Tuesday 26 April
The Hillsborough inquest found the police guilty of killing the 96 Liverpool fans during the tragedy in Sheffield 27 years ago.
The verdict opens the possibility of prison for David Duckenfield, liar in chief for the South Yorkshire police force. Others will go to nick for their part in doctoring the police statements in the biggest and most concerted effort to pervert the course of justice in legal history.
The verdict should also end any doubt Chelsea fans might have over what happened that day. Fans who chant about the disaster are simply wrong and bring shame on Chelsea fans and the club.
Manchester City scraped a draw with a very out of sorts Real Madrid. Bless them though, they’d put on a glittering display of shiny blue bin bags before kick off. It is a remainder of how little teams, unused to the big occasion, can sometimes over react.
Wednesday 27 April
FA Youth Cup
Final Tie 2nd Leg
Chelsea U18 3:1 Manchester City U18
Three years in a row. Not since this competition was in its infancy has one side dominated the FA Youth Cup so completely.
Joe Edwards and his squad can be immensely proud but the club as a whole is proving that they are doing the right thing.
Chelsea are often criticised for ‘stockpiling’ talented players and then loaning them out. The dig is that we are constantly buying in foreigners at this level and seeking an advantage by keeping the best youngsters away from rivals.
That is an absurd claim when the truth is that the FA Youth Cup winning teams are almost exclusively local lads qualified to play for England, developed by us from the ages of eight and nine.
The reason we have been loaning out so many players is that our academy is turning out dominant XIs in all age groups every year.
Manchester City have been buying in youngsters in an attempt to catch up. On tonight’s evidence they have a few years yet to go.
Chelsea so dominated the second-half of this match that it was a surprise when they scored a consolation because it was their only effort of the match.
We took the lead just before the break when defender and goalkeeper let the ball run and Dujon Sterling nipped in to give us the lead in the tie after the 1-1 draw last week.
Tammy Abraham marked the occasion with his last goal at this level for our second. Fikayo Tomori again looked head and shoulders above this age group and added a second personal goal in the tie, and third on the night, to his excellent defending.
Joe Edwards moves on at the end of the season to co-ordinate the loanees, Jody Morris take over at U18 and has something to live up to. You wouldn’t want to be the coach who let this record slip – Chelsea, FA Youth Cup winners: 1960, 1961, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016).
Jake Clarke-Salter lifted the trophy and along with Jay Dasilva became the first players to win the Youth Cup three times since the likes of Duncan Edwards, Wilf McGuiness and Bobby Charlton in the 1950s.
If someone down the pub tells you that Chelsea are a poorly run club just chuckle and ignore everything else that comes out of their gob.
Liverpool 1:2 Chelsea
The women were not at their best but goals from Ji So-Yun and Gilly Flaherty were enough to see off a spirited Liverpool second-half fight back.
The girls now have three out of three for the league season.
Thursday 28 April
Lucas Piazon and Michael Hector have returned from loan at Reading to train with the first-team squad as the season winds down. They will not be eligible for any games.
Dermot Drummy landed the Crawley Town job. Dermot masterminded the overhaul of the academy that has yielded five FA Youth Cups in seven years and is held in high regard in the game.
It might take him a little while to have an impact at Crawley.
Friday 29 April
Chelsea U18 2:2 Liverpool U18
Shared point in the final home game of a very long campaign for the U18s. Ike Ugbo was on target to twice drag us back into the contest as the academy stretched their resources to field another squad two days after winning the FA Youth Cup.
Sunday 1 May
The worker’s flag is … tum, ti, tum … it tum, ti, tum our tum, ti, tum, tum, ti, tum ti tum … keep the blue flag flying high.
Manchester United scraped a draw with champions-elect Leicester City and so all eyes turn to Stamford Bridge and Monday night football… Sky will be delighted.
Spurs you’ll remember have not beaten us at the Bridge in a generation but they’ll need to win to keep on the Foxes shirttails.
Monday 2 May
Chelsea 2:2 Tottenham Hotspur
If there was a perfect way of depriving your rivals of a prize we came near to reaching it. Tantalising Spurs, toying with them and ultimately snatching away their dreams and trampling them into the Stamford Bridge turf.
Spurs lost it completely but it had all started so brightly: we gifted them a two-goal lead as, first we stood still and watched Harry Kane tap them into an early lead and when Song Heung-min slotted their second you could palpably hear the optimism in their voices, hope of a championship, a first championship since before your father was born.
Spats and niggles were breaking out though and Danny Rose chose to square up to Willian right on the interval to set the tone for the second half. Mousa Dembele appeared to scratch at Diego Costa’s eye socket in the mêlée. If he wore blue he’d be banned for a month.
The second-half started with more scraps as Hazard came on to ruffle Tottenham feathers and they imploded.
Gary Cahill took a touch and then lashed in a left-foot volley to give them the jitters and as the cards mounted and their desperation grew Eden Hazard stepped forward to decide the destination of the title – it was just that his equaliser destroyed Spurs’ dreams, it was the quality of the goal – he strode through their tackles and volleyed a one-two into the top right-hand corner of the net, the very top corner, to shatter north London hearts.
Instead of fighting for a winner, Spurs chose just fighting and left the field with nine bookings – a Premiership record – and a scuffle in the tunnel.
There is a strong feeling that even if Spurs had won we’d have played the U12s against Leicester on the final afternoon.
Half the Spurs squad will now be missing from their next match as the take a sheepish bow at home to Southampton.
“ … and Leicester” are now champions with 77 points. Our heartiest congratulations go to the whole enterprise, club, city and Clownio… sorry, Cloddio, er, Claudio Ranieri, we always knew he’d get there in the end.
Down a level and Burnley secured promotion back to the Premiership at the first attempt. Sean Dyche stayed at the club last season despite relegation and steered them back into the top flight. Clubs that look to rid themselves of managers when things are not going well could learn from the example.
Many football fans enjoy making their accumulator – or ‘acca’ – bets on a match day. With the final weekend of the Premier League and the European Championship just around the corner why not visit this live accas site?
Wednesday 4 May
The new home kit is out already and it looks the part. It is a bit of throw back to the late 50s kit but that is no bad thing.
Manchester City wimped out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage as they failed to kick a ball towards real Madrid’s goal. Really they looked like they’d rather be at home cutting the lawn.
Friday 6 May
Chelsea U21 0:1 Manchester United U21
A limp way to finish the season but with all the prizes already decided United came with three first-team regulars to make it difficult for us and restricted the young Blues to half-chances.
Mousa Dembele has been banned for six matches after his eye gouge on Diego Costa. You’ll note none of the commentators have called him an animal or a disgrace to the game. In fact several footballers have come out in his defence and questioned the severity of the sentence.
It puts into perspective the language used to talk about Costa, when he accidentally trod on Emre Can he was pilloried and accused of stamping. Eric Lamella has been let off without sanction and without a media storm for putting his size nines on Fabregas’ hand.
And they’ll tell you there is no bias toward Chelsea in the media.
Saturday 7 May
Sunderland 3:2 Chelsea
Ah, well you have to keep things interesting and set yourself a few challenges for the new manager. As it is Antonio Conte will be spending half the pre-season marshalling the defence.
Diego Costa shot us ahead and there wasn’t much you could do about their first equaliser – volleyed stylishly in by Khazri –but the spineless way we allowed two more goals will not be forgiven or forgotten on Tyneside any time soon.
Nemanja Matic scored a very rare goal to give us the lead for a second time but the late drama revolved around John Terry’s late second yellow. Thinking went that he wouldn’t miss the last game because we have Liverpool in midweek but it was his second card of the season that would normally mean a two-game ban.
Blackburn Rovers U18 4:0 Chelsea U18
A very young Chelsea side had no answer to a first-half hat-trick. It was only the U18’s fourth defeat of the campaign and they’ll settle for third in the final table with the FA Youth Cup already in the cabinet.
Sunday 8 May
Chelsea 6:3 Liverpool
The women conceded from the kick off but still came back to dominate this game. They’ll want to tighten up a bit at the back ahead of the FA Cup final.
Over in the Netherland and Marco Van Ginkel’s PSV Eindhoven won the championship after Ajax could only muster a draw on the last afternoon.