CHELSEA 2-3 Burnley: False Start for Chelsea

You know when the gun goes off at the start of a race and there’s someone with their foot trapped in the starting blocks and they try to free it but their shoe comes off? No me neither, but if Chelsea were Olympic sprinters……… get the picture.
It’s fair to say it took us a while to get out of the starting blocks yesterday and yet another red card thrown into the mix, this time for Gary Cahill, didn’t help much either. Was it warranted? Not for me, he was clumsy and over-zealous but there was no intent and it wasn’t reckless or out of control. Still, with red cards in 3 consecutive competitive games now, we’re getting used to playing with ten men – so our inability to hold off Burnley in the first half was pretty inexcusable. Read more »

CHELSEA v Burnley: Preview

Date: Saturday 12th August, 2017
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 15:00 BST

After a ‘summer’ of whinging, today sees the start of a new season – and probably more whinging, as we play host to Burnley.
Last weekend’s Community Shield didn’t go our way in the penalty shoot out and not only did we lose Pedro to an unnecessary red card but we’ve also lost him to an ankle injury, so he’s yet another player out of our ever-decreasing squad. Still, we only need 11 on the pitch, so we should still stretch to that requirement without the need to call in favours from the canteen staff.
Burnley, who won away just once in 21 attempts last season, have also lost some key players over the summer, so they might not be feeling overly optimistic of serving up our first opening-day defeat in 20 seasons. Having said that, stranger things have happened at Stamford Bridge.
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Arsenal 1-1 CHELSEA (4-1 pens): No ABBA fans here

As Community Shields go, it was more of a curtain twitcher than a curtain raiser but it gave the neurotic section of support a trial run to the supermarket for their pampers, so all was not lost. Read more »

Arsenal v CHELSEA: Community Shield Preview

Date: Sunday 6th August, 2017
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Kick-off: 14:00 BST

Today’s game between the two sides equals the most played fixture at the new Wembley, along with Chelsea v Spurs and Chelsea v Manchester United (four each), so clearly we’re not shy of the venue. In fact, it’s only 10 weeks since our last visit, even if we failed to turn up against Arsenal in the FA Cup.
Of course, we played today’s opponents again in pre-season and came out of that with a 3-0 win but none of us will be kidding ourselves this game will be anything like as easy. We’ve had a mixed pre-season and aside from the excessive whinging at not signing anything like a £200m player, I’m not sure what we’re supposed to take from it.
I suspect we won’t see the finished article on display today though, with Conte’s work in the transfer market not yet complete and 2 or possibly 3 first team players absent. Not that I’m getting the excuses in early (I’ll leave that to Arsenal), it is what it is and we’ll have to turn up this time if we want to avoid more ‘Mourinho season’ comparisons.

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CHELSEA v Arsenal: FA Cup Final Preview

: Saturday 27th May, 2017
Venue: Wembley Stadium
Kick-off: 17:30 BST

Whilst everyone else has hung their boots up for a rest before pre-season, our last game of 2016/17 sees us take on Arsenal at Wembley for the FA Cup final.
Neither of us are strangers to Wembley or FA Cup finals, although Arsenal are streets ahead with 12 FA Cups won ahead of today and a win would take them ahead of United in terms of FA Cups in their cabinet. I’m sure they’d rather have old big ears in there like the rest of us, but that won’t be happening unless they get themselves back into the Champions League again.
Anyway, onto the game and in spite of Arsenal’s history in the FA Cup, we seem to be going into it as favourites. Of course, that’ll be because Antonio Conte’s change of formation saw us get our act together after Arsenal had pulled our pants down in the league. In fact, we got it together so well, tucked the title away with breathing space.
It’s worth noting though, that Arsenal have also won eight of nine games since replicating that change and despite all the noise about injuries upsetting that balance, I suspect Arsene will be feeling quietly confident coming into this game. For Conte, this is his first FA Cup final and unlike the league, this is often anyone’s game.

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CHELSEA v Sunderland: Preview

Date: Sunday 21st May, 2017
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 15:00 BST

Who could have predicted in May 2016 that one year on, the final game of the season would already see us crowned Premier League Champions?
After possibly the worst title defence we could have imagined, the arrival of Antonio Conte ensured the 2015/16 season faded into a distant nightmare we all woke from to happier times. Reinvigorating players like Hazard and Costa from an apathetic stupor, transforming Victor Moses and adding Kante, Luiz and Alonso into a system they can all perform in, has completely turned us around – and then some.
Not only has Conte’s brand of football got our attention though, the manner in which he’s gone about the job this season has won our hearts as well. After those defeats to Arsenal and Liverpool, whilst questions were being asked, Antonio Conte quietly went about his business, ringing the changes and the improvements came. Not for him the media circus that’s surrounded Chelsea manager’s for so many years, he’s gone about winning his first title with us, with humility, integrity and more passion than could ever have imagined from a manager during 90 minutes of football every week.
Anyway, onto the small matter of the game then and the visitors to Stamford Bridge are relegated Sunderland. I say Sunderland, although there appears to be so few of them available to play, David Moyes might be calling in favours from friends and family for his starting XI. Still, if his uncle Jim has a decent enough right foot, they could give us a bit of a game today.
Whatever the scoreline, there’s bound to be a watery eye or two at the final whistle though – and not for the Black Cats – but because this afternoon, marks the final Premier League game for John Terry after 716 appearances for Chelsea. His career at the club has spanned 22 years, during which time he’s become Chelsea’s most successful captain, leading them to five Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, one UEFA Cup and the Champions League title since 2004. He may not have featured on the pitch much during this campaign, but his influence in the dressing room and at the training ground will have had no less impact than it has in every season.

Captain. Leader. Legend.

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West Brom v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Friday 12th May, 2017
Venue: The Hawthorns
Kick-off: 20:00 BST

This time last season I just wanted it over and looking ahead to tonight’s game, there’s a part of me that still wants it over – but for very different reasons – because, if last season was all beer and bad kebabs, this year is all about champagne and caviar. Well ok, maybe not the caviar but the champagne is certainly chilling in the fridge, thanks to the Chelsea boss.
Antonio Conte has been an absolute inspiration this season – and not just because he has us winning again but because of the manner in which he’s done it. Conte has taken us to within one win of the Premier League title but more than that, he’s done it with humility, integrity and bucket loads of character. His management of the same abject group of players who finished last season in tenth place has been nothing short of superb, and for me, he deserves much more credit than any manager who fails to get past the finish line again.
I digress though because we’re not at the celebration stage yet, we’re still one win away from the title and between us and the three points we need are West Brom. They themselves will want to put a decent finish to the season together after a recent run of poor form. They don’t do badly against us at The Hawthorns and could end up with their best Premier League points total if they finish the season strongly, so we won’t want to give them too many set-pieces if those champagne corks are going to be popped before Monday!

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CHELSEA v Middlesbrough: Preview

Date: Monday 8th May, 2017
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 20:00 BST

Last week’s emphatic win at Goodison Park felt like we’d laid down our marker for the run-in. Most of us will have expected Spurs to follow it with a win over Arsenal and yet another little ride around town on their victory bus, metaphorically at least, but what we might not all have expected was for them to follow that by dropping 3 points against West Ham Friday night.
Not that anything has changed for us in terms of the points as such, because we remain 4 ahead at the top of the table. Tonight though, we have the opportunity to increase that gap to 7 points, which would leave us just one win away from the title. First though, we need to get past Middlesbrough and whilst they’ve been pretty grim this season, we have to remember they’re fighting for their Premier League lives and held City to a draw last time out.
With Luiz and Kante both likely to be missing for this one, the fat lady may not start clearing her lungs just yet.

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Everton v CHELSEA: Preview

Date: Sunday 30th April, 2017
Venue: Goodison Park
Kick-off: 14:05 BST

Today’s early game sees us travel to Merseyside for one of our toughest games in the run in, at Goodison Park.
The Toffees come into today’s game with 8 straight wins at home and whilst we might have beaten them 5-0 already this season, there’s no getting away from the fact they’ve won six of their last ten home games against us, three of those being in our last four trips to Goodison.
We might only have lost three of our last 28 games in the Premier League but 2 of those have come in our last five games, cutting our lead at the top of the table to just four points now and with Spurs more likely to beat Arsenal than ever in the late game today, we’ll need to do better at Goodison today than we usually do.

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CHELSEA v Southampton: Preview

Date: Tuesday 25th April, 2017
Venue: Stamford Bridge
Kick-off: 19:45 BST

We had a bit of a battle at the weekend before Eden Hazard edged us in front against Spurs and Nemanja Matic made the win certain with a belter from 25 yards out. So now that our FA Cup final spot is booked against Arsenal, it’s back to the business of the Premier League at home to Southampton.
The Saints have done well away from home lately, with 3 wins from the last 4, and whilst they haven’t beaten any of the current top six this season, they won’t fear coming to Stamford Bridge given their record against us.
Chelsea on the other hand, have lost 2 out of their last 4 in the Premier League and haven’t managed a clean sheet in ten games. This won’t be an easy game by any means but the pressure is on to keep that Spurs bus in the garage for another year.

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