Monday 1 October
James Ashton has signed for Charlton for the rest of the season on loan. The name is probably not familiar because at 20 he has already had a full career’s worth of injury.
Poor QPR are beaten at home, again, and now sit bottom of the league. All that money and all those new faces, is it too early to hope to see the back of our noisy neighbours?
Tuesday 2 October
FC Nordsjælland 0:4 Chelsea
Comfortable in the end but the Farum side gave a lackadaisical Chelsea a few scares along the way.
We started brightly enough in this game but Oscar shot wide and Torres couldn’t sort his feet out after the ball broke to him. It was quickly apparent that Jores Okore was the main man at the back and someone we’ll probably snap up in January. The lad, Terry Butcher headgear and all, is immense and hard working and he needed to be as FCN built from the back patiently before surrendering possession and repelling counters. He was sharpest when heading away from Victor Moses as the new boy looked certain to score.
The model seemed fixed for the half as Chelsea became more and more frustrated as heavy touches started to creep in and the ball slipped into touch too often. Ashley Cole was still wide awake as he nipped in to black a close range chance from Lorentzen.
Torres suddenly woke up nicked the ball and fed Lampard who slid the ball into the box for Mata to Jairzinho the ball into the net. 0-1.
The Danes looked stunned and disappointed after all their tidy efforts but Chelsea looked extremely pleased with themselves and half-time came at the right moment for Di Matteo to focus minds.
And it worked: we came out with better control of ball and match but slowly the Danes asserted themselves as they had in the first period. Joshua John went on a swerving run and drew a flying one-handed save from Cech who pushed the ball onto the post.
A free-kick just outside their box looked to give us a late chance to secure the match but Mata flopped it into the wall. So, come the next free-kick a few moments later David Luiz bagsied it and thrashed it in off the post with their ’keeper motionless. 0-2.
It was a bit of a turkey shoot after that. Mata bungled into the box and found a sharp finish from beneath his feet for 0-3 and the swishes move of the match saw Oscar swap passes with Torres and square for the excellent Ramires to round off the night.
Spooky but our last away win in the group stage was in this stadium against FC København two seasons ago.
Shakhtar Donetsk got a cracking draw with Juventus in the group’s other tie, which leaves us top on goal difference with a laborious trip to the Ukraine in three weeks.
Michael Ballack announced his retirement this afternoon and we wish him well. He was an important if understated part of our double winning side.
Wednesday 3 October
CSKA Moscow U19 0:1 Chelsea U19
Feeling a bit mugged when they visited us and won 1-2, we got our own back by turning up at the October stadium and winning with a goal from the prolific Jeremie Boga. They had a man sent off early in the second-half we responded by having Jordan Houghton sent off towards the end. Everything is a bit out of kilter at the moment as this was Moscow’s fourth game in the competition our second Ajax have played one and Molde have lost all three of theirs. We travel to Norway next at the end of the month.
Friday 5 October
Fulham U21 3:1 Chelsea U21
A typically inexperienced Chelsea U21 side put up a good fight but ultimately sank to a cracking volleyed opener. Billy Clifford’s free-kick then somehow struggled in before the home side started to pull away with goals either side of half-time.
You have to hope the experience the youngsters are gaining outweighs the grindingly negative weekly score lines.
The FA’s panel released their reasons for finding John Terry guilty of insulting Anton Ferdinand. Frankly they stink. The panel set out to find Terry guilty under instruction from the FA and duly did so without the aid of any evidence.
Instead they introduced evidence not heard by the court – namely, their expert forensic reading of John’s facial expression: “at no point is his demeanour and facial expression that of someone who is imploring, injured, or even quizzical in the face of an unfounded allegation by Mr Ferdinand that he had just been racially abusive towards him.” This is incredible, yet no details are given of the panel’s expertise in this field of study. The Criminal Prosecution Service will be falling over themselves to use this new found expertise in future criminal trials.
The panel dig themselves in further by accusing Ashley Cole of lying. They allege that Cole lied by adding the word black to his original statement.
At no stage do they attempt to explain the context in which Mr Terry is speaking the words. It is clear that he is saying something before the offensive phrase and something after it. This panel have decided that they know that context is unimportant because it is inconvenient to their case.
Ashley Cole later tweeted: “Hahaha, Well done FA, I lied did I, bunch of twats”. Just about summed the whole process up. That the panel found Cole guilty of lying without the decency of hearing his evidence says it all. Sadly, Ash was required to apologise for the tweet. Apologised to a panel that accused him of lying because his was the only evidence in the case. He had to apologise to them? Say he was sorry? But he is a liar, so he is probably not sorry at all – wouldn’t that be ironic.
Saturday 6 October
Chelsea 4:1 Norwich City
Thank Odin, the tooth fairy and Jesus’ fecking bicycle football broke out again. After the week he has had you could of forgiven John Terry for having a diplomatic injury but he was present and centre and hobbling heavily as they broke forward and took the lead when Grant Holt volleyed in Leo Barnett’s header back. 0-1.
There was a kind of stunned surprise that lasted three minutes when Torres headed in Ivanovic’s cross. 1-1. Torres confidence looked patchy until his goal but after it he was buzzing. It was the Spaniards attempted overhead that was blocked for Frank Lampard to drill in the rebound. 2-1. Norwich won a corner a little later only for the loose ball to fall to Mata who ran the length of the field with either Torres or Hazard to chose from he opted for the Belgian and his finish across the goalkeeper was classic. 3-1. It was simply the best goal scored on the break by Chelsea for years.
The floodgates should have been open as Oscar, Cole and Mata all had chances and they flickered on the break but somehow we couldn’t quite get the bounce. Especially when Oscar nipped in to steal the ball from Leon Barnett and was bundled to the ground. We might sound like we are moaning but that is four game in a row we have been denied a penalty.
Most of the second-half was played in first gear as a training exercise but man-of-the-match Ivanovic popped up to volley in from Mata’s cue. 4-1. We could have taken them for many more but seemed content.
The crap about Terry and Cole starts again in the morning.
Chelsea U18 2:1 Fulham U18
Six out of six for the youngsters as they stride on, again with a little bit of late good fortune. They now face six games on the road so we’ll see how buoyed they have been y their early success.