles. 0-2
The second-half was a model of professional defending good break play but poor finishing. Willian thrashed four good chances wide, one when Torres had beaten half the opposition defence Willian shot straight at the goalkeeper. Demba Ba came on to play wide left and similarly shot when he could have squared to a colleague.
Swindon, for their part, with a very young squad never gave up and played proper football. We think they will prosper in League One.
Van Ginkel will have a scan tomorrow to establish the extent of his injury but the immediate verdict was not good. Ramires, who was substituted himself by John Terry is a doubt for Saturday with a muscle strain in his hip.
Elsewhere, Josh McEachran made his Watford debut in the first-half as they lost a last minute equaliser at home to Norwich and then lost extra-time as well.
Wednesday 25 September
The league cup draw hands us a tasty away trip to Arsenal. It remains to be seen if Arsène Wenger keeps to his philosophy of playing the kids or beefs up his team for our visit. He hasn’t had a great deal of luck in the league cup.
Thursday 26 September
The news on Marco van Ginkel is not good. The young Belgian had surgery on anterior cruciate ligaments today and will be back toward the end of the season if all goes well and next term if there are any complications. It is very sad news for a young man at the start of his Chelsea career. We wish him well.
Friday 27 September
It seem Jose Mourinho and Andre Villas-Boas have met somewhere before because all anyone has talked about for the last few days is a master/apprentice relationship between them.
Saturday 28 September
Tottenham Hotspur 1:1 Chelsea
A close result and an absurd sending-off masked our dominance and clear superiority. That we started slowly is no real surprise, Christian Eriksen was given too much respect in the first-half as we allowed him space to set up an early Sigurdsson strike. 1-0.
Mike Dean refereed and never got the hang of the contest. He allowed Spurs to foul Eden Hazard every time he got the ball without issuing any cards and it was the same across the pitch. Commentators might purr about Spurs early dominance but it is hollow when it stems from the ref looking the other way as a Tottenham boot trips another Chelsea player while we try to build a rhythm.
Juan Mata came on at the break to change the game as Spurs failed to get a grip of the young Spaniard and it was his floated free-kick that John Terry headed in for the equaliser. 1-1.
A little earlier Vertonghen clipped the ball toward the goal line and realised that if he didn’t dive to make it look like Torres had tripped him it would be a corner. So he dived and then bounced up aggressively snarling straight in Fernando’s face. Torres pushed the Spurs player away and did appear to scratch his face as he did so. Torres was booked Vertonghen won his free-kick and it was clear from that moment that Mike Dean didn’t fancy Chelsea today. The Belgian was booked after he hacked down Ramires as last man and only saw yellow
The incident that saw Torres given his second yellow was pure farce. Dean watched a perfectly legitimate challenge end in the Spurs defender grappling Torres to the ground and booked the Chelsea man.
The card ruined our chance of winning and the spectacle of what was turning into a great game.
Jose and Andre appeared to have buried the hatchet at the final whistle leaving the press less to stir so they shifted their attention north where Steve Clarke’s West Brom beat a dispirited Manchester United at Old Trafford. And they thought last week was bad. Arsenal won to move four points clear of us at the top but they have had a string of easy games.
Chelsea U18 5:0 Middlesbrough U18
Another thumping win for Adi Viveash’s vibrant young squad. Goals, goal and more goals, this time from Ambrose Gnahore (2), Jordan Houghton, Dominic Solanke and Chike Kandi saw another great result.