Monday 22 April
Luis Suarez said so sorry to Branislav but the damage has been done – the FA charged him with violent conduct and estimates of the ban range from matches to months.
Meanwhile, over at the banana republic of Fifa – where scum always rises to the top – the delegate charged with introducing corporate anti-corruption measures has resigned because Fifa refused to implement even the basic first steps. The Canadian Alexandra Wrage stepped down earlier this month after independent oversight of World Cup venue decisions and little details like how much everyone is paid were brushed aside.
Talking of the venal and incompetent, Mark Clattenburg has been given the home game against Swansea to referee. Marchester Unitenberg, the referee who makes his mistakes in Salford’s favour, absurdly sent off two Chelsea players and allowed an offside goal to beat us in October. He compounded the damage caused to our season by getting away with racially abusing two of our players and having Obi John banned for four matches for confronting him with what he’d said.
He is very welcome back at Stamford Bridge with open arms. Altogether now “the referee’s a racist, the referee’s a racist”.
Tuesday 23 April
Bolton Wanderers U18 0:1 Chelsea U18
Adi Viveash warmed up for the FA youth cup final by taking a strong squad up to Bolton and, in biting, freezing winds; Islam Feruz scored the only goal. That would do nicely in the first leg next week.
Yossi Benayoun has been subject to the odd grumble in recent weeks. Never the most popular player at the club after his time at Liverpool and West ham, throw in his time at Arsenal and you have a player steeped in clubs we adore. His recent presence in the side has been keeping Frank Lampard on the bench when he should be scoring the goals to make him our record goalscorer.
The club are investigating whether any of the abuse has crossed the line. We sincerely hope all Chelsea fans are aware of the line in question and would not cross it, even if watching Frank on the bench instead of the pitch is likely to be Rafael Benitez’s lasting shame.
It smacks of another petty vendetta – has he been limiting playing time for John Terry and Frank Lampard because they are unfit, out of form or because he harbours a dislike of them from his time at Liverpool?
We are afraid the answer is obvious.
In the evening our old friends in Munich beat the media’s favourites Barcelona 4-0. It at least means we will not have to put up with tika-taka boredom in the final.
Spare a thought for poor old Queens Park Rangers, just as they were getting used to the idea of second division football and a massive squad and the world’s second largest wage bill problem their goalkeeper, Julio Cesar, was pictured wearing a Chelsea strip. It must be reassuring for QPR fans that Portsmouth have just exited administration after their own attempt to mix it at the top with a bloated squad. Portsmouth were relegated to League 2 last week.
Wednesday 24 April
Luis Suarez was handed a ten-match ban and Liverpool surprisingly announced themselves surprised. The length of the ban is thought to reflect the statement from Suarez yesterday that he thought three-matches was enough. It will be interesting to see what happens if he appeals.
Borussia Dortmund upset Real Madrid by tonking four past them, well Robert Lewandowski did, he scored all of them. The vibrancy of Dortmund left many scratching their heads as to whether we should welcome back Mourinho, who suddenly looked old and grey, or steal Jorgen Klopp from the German side.
Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill both travelled to Switzerland with Cahill expected to be closer to action but both could be in the side on Sunday. Meanwhile, Chelsea are in court again, this time trying to get compensation from Juventus for Adrian Mutu. Mutu has paid nothing of the sum he owes Chelsea and attempts to seize property in the States has not yet succeeded.
Finally, Todd Kane has signed a new contract to keep him at the club until 2016. Todd is currently out on loan at Blackburn and will be close to first-team selection next season.
Thursday 25 April
FC Basel 1:2 Chelsea
This was a calm and controlled performance you could hope to see, we even had the luxury of tuning out and collectively falling asleep before a rude jolt and a late winner.
David Luiz was restored to the midfield and showed some of the command needed to bring solidity to the holding midfield role. He also showed some of the recklessness that means he is unlikely to be trusted there in big games when he left his studs in a challenge that might have drawn a red at home.
We started with a purpose and Eden Hazard as a focus for the attack, he struggled to break the attentions of the three or four who marked him but that attention created space for others as Moses, Azpilicueta and Lampard all made headway. The best chance came when Cesar’s cross was deflected goalward by Lampard and we had the night’s first save.
The first goal as moments behind as Lampard’s corner came over Ivanovic jumped but missed and the ball struck Moses bounced down and the up over the man on the post. Victor could not have placed the ball better if he tried (so it is a good thing he wasn’t trying) as it hit the roof of the net. 0-1.
Basel were excellent hosts with noise and banners and atmosphere but suddenly St Jakob-Park fell quiet as we controlled the tempo of the match while effortlessly absorbing all their attacks. This was easy.
Cech had to tip one shot from distance over but we were firmly in control.
The only problem was that chances created were not being taken, Victor Moses did his best to set up Torres and Hazard who wasted our opportunities to increase the lead and you started to worry that one goal might not be enough.
Basel did manage to strike the post early in the second-half but then Torres managed the same with more power moments later.
Ashley Cole managed to pick up the booking that means he misses the return leg rather than the final. He looked cross about it as well, all that ‘looking cross about stuff while you are secretly delighted’ training Benitez teaches has paid off.
The referee decided things were too quiet as he watched Cesar Azpilicueta clear the ball in a routine fashion he pointed to the spot. What he had seen beggars most because the Basel attacker, Stocker, was unsuccessfully challenging him not the other way round. No justice in the world. 1-1.
The injustice of the kick spurred the response: A goalmouth scramble lead to Oscar skying the ball and their goalkeeper somehow pulled off an incredible save from John Terry’s point-blank header.
Time was ticking away when Ramires challenged for a ball that appeared lost and was fouled. David Luiz has been spanking these over the bar most of the season so nobody expected what happened next – he thwacked it low into the corner with the ’keeper floundering. 1-2.
The referee blew for full-time as we celebrated leaving the locals staring at each other in bewilderment.
Sorry, Basel but the better team won. Benitez actually did his job for once identified the dangers in their squad, instructed his defence to monitor the wide men who had torn Tottenham to bits and used Luiz in midfield as a creative hub.
Fenerbahce beat Benfica in the other tie but only by one goal as they missed a penalty and a hatful of other chances. Raul Meireles is running their midfield this season and they looked dominant.
Friday 26 April
Everyone watching Watford this season were treated to a fantastic goal by Nathanial Chalobah as the Hornets challenge for the second automatic spot continues. Nat hit a 35-yard thunderbolt to give them a second as they beat Leicester 1-2.
Watford do need Hull to lose their last two in order to go up but a cracking play-off final against Brighton could be on the cards.
Earlier in the day the FA announced that Suarez has not appealed his ten-match ban. We should ask the fixture planners to arrange our Anfield date next season within the first six games so we don’t have to face a cannibal with vengeance on his mind.
Saturday 27 April
Brentford really fecked up their afternoon and season; awarded a penalty with virtually the last kick of the campaign they contrived to miss and their opponents, Doncaster Rivers, broke away to score the winner that ensures that they go up as champions and Brentford face Swindon in a play-off.
Scunthorpe United were relegated from league 1 despite beating play-off bound Swindon 3-1, Colchester’s win mean they go down.
Rotherham and Port Vale travel in the other direction promoted fro League 2 while Barnet and Aldershot fall out of the league.
Sunday 28 April
Chelsea 2:0 Swansea City
Frank Lampard edges ever closer to Bobby Tambling who made an emotional appearance on the pitch at half-time. Typically Benitez knew Tambling was at the ground and decided that Frank Lampard shouldn’t play but an early injury to Ramires, 24-minutes in, forced his hand. That man takes pettiness and wankerdom to new heights every week.
This victory was simple, contained a lot of slick football against a side that have been at the beach since the Capital league cup final.
Oscar opened the scoring just before the break controlling Lampard’s pass and stroking the ball into the ball into the bottom corner. 1-0.
It was all that we deserved as Swansea had barely a kick in the right direction while Michel Vorm had saved from the returning Demba Ba, Hazard and Lampard.
The second followed quickly as Mata was tripped in the box Frank Lampard strode up and dispatched the penalty. 2-0.
Swansea had the audacity to play in the second-half but Ba, Lampard and Mata and Lampard all went close to another.
In other results Arsenal drew with Manchester United who now cannot reach our record points total.
Both QPR and Reading were relegated as they drew the must win match against each other. To think that we threw away five points to QPR leaves a bad taste in the mouth even now but sums up the failings of our season.