Monday 15 August
Chelsea 2:1 West Ham United
What a start, what a great way to introduce your team to your new fans – Antonio Conte put out a relatively safe selection played cautiously and was rewarded with a dominant display.
The Hammers came and sang their rude songs, they bossed possession for the first ten minutes and after that Chelsea ruled the game.
There weren’t a lot of chances in the first-half but a penalty, awarded this time to Azpilicueta after Oscar was denied in the first period, put away by Eden Hazard was reward for our control in the second. 1-0
We had plenty of chances after that to add to the lead and doom-mongers were fretting about West Ham’s chances of snatching a draw.
James Collins picked his moment to thrash in a knockdown from a corner after our defence virtually stopped to deny appeals for handball. 1-1
The equaliser was important to Conte’s season = without it we would have strolled to a 1-0 and hearty handshakes all round, with it we needed to show fight and the way we did will mark the rest of this campaign.
Conte made the decision to replace Willian and Hazard with Batshuayi and Moses – it looked a brave call as Hazard had called the shots but Batshuayi headed the ball on into Diego Costa’s path and the big Spaniard thrashed the ball into the corner of the net. 2-1.
Conte ran along the touchline to celebrate with the fans – the guy is going to be a real hero.
West Ham moaned afterwards that Costa could have walked after catching the Hammer’s ’keeper but it was clearly an attempt to win the ball and the ref didn’t card him for it. Most worrying is that Diego’s beard has nearly reached the full Captain Haddock – blistering barnacles.
It was a very strong showing as we dominated a team that finished in 7th last term. Oscar and Hazard were busy, with the former really looking to impose himself on midfield.
Earlier in the day the distressing news broke that Dalian Atkinson was tasered to death by coppers in near Telford. The police managed to hit him with three tasers after an altercation at his father’s house. We choose to remember him as a footballer and fair opponent and wish his friends and family well.
Jamal Blackman is off to Wycombe Wanderers until January and Izzy Brown has moved to Rotherham United for the season. Championship football should be a breeze for our big midfielder; perhaps he can try to out score Tammy Abraham at Bristol who has four goals already after only three games.
Tuesday 16 August
Hedvig Lindahl saved Brazil’s last penalty to set up a win for Sweden over the hosts and a place in the gold medal match. The locals were none too impressed but Sweden have taken on and beaten both hosts and reigning champions in the last couple of matches and secured Chelsea’s first medal of 2016.
Obi John and Nigeria go for a place in the final tomorrow night in the men’s competition.
Joao Havelange died at the age of 100. Former chief at Fifa and a member of the board at the Olympic committee he was responsible for the culture of corruption, arrogance, preening self-importance and entitlement displayed by generations of venal sports administrators.
You feel for his family but honestly all sports would be better off without his legacy.
Wednesday 17 August
Chelsea XI 2:1 Brentford XI
A friendly kick about to ease the rust out of a few legs saw Michael Essien back in a Chelsea shirt – he is here for rehab – but also the likes of Loic Remy, Christian Atsu, Michael Omeruo, Patrick Bamford and Kenedy.
If you didn’t know you might suspect that they were in the shop window. Remy scored our equaliser with a run from the half-way line and Dominic Solanke the winner. It was a real practice match with substitutions all over the place but a strong showing from the Chelsea players involved.
Obi John and Nigeria lost to Germany and will play the bronze medal match instead of the final. That match against Honduras is on Saturday at tea-time. Mikel has been playing really well and showing leadership qualities you wouldn’t have guessed at form his domestic game. Liberated for defensive duties in this tournament he has shown real attack class, one dribble past three opponents was worthy of an equaliser, only for a deflection to take the ball wide.
Friday 19 August
Germany beat Sweden in the gold medal match but looking for a silver lining, Hedwig Lindahl has um, er, a silver medal. She played very well in all of Sweden’s matches and can take pride in helping her country through two penalty shootouts.
Her success is Chelsea’s first Olympic medal since Oscar’s silver in London four years ago. Oscar was officially a Chelsea player when Brazil kicked off in 2012 his arrival at the Bridge delayed until after the tournament. Geremi won with Cameroon in Sydney, Celestine Babayaro won gold in 1996 but just before he joined the Blues and Dmitri Kharine also had a gold with the CCCP from the 1988 tournament when he signed for us in ’92.
To find a Chelsea player who won gold while at the club you have to go back to Vivian Woodward in 1912 who captained England amateurs and the Great Britain side that won gold in ’08 and retained their title four years later.
Saturday 20 August
Watford 1:2 Chelsea
Resilience, not something we had much of last season but something we are showing already under Antonio Conte. Last term we would have drawn both of our last two games but this we are fighting right to the death. If you need some Daily Fantasy Sports Promo Codes, then look no further than than DFS.
Diego Costa again scored the late goal to haul us on to six-points from two games. We had seemed narrow and created little in the first-half until Fabregas came on, waved his magic boot, and we scored a couple of peaches. First Batshuayi latched on to a rebound for his first in Chelsea colours before Cesc spotted Costa on a run and found him from deep in his own half. Many thought Diego Costa should have gone for diving but those same commentators watched Manchester United win a penalty last night with the most pathetic dive in recent history and said nothing.
Watford were busy but hardly threatening and their opener was one of only a handful of decent chances. Conte will have the defence drilling their defensive shape all week after that slip.
Southampton U18 3:2 Chelsea U18
A dodgy penalty and a late lob turned this game from one of control and domination to a defeat but then players have to learn that in football, as in life, sometimes it isn’t fair. Tariq Uwakwe and George McEachran scored our goals.
John Obi Mikel captained Nigeria to a 3-2 win over Honduras in an entertaining bronze medal play off. Brazil finally won the gold after beating Germany on penalties in the other game. Yes, we thought they always won penalty shootouts but there you go.