Monday 13 January
Kevin de Bruyne is about to complete a £16m switch to Wolfsburg. It is a shame that one of the most talented midfielders came our way when the squad was already chock with number 10s. We could have tried him in the Frank Lampard role but he and Mourinho didn’t seem to click so we are giving one up.
The priority now appears to be Nemanja Matic about whom we used to make washing machine jokes. He was swapped with Benfica when David Luiz arrived and buying back our former defensive midfielder will cost about what we get for de Bruyne.
Wednesday 15 January
Chelsea U18 4:1 Sheffield Wednesday U18
Another convincing FA Youth Cup performance and result as the boys means progress to the fifth round away at either Cardiff or Oxford.
Wednesday were a lively bunch but goals at the beginning and end of the first sank them as Izzy Brown, in the opening moments, and Charly Musonda, just before the break, put us ahead and Charley Colkett made it three up with a penalty. They pulled one back but Dominic Solanke scored late to keep the three-goal margin.
Nemanja Matic is a Chelsea player again as the 25-year-old Serbian re-signs from Benfica where he has grown into a combative defensive midfielder. The fee is about £20.6m, £20.7m, or £20.8m (depending where you get your estimate) for a player on a five-year deal.
Matic is an all round player, left-footed with a dominant presence and excellent heading ability. He is just the kind of player Manchester United have been looking for and er, haven’t managed to get.
Thursday 16 January
Nathanial Chalobah has joined Middlesbrough on loan until the end of the season. Nat had a brilliant loan at Watford last term that almost ended in promotion but he struggled to make an impact at Nottingham Forest this term.
Nat joins Kenneth Omeruo on Forests books and means Chelsea fans are forced to watch smog monster games for the rest of the campaign.
Friday 17 January
Ryan Bertrand makes it 24 players out on loan as he joins Aston Villa until the end of the season. Ryan has not figured at left-back as Cesar Azpilicueta jumped ahead of him this season. With Patrick Van Aanholt looking the finished article at Vitesse and the newspaper links to Luke Shaw at Southampton, Ryan might be auditioning for more than the England World Cup squad.
Jose Mourinho confirmed he was drafting Nathan Ake into the squad as cover should Cole and Azpilicueta both pick up knocks. It is a big vote of confidence in the young Dutchman.
Saturday 18 January
Kevin de Bruyne has joined Wolfsburg for an undisclosed fee. Having seen him on loan in Germany last season it was clear he had everything he needed to be a huge star at Chelsea except, perhaps, patience.
His departure is clearly premature and for a lot less than he will be worth in future but the club cannot wait on a player who wants to leave.
Sunday 19 January
Chelsea 3:1 Manchester United
Seamus O’Connell signed for us from Middlesbrough in 1954 in scored a hat-trick on his debut against Manchester United although we lost that one 6-5 we won our first league championship that season.
Samuel Eto’o scored our first hat-trick against Manchester United since that day as we cruised to a routine victory against a spirited but limited United side.
Just like many mid-table sides United started the contest looking to press early and high. They even wriggled through for Ashley Young to have the first shot that Cech parried well.
They made it difficult for us to get into our stride – Hazard was muscled off the ball regularly in the opening minutes – but Samuel Eto’o had not read the script and a Hazard’s knock down found him, he shimmied past Phil Jones and curled his effort into the top corner via Michael Carrick’s foot. 1-0. To make the strike doubly sweet it wasn’t just deflected it came against the run of play.
Hazard hadn’t had much influence in the game until then but showed a classy turn of pace to beat Vidic and Rafael but his cut back was cleared for a corner.
United managed to create one chance, Azpilicueta appeared to bring down Welbeck after Adnan Januzaj found him in space. It was an isolated scare.
Oscar nearly completed a flowing move but fired over but the cushion of two goals was just around the corner. Well, actually from a corner: David Luiz – revelling in his midfield role – blasted a free-kick against the wall and as the corner was cleared it seemed the chance had passed but Ramires found Cahill and Eto’o slid in the cross unmarked. 2-0.
The half-time Bovril was the only distance between Eto’o second and third and Gary Cahill met a corner with a thumping header, Samuel was on hand to yap in the rebound. 3-0.
That was really that, we toyed with them for long periods of the rest of the half and fell asleep from time to time as first Cech dithered over a back-pass, rescuing himself from the substitute Hernandez’s challenge with a neat dummy, and then allowing the same to steal in to reduce the deficit. 3-1. At least he was onside this time.
Late in the game United turned on the charm. First Vidic scythed down Eden Hazard for a straight red and then Rafael lunged in late and two-footed on Cahill but escaped with a yellow.
Nemanja Matic made a late appearance to put in a few blocks and have a run. We’ll see more form him as the games go by.
The win was Jose Mourinho’s 100th premiership win. He reached the landmark more quickly than any previous manager.
This result and Liverpool’s draw yesterday means there is a six-point gap back to fourth place as we stay in touch with the title challengers. Let’s hope that Van Persie and Rooney are fit and well for United’s games with City and Arsenal.
Torres, who came on as a late substitute did knee ligaments and will be out for some weeks Mourinho confirmed afterwards. He was upbeat about Demba Ba coming in and with Eto’o in hat-trick form rumours of a new striker are fading.