Monday 8 September
Switzerland 0:2 England
Well, a dose of ‘we didn’t tell you so’ as England actually beat the Swiss with a couple of goals from a player we always decry – Danny Welbeck. It was a closer run thing than the self-congratulatory ITV panel would allow. Joe Hart made three really good saves to keep us in the match and Gary Cahill raced back to clear off his line when the City goalkeeper had been beaten.
Cesc Fábregas played a blinder in midfield for Spain as they healed a few World Cup wounds with a 5-1 thumping of Macedonia.
Tuesday 9 September
Kerry Dixon is off a drugs charge as the beak threw out the case against him. It turns out the trifling amount of a class A substance belonged to someone else, as Kerry had said all along.
Over in Prague Guus Hiddink’s new Dutch project took another tumble as Petr Cech’s Czechs scored an injury time winner to win 2-1.
Wednesday 10 September
Willian got himself a goal as Brazil beat Ecuador 1-0 at the Met Life Stadium in New Jersey. Oscar, Ramires and Filipe Luis also played their part.
Christian Atsu scored a late dramatic winner for Ghana after Togo’s Emmanuel Adebayor thought his equaliser, at 2-2, had rescued a point only for Christian to finish off a fine team move.
Nigeria were not so lucky. Obi John and Kenneth Omeruo drew 0-0 with South Africa and are struggling for performances.
Egypt suffered another defeat
Thursday 11 September
Thibaut Courtois signed a five-year contract extension today. It means we currently have two of the best goalkeepers in the world and a problem keeping them both happy.
It does vindicate the tactic of farming out our young players on loan as Thibaut matured during his three seasons in Madrid with settled regular football he couldn’t have got at the Bridge.
Friday 12 September
Barclays awarded the Premiership player of the month to Diego Costa. They couldn’t really ignore the number of goals. Usually the award is regarded as a curse for the next match but any superstition could be balance by the award to tomorrow’s manager, Gary Monk, of the manager of the month award.
Saturday 13 September
Chelsea 4:2 Swansea City
This match was a tribute to Richard Attenborough and a more fitting memorial game he couldn’t have scripted himself. This season is in danger of turning into the most entertaining since cuddly old Carlo led us to the double.
Diego Costa tore Swansea to shreds after John terry’s slip had deflected into his own net early on (0-1) it took most of the rest of the half of huffing and half chances before a corner on the verge of the interval was powered home by our new striker. 1-1.
It is becoming typical for him to score powerful goals based on his positioning and strength. He repeated the trick after the break as Fábregas, the puller of all the strings, drifted into the box and Costa stood still as the defenders moved and then, unmarked, he launched the ball into the roof of the net for the world’s most powerful tap in. 2-1.
His third, and seventh in four matches, came when Ramires’ shot found the Swansea defence standing still as the Spanish international anticipated to slot easily. 3-1.
Costa received a standing ovation as he came off for Loic Remy but the young Frenchman didn’t want to be upstaged completely and swept in Oscar’s square ball for a goal on his debut. 4-1.
There was time for us to stumble over each other allowing Jonjo Shelvey to reduce the arrears (4-2) but the damage was limited and a useful reminder to the side of the benefits of concentration.
Chelsea U18 2:2 West Ham United U18
Kyle Scott and Tammy Abraham scored our goals but West Ham’s youngsters forced themselves back into the game both times.
Sunday 14 September
Everton U21 0:2 Chelsea U21
Quietly the season builds this was a third win in a row for Adi Viveash and the U21s and a clean sheet to boot. Jeremie Boga scored both in the first-half