Monday 15 December
Paris St-Germain, again. The draw for the last 16 could have been kinder but those with fond memories of the drama of last season’s tie will welcome the return of David Luiz and his Parisian pals.
Manchester City play Barcelona and Arsenal drew the doozy in Monaco.
Earlier at the youth league draw we plucked Zenit St Petersburg. If we overcome the Russians in that single game we will be at home to either Arsenal or Atlético Madrid.
Tuesday 16 December
Derby County 1:3 Chelsea
All the talk of diving before hand washed away in the rain as we strolled into the semi-finals with a strong and professional performance.
Steve McClaren might have been hoping for a much changed side and while we made five changes one was to bring Fabregas back in.
Derby are a strong footballing side and the early exchanges were even until dithering on the edge of their area allowed Cesc to find Eden Hazard who sidestepped his way into space and reversed his shot into the corner. 0-1.
Derby were not phased and pressed but our main concern came when Kurt Zouma clashed heads with Petr Cech and was eventually stretchered from the pitch. It looked serious but was later revealed to be nothing more than a cut lip and a heavy blow.
We started the second-half with authority and as Derby were complaining to Didier Drogba about the award of a free-kick Filipe Luis was thrashing it into the top corner for his first goal for the club. 0-2.
They pulled a goal back with a fine finish if their own when Craig Bryson drove in off the post for 1-2 but the blew it when Jake Buxton was sent off. The incident was a head scratcher as everyone expected the goalkeeper to walk as he raced out an appeared to handle the ball outside his area as the substitute Loic Remy raced on but the foul came as Remy was hauled down to stop him getting to the ball.
Andre Schürrle then snapped up a rebound from Remy’s shot to put the icing on and us into the semi-finals. 1-3.
Didier came off with an apparent ankle problem but both he and Zouma were declared ok by Jose after the match.
Wednesday 17 December
Liverpool in the semi-finals of the league cup as they beat Bournemouth and Sheffield United play Tottenham Hotspur in the other tie.
After seeming to play Liverpool every other week back a few years ago this is the first since 2011. Those with greyer hair will remember that Jose beat Liverpool in Cardiff to win his first trophy back in 2005.
Friday 19 December
Chelsea U21 1:1 Borussia Mönchengladbach U21
Izzy Brown struck very late to rescue a point in our opening Premier League International Cup. The German side had take the lead on the hour and closed down and stifled everything we tried to do.
Dion Conroy made an appearance after an age and a half out with injury. It will be a happy Christmas in his house.
Saturday 20 December
Is there really no football this weekend? After being first up last Saturday we now don’t play until next week… Manchester City used the time to move level on points again helped by the refereeing community to beat Palace who had a goal chalked off incorrectly.