Monday 16 March
Gus Poyet lost his long fight against the Sunderland inevitable as they sack him with just nine games to go.
Gus was saddled with a sporting director during his reign and lacked control over the squad he would have wanted. It is a shame to see ex-Chelsea coaches bite the dust this season as most of the Gullet/Vialli team have tried their luck and fallen: De Matteo and Mark Hughes the honourable exceptions.
Another of the noted old boys, Steve Clarke, managed Reading and Nat Chalobah into a FA Cup semi clash with Arsenal after they overcame Bradford City 3-0 in this evening’s replay.
Tuesday 17 March
The worlds of theatre, film and football came together today to remember Richard Attenborough at Westminster Abbey. His brother David spoke alongside Ben Kingsley. Gianfranco Zola was there.
Richard is dearly missed at Stamford Bridge.
Roma in the next round of the Europa Youth league after the Italians beat Manchester City U19 after three red cards in a fractious 2-1.
The semi-final and final will be in Switzerland on the 10th and 13th of April.
Wednesday 18 March
Chelsea U18 5:2 Tottenham Hotspur U18
(Chelsea win 5-4 on aggregate)
FA Youth Cup final again for the academy and in emphatic style. Spurs took a lead after half an hour but we have Dominic Solanke and Izzy Brown who both scored to ensure we lead at half time.
Two down from the first leg we needed a few more and spent the second-half racking them up as Solanke and Charlie Colkett whipped us into a 4-1 lead and Colkett added another for good measure. Spurs nicked a consolation but it didn’t harm our progress.
Saturday 21 March
Chelsea U18 0:2 Everton U18
Everton are top of the play-off section but we stumbled after last week’s emphatic thrashing of Spurs. Today we met our match and a side that finished well where we missed our chances.
Sunday 22 March
Hull City 2:3 Chelsea
With the Manchesters and Arsenal all winning this weekend it was important we keep our momentum and this streaky win keeps the chasers at arms length.
We started the afternoon in fine form. The match had barely started when Hazard picked up the ball from Costa’s lay off and found the far corner from 20-yards. 0-1. It was a cracking shot and a brilliant start.
They had a chance to level straight away but Courtois stood his ground as Hernandez shot straight at him.
Costa, having watched Juan Mata earlier against Liverpool and Hazard book goal of the season contenders decided to hit one of his own as he ran wide into the space vacated by Hull’s wingbacks, squared up Dawson and curled the ball into the far corner. 0-2.
That we then fluffed the lead led to thousands of Chelsea fans with heart conditions clutching their chest and putting the ambulance on speed dial.
First Robertson beat Ivanovic and Elmohamady beat Luis to the cross. 1-2, then, a minute later Courtois poked an Ivanovic back pass straight to Hernandez who bundled it in. 2-2.
We looked and played nervously for the rest of the half but improved dramatically after the break – we still needed Thibaut to be in top form as he made an astonishing triple save. His heroics allowed the substitute Loic Remy to bundle in with his first touch after replacing Costa. 2-3.
We needed to defend our lead but Hull looked shattered towards the end and we held on to extend our lead back to six ahead of the international break.
Diego will have a scan on Monday.
The women’s team returned with a 6-0 drubbing of Watford in the FA Cup. As a season preview it was a good work out as the Chelsea’ women sharpen up ahead of the league campaign.