Monday 27 April
FA Youth Cup Final 2nd Leg
Chelsea U18 2:1 Manchester City U18
(Chelsea win 5-2 on aggregate)
Chelsea are back-to-back winners for the first time since the 1960s and the first club to do the double twice. This was a controlled rather than spectacular performance, you can’t beat your near neighbours 7-5 every year, but one of which the club should be immensely proud.
The stats for this competition are staggering four wins and six finals in eight years proves that the academy set up is working perfectly. If you add the two league trophies for the reserves and the recent European cup at U19 then the picture looks even better.
Manchester City have put the rights resources into their academy but they looked to be boys against men in both legs. They took the lead tonight with a flowing move and a smart finish from Kelechi Iheanacho but an Izzy Brown header levelled before Tammy Abraham moved on to 39 for the season early in the second-half.
Success does breed success but the level of achievement from the academy is starting to look like complete domination.
While the club’s focus remains European success with the first team many of these players will leave Chelsea to prosper – Jack Cork scored his first goal for his new club Swansea at the weekend and Ryan Bertrand made the PFA team of the season – but every now and again one or two is going to filter through. Oddly the unsung left-back, Jay Dasilva, looks the most complete and ready for the step up and his 17th birthday was last week.
Oscar was out of hospital yesterday and doesn’t appear to have any ill effects from being clattered out of the game by Arsenal’s goalkeeper. Strange, if Diego Costa had pulled that assault he would be banned until Christmas.
Tuesday 28 April
Both Millwall and Wigan Athletic were relegated from the Championship without kicking a ball tonight as Rotherham beat Reading 2-1 to ensure their own survival.
Meanwhile in road-rage news, old boy Mark Bosnich has admitted a charge of reckless driving after he hit a cyclist after a dispute over lane positioning. Crazy guy.
On a busy night Hull City did their chances of survival the power of good by beating Liverpool 1-0. Everyone who looked at their run in an thought them doomed now look a bit silly after they picked up six points in two games.
Remember Bayern München? They had a home cup semi-final against Dortmund tonight and after a 1-1 draw the match eventually went to penalties. Only, Munich missed every single spot-kick and Dortmund won the shoot-out by the unusual score of 2-0. Germans and penalties eh, not in the Allianz Arena it seems.
Wednesday 29 April
Leicester City 1:3 Chelsea
And Leicester… We stumbled through the first-half of this but emerged winners grateful to the old school finishers, Didier Drogba and John Terry. All hail the old men.
We now have a party to attend on Sunday, Jose tried to ground everyone and focus minds on the need to win that match but many went straight home to put up the bunting.
On the night Leicester started with purpose but threatened little until they scored a scrambled goal right on the half. A left wing break, a cross and Azpilicueta slipped allowing Marc Albrighton to open the scoring past the recalled Petr Cech. 0-1.
Chelsea nerves settled right down when Didier Drogba flashed the ball in after we had worked Ivanovic into the box. 1-1. The goal came just after the break and Chelsea again looked to have a rocket at half-time.
The big Ivorian flashed one over moments later when he should have scored but the second-half display went some way to disguise how awful his stumbling first period had been.
Leicester looked well set to claim a draw that would help them pull away from the bottom of the table but we have a title to win and showed no mercy. From a corner Gary Cahill danced around Schmeichel to find room and Terry shinned in the rebound after the Dane saved. 1-2.
The icing was applied by Ramires who bustled on to a Fábregas cut back and rifled into the top corner. 1-3.
Boring, boring Chelsea boomed the away support. We saw out time mostly bouncing up and down. See you all on Sunday.
Thursday 30 April
Southampton U21 0:2 Chelsea U21
The U21s have two in hand on leaders Manchester United and are closing in six-points behind. Kasey Palmer rocketed an opener before a late Dominic Solanke effort sealed the win.
Chelsea 0:0 Arsenal
The women keep their two-point lead at the top of the table in a match that struggled to burst into life. Perhaps both sides were too evenly matched but the FA Cup semi-final might have been distracting Chelsea. That game is on Monday against Manchester City.
Jose Mourinho is apparently in Portugal to be with his father who has had surgery. No other information seems to be available but we wish Mourinho senior all the best.
Saturday 2 May
Manchester United U18 1:2 Chelsea U18
The young Blues came from a goal behind with an own goal and a Miro Muheim strike handing us the points. For all of those wondering when our academy’s dominance will end, Muheim, Isaac Christie-Davies, Hubert Adamczyk and the rest of this young squad might suggest it will carry on for a while yet.
Bournemouth are champions of the Championship as Watford fluffed a late equaliser to Sheffield Wednesday. Plucky old Brentford will play Middlesbrough in the play-offs while Norwich and Ipswich get a chance to revive their weird loathing.
Both Wolves and Derby will have to wait for next season.
Burton Albion, under Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink secured the League Two title with a ten-man win away at Cambridge. Shrewsbury and Bury join them in automatic promotion.
Manchester United spent the early evening match reminding us all that they are having a transitional season by losing at home to West Bromwich Albion.
Sunday 3 May
Chelsea 1:0 Crystal Palace
Arsenal, cabron, saluda al campeón.
Champions again, four times in ten-years and the anxiety of the last few months falls away as the party starts. The players celebrated on the pitch and the stadium was already in party mode long before the match was actually won.
Back in the day we remember a last day decided by a weak penalty where the taker tucked the ball home. Then it was Claude Makelele against Charlton today it was Eden Hazard. Julian Speroni knew to stand still as Hazard ran up and the Belgian flumped the ball straight at him. Thankfully the ball spun up off the stricken ’keeper and Eden headed it into the corner. 1-0.
It was all we needed, the party erupted afresh and for all Palace’s threat to spoil the party, including a few nervy late corners, the feeling in the stands was that 1-0 was enough.
Jose actually said last season that we wouldn’t win it last season but he has given the little horse enough milk and, as predicted, we won it this year.
There is little chance the team will keep the same intensity for the rest of the campaign so expect a few leggy performances and strange results. Care, no, we have nothing left to care about … champions …
Jose Mourinho will have plenty to say about that but the man who has now won eight league tiles in his 12-years as a manager, was already plotting a more successful next season. One where he can keep Diego Costa fit for the whole campaign.