Monday 13 August
Branislav Ivanovic will not be banned for the Wigan game because the FA disciplinary department do not consider the Community Shield a first team game. He will be banned for three non-first team games instead. Similarly the five players on yellows need not count them on their season’s tally.
John Terry’s ban from Uefa for his red in the semi-final has been reduced on appeal. He will still miss the Super Cup game against Atletico Madrid at the end of the month but a third game has been deferred for two years.
Tuesday 14 August
Sam Walker made his debut for Bristol Rovers the day his five-month loan was announced. The 20-year old goalkeeper saved a second-half penalty against Ipswich in the league cup but couldn’t help his new team avoid a 3-1 defeat.
Wednesday 15 August
Italy 1:2 England
Frank Lampard knitted together an England midfield that looked totally dominant against Italy. Perhaps England missed him more then they realised in the summer. His performance was head an shoulders above anything Steven Gerrard has managed in the last few months and enabled England to dominate possession and find attacking angles the Liverpool player could only dream of.
Talking of dreams – Ryan Bertrand made his England debut. If you’d asked him twelve months ago… Gary Cahill was thrilled to score with a volley, only to find the ref had blown for an earlier foul.
Ramires, David Luiz and Oscar all played for Brazil as they beat Sweden in the last match to be played at the Rasunda stadium. The old place is going to be torn down so we tip our hat to the venue for our 1998 Cup Winners’ Cup.
Romelu Lukaku scored as Belgium rallied to beat the Dutch 4-2. Courtois, De Bruyne and Hazard all played some part.
Thursday 16 August
Sam Hutchinson has gone on loan to Nottingham Forest for the season. Sam has impressed everybody with his attitude in coming back from knee problems that threatened his career, now we’ll get to see how he performs playing every week.
Friday 17 August
Chelsea U21 0:0 Manchester City U21
A good crowd for the start of the experiment but no goals down at Griffin Park. Chelsea were lively through midfield with Lewis Baker and Billy Clifford the twin engines, with clear chances rare we needed to watch their ability to break. Chelsea dominated possession and Patrick Bamford had the best couple of shots.
A good first night and crowds will grow as the league develops.
Connor Clifford’s loan to Portsmouth has been confirmed for a month.
Saturday 18 August
Chelsea U18 6:1 Manchester City U18
No goals last night in front of a crowd but the youngsters blitzed their Mancunian counterparts at Cobham this morning. A young Chelsea side found its rhythm in the second-half as Reece Mitchell, Jordan Houghton, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jeremie Boga, Charlie Colkett and Fankaty Dabo all found the target.
Also in the goals was Romelu Lukaku as WBA thrashed the new look Liverpool 3-0. Romelu’s was a late header to compound their misery. Tottenham also lost at Newcastle while Arsenal could only draw. Biggest red faces on the opening weekend were down the road at QPR as their expensively assembled new model shipped five goals at home to Swansea City.
Sunday 19 August
Wigan Athletic 0:2 Chelsea
A bit of a bang at the start as Eden Hazard first found the on-rushing right-back Ivanovic who powered on and finished – 0-1 – and was then tripped for a penalty that Frank converted – 0-2. All within the first seven minutes.
The match after that was a bit of a struggle as Wigan first sought to get back into things and then desperately threw themselves into our box. Goals were there for them but they couldn’t take them. Our defence didn’t look rock solid, attacking ideas seemed to dry up but Oscar made an energetic debut for the last half hour and nearly scored and Torres has one of those afternoons when he was either offside or being bundled off the ball but not winning the penalty.
It is a marathon, not a sprint.