Monday 8 December
Watford will visit in the third round of the FA Cup in January. The draw threw out some unusual ties as Hull and Arsenal will repeat last year’s final and they were the first two out of the bag.
Wednesday 10 December
Chelsea 3:1 Sporting Lisbon
Sometimes this game looks too easy. Sporting would have progressed with a result against us but never showed the ambition to push over half way. They ruined whatever plan they had by giving away an early penalty and had no answer after that.
Schürrle and Salah both started and as we looked to find our feet with two players bursting to prove themselves Filipe Luis danced into the box and was barged to the floor after only a few shakes of a mares. Cesc Fábregas stroked the penalty down the middle. 1-0.
Schürrle started to pick up the pace of the game and broke menacingly with Diego Costa but couldn’t find the killer pass and wasted possession until suddenly, one of those airy wafts he specialises in didn’t miss but found the bottom corner. 2-0. Matic seemed to enjoy having Mikel behind him and strode forward to make the chance.
Sporting looked more determined after the break and Jonathan Silva thrashed one in after the ball had been scrambled clear. Cech looked a little slow to get down. 2-1.
They sparked but didn’t ignite as John Obi Mikel popped up at the far stick to tap in a Fábregas free-kick for his fifth goal and the second of a prolific year. 3-1.
There was a little time for Ruben Loftus-Cheek to make an impression and he made and impression. Fluffed his first touch to an opponent but then raced in to win the ball back, he showed muscle in winning the ball in midfield, broke intelligently and almost had a chance but had strayed offside. Seasoned watchers of youth and stiffs have pegged him for great things and he didn’t look out of place.
Chelsea U19 6:0 Sporting Lisbon U19
Securing top spot guarantees a home tie in the next round of this competition and Adi Viveash’s side did that in style.
Two from Jeremy Boga, three from Dominic Solanke and one from Charly Musonda at the end secured the prized first place after the team’s slip against Shalke last time out.
Friday 12 December
Huddersfield Town at home in the next round of the FA youth cup. Ties to be played second weekend in January.
The club announce that we are to become the first Premiership team to pay the living wage. It means everyone working at the Bridge will be on over £8 an hour. And about time too.
Saturday 13 December
Chelsea 2:0 Hull City
A comfortable win in the end but one that showed what a hole Cesc Fábregas leaves in the midfield. It was also a game marked by the return of comedy referee Chris Foy but we managed to stay un-Foyed to the end.
Steve Bruce was much more unhappy and it is satisfying that managers and fans of other clubs are starting to realise what a performer Foy can be.
We started ever so brightly with Eden Hazard taking responsibility for driving the team forward he was all bustle in midfield and ran on to meet the Oscar’s cross to head us into a seventh minute lead. 1-0.
Most had assumed this would be an easy home win and waited for the floodgates to open but Hull are made of stern stuff and attacked straight back. Gary Cahill was lucky to escape with a yellow as he stretched into a mistimed tackle on Sone Aluko but the diving furore that developed afterwards was absurdly overplayed. Willian anticipated contact and went down. There was actually contact although not as much as he’d anticipated. Later still Cahill was anticipating being chopped from two sides as defenders closed and his foot was clearly kicked. Hull flew into a strop about diving and, while exaggerated, Cahill was fouled. Later Costa picked up his customary booking but again while he anticipated contact that was less than expected but there clearly was contact.
The BBC excel at employing analysts who talk out of their arses but out did themselves on Match of the Day. Danny Murphy trotted out the line that the referee either has to give a penalty or book the player for diving despite no such instruction existing in the laws or interpretations and years of experience playing alongside Steven Gerrard.
These are the same commentators who make endless excuses for Bambi-ish performances from Cristiano Ronaldo – how he moves so fast that he will fall over when he anticipates contact and that is not the same as diving. Futtocks.
Diego Costa had the last laugh finally notching his twelfth of the season by sweeping in from close range after more inspirational work from Hazard.
There is a feeling that with Costa, Matic and Fábregas all rested in successive games Jose has been using the suspensions to give players a break ahead of the Christmas period. Use everything to your advantage.
West Ham United U18 2:5 Chelsea U18
Ike Ugbo scored twice and Kyle Scott, Faiq Bolkiah and Kasey Palmer also netted as we score regularly and dominated away at the ’ammers to keep ourselves top of the tree before Christmas.
Sunday 14 December
Chelsea U21 3:0 Sunderland U21
We’re top of the league – all the leagues we take part in as the U21s brushed aside Sunderland with second-half goals from Rubens Loftus-Cheek, Charly Musonda and John Swift.
Next up is the Premier League International Tournament against Borussia Mönchengladbach in, er, Stains.
Chelsea academy boys have won the Christmas truce tournament in Belgium. Obviously the tournament is about taking part and remembering the senseless slaughter of WWI. To football fans the important question about the Christmas truce has always been not how wonderful it was that soldiers from both sides spontaneously made peace amid the carnage, sang carols together and exchanged gifts and played football.
The Chelsea boys have experienced their first tournament abroad, they laid a wreath at the Menin Gate and visited some of the battlefields and they beat PSG 1-0 in a final refereed by Howard Webb.