Match Report: Wigan 0-2 Chelsea

Full match report on the 2-0 win against Wigan

A belated and well deserved thank you to Salomon Kalou

My take on Salomon Kalou leaving the club, and how it can effect Chelsea in a bigger way than many fans think

Chelsea Youth 4-0 Blackburn Youth: Match Report

Report and review of Chelsea's Youth team game against a strong Blackburn Youth team. An emphatic scoreline in the first leg of the F.A Youth Cup sets Chelsea on track

Chelsea 1-0 Barcelona: Match Highlights

Video of the match highlights from Chelsea's win over Barcelona

Chelsea vs Bolton: Match Report

Chelsea vs Bolton, Chelsea finally managed to overcome their recent poor run of form against a sturggling Bolton side. Chelsea ran out comfortable winners after a brilliant second half display.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Arsenal 0-2 Chelsea: Match Report

Two games in 48 hours against probably the two best teams in the league at the moment, how cruel the fixture list can be. Mourinho complained and even threatened to field the under-21 side as a protest to being made to play two massive games in such a short space of time, this was understandable really as it gave Chelsea a distinct disadvantage. However this is not the Chelsea of last season, this is not the Chelsea managed by the Fat Spanish Waiter (Benitez), this is Mourinho's Chelsea.

What can we say? Two games against our two main rivals and we come out with two wins , not half bad eh? The first game, a potential title decider vs Manchester City, showed two teams with possibly the two strongest line-up's in the league. In a fraught game Chelsea and City were very evenly matched, but the extra commitment shown by Chelsea, and in particular Fernando Torres, was enough to see them win 2-1 against their biggest title rivals.

Now Chelsea had a problem, each and every player on the pitch vs Manchester City had given their all and would surely be too drained of energy to play against Arsenal in 48 hours. In his pre-match press conference confirmed that he would make plenty of changes for the game against Arsenal and he stuck by his word when the team sheet was released an hour before kick off. In total he had made 10 changes, only centre back Gary Cahill remained. However this was by no means a weak Chelsea side with players such as veteran keeper Schwazer, David Luiz, Juan Mata and Samuel Eto'o all starting.

The game began with complete and utter domination by Chelsea, for the first 10 or 15 minutes Arsenal rarely touched the ball as Chelsea dominated possession with good passing. Arsenal were playing like the away team and Chelsea were passing well and beginning to create chances. Just as Arsenal appeared to be settling into the game and keeping the ball much better, Chelsea's goal came.

Arsenal won a corner but a poor delivery, which didn't beat the head of the first man, allowed Eto'o to pick the ball up on the edge of the box. Chelsea straight away committed players to the counter attack and Eto'o picked out Willian who had been full of running since kick off. Willian ran unchallenged to the half way line where Arsenal left back Monreal came to close him down. Willian spotted Essien next to him making a good run and decided to play the pass rather than try and beat the man. Essien took a heavy touch which meant he just stook a leg out and kicked the ball toward the Arsenal goal. Arsenal right back Jenkinson got a block on the ball and sent it looping into the air, he followed the ball back and jumped for the header on edge of his own box. However he mis-hit the header back to his keeper and produced barely any power, this allowed Azpilicueta who had run some 70 yards down the field to chase the loose header. He beat on rushing Arsenal keeper Fabianski to the ball to prod the ball into the bottom corner, before jumping up to celebrate his first ever Chelsea goal in front of the 9,000 fans who had made the short trip North to watch the blues play. Azpilicueta finished his goal with aplomb and showed the predatory instinct of a striker.

This goal kicked Arsenal into life, a few minutes later a mistake by the goal scorer allowe Monreal to hit a shot from the edge of the box, however it was always heading wide. Arsenal started to hold onto the ball without really creating many chances, they also looked very vulnerable to the pace of the Chelsea counter attack. The half ended with Arsenal beginning to look more composed but Chelsea still by far and away the most likely team to score.

After the break Arsenal continued to push for an equaliser, but it was Chelsea who had the first sight of goal as new boy Samuel Eto'o curled a shot from 20 yards just wide of the post. Arsenal responded with two shots in quick succession, both from the in-form Ramsey. His first shot from inside the box took three deflections off of Chelsea players before rolling out for a corner, his second from just outside the penalty area drifted just wide of Schwarzer's left hand post. Arsene Wenger could see his side were lacking a killer blow so he brought on Giroud and Ozil whilst the woeful Bendtner was dragged off. These subs could have swung the game in Arsenal's favour but just a few minutes later they were left with a mountain to climb as Mata scored his first goal of the season to wrap the game up.

A simple throw-in on the left had side by Bertrand was flicked toward the edge of the box by Eto'o, Willian jumped with his man and headed the ball Back to Mata who was 20 yards out on the edge of the box. His first touch with his left foot was exquisite and set him up perfectly for the shot on his right food. How swung his foot and connected perfectly with the ball sending it flying past the diving Fabianski. Mata had been superb all game and this goal was just another word in the ear of Mourinho when he thinks about his starting 11 for the game on Saturday against Newcastle.

Arsenal had really given up the ghost and the game drifted by. A decent shot from 8 yards by Giroud, from a tight angle, was comfortably saved. Ramires then had his shot cleared off the line by Koscielny, some good quick passing down the Chelsea right involving the ever growing Willian allowed Ramires to run in and use his pace to outrun the defender only to his shot from an impossible angle just cleared by Koscielny. The Chelsea fans, who had outsung their North London rivals were in fine voice in the last minute as Chelsea secures their place in the last 8.

Chelsea now look ahead to a tough game against a struggling Newcastle at St James' Park on Saturday.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Match Report: Wigan 0-2 Chelsea

Opening game of the season and Chelsea cruise to a simple win against Wigan to earn all 3 points. The game could not have started better for Chelsea, they were 2-0 up and cruising inside 6 minutes. The first goal came just before the 2 minute mark, a poor cross from Wigan floated into Petr Cech's arms. He threw a pinpoint ball out to Lampard who turned and passed to Hazard on the half-way line, Hazard then showed some of his world-class talent by turning Wigan centre back Ivan Ramis and speeding off toward the Wigan goal. He looked up to see right-back Branislav Ivanovic charging into the space, where the centre-back should have been, and slotted a ball through to him. Ivanovic took 2 touches to set himself and then struck the ball low, hard and toward the near post. The perfect strikers finish from a righ-back who is becoming more and more known for his goalscoring as well as mean defending. Although Al Habsi could and should have done better in the Wigan goal, you can take nothing away from Ivanovic's finish.  This early goal put the Chelsea players and fans in control, with a feeling that this game would be dominated by Chelsea and that the floodgates could open. Chelsea got their passing together and looked dangerous everytime they attacked. Then, just 4 minutes after the first goal, Chelsea set of on another attack. Eden Hazard picked the ball up 25 yards out on the right hand side, he held off the first Wigan defender and strode into the box. One touch around Wigan defender Ivan Ramis, for the second time in the game, caused Ramis to bring him down and give Chelsea a penalty. With the chants of "Super Frank" from the Chelsea end, Frank Lampard stepped up and powered a low and hard penalty past Al Habsi. Al Habsi went the right way but the pace took the ball underneath him. With Chelsea seemingly in control you were just waiting for the goals to start flying in. However to Wigans credit they got themselves together and started to play their way, passing through Chelsea and creating a few good.chances. Had Di Santo been able to finish it could have been 2-2, however he missed a free header and had a poor shot from a 1 on 1 cleared by David Luiz. Chelsea managed to hold out to half time with Wigan in the ascendancy. The second half kicked off with Chelsea trying to calm things down, keep possession, and kill Wigan off. They were doing well holding the ball at the back but when they went into the last third they lost the ball far to easily. Wigan could sense this and were counter-attacking very successfully, had they taken their chances they could easily have been ahead. As the game entered the final 10 minutes, Wigan tired and Chelsea put together a beautiful passing move which culminated in Ivanovic squaring the ball , he almost found Torres, but the Wigan defender cleared at the last. Chelsea won the game 2-0, it was not as comfortable as many fans would have liked, but we got the three points, and new and old players gained fitness.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

A belated and well deserved thank you to Salomon Kalou

Earlier on last month Chelsea Football Club released the news that Salomon Kalou and Jose Bosingwa were to be released by the club at the end of their contracts. At first glance this was not devasting news to the fan or the club, neither were seen as regular starters if the whole squad was fit. In my opinion this would be a true and fair statement when talking about Jose Bosingwa, but Kalou? Maybe we have overlooked how important he is.
Altogether Kalou spent six seasons at the club, he was bought as an exciting new winger who could try and add more pace and flair to a team in which Shaun Wright Phillips had so badly under-performed for. However this was not to be, he never really broke into the first team, and the games he did play he was fairly average. Over the six years he proved a player that would be labelled a "wonder-sub" , perhaps over exaggerated he was definitely no Tore Andre Flo, but off the bench he could do a job and would score some very important goals. However his more recent performances will be what stick in the mind of most Chelsea fans, the performances that got us wins against the likes of Benfica, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. He played a very disciplined role to help keep out supposed better opposition and against Benfica he scored a vital away goal. These superb, if not spectacular, performances helped Chelsea to win the Champions League and F.A Cup.
So when Chelsea fans look back at Kalou being released they should not think "not a big deal didn't really do much", they should instead remember him as a good, hard-working player who pooped up with vital goals and helped Chelsea to their first ever Champions League crown. So on behalf of every Chelsea fan I would like to say a late but well deserved thank you to Salomon Kalou. At times an underrated and under appreciated player, he was a good servant to the club and we should not let that be forgotten.
Thank you Salomon for all your work in the past six years for our club

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Chelsea Youth 4-0 Blackburn Youth

Big Advantage Ahead of Second Leg
The Chelsea Youth Team set themselves up in a fantastic position to win the F.A Youth Cup by winning the first leg against Blackburn Youth 4 goals to 0. The youth team were expected to go far in the competition, as they have for the last 4 years, winning it 2 years ago. 

The first leg was held at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea made home advantage count massively. After a bright start by Blackburn, Chelsea took control in the 20th minute when Chalobah scored an impressive header from Affane's cross. Even this did not set Blackburn back to far and they were still well in it, forcing two or three good saves from Chelsea goalkeeper Blackman. However Chelsea took another step to closing the game just before half time, Chelsea had nice possession with every player touching the ball before Todd Kane finished a flowing move with a superb curling finish. This knocked Blackburn a bit and they couldn't wait top get in for half time.

Blackburn came out of the blocks in the second half, forcing Blackman into another 2 good saves. However Chelsea took control and in the 62nd minute Islam Feruz made it 3-0 to Chelsea, effectiveley sealing the tie, a fantastic ball from Chalobah was slotted under the Blackburn keeper well by Feruz. Just ten minutes later Chelsea got their fourth goal and Feruz's second, Piazon the provider this time, his ball tucked away under the keeper by Feruz. Blackburn tried to put pressure on the Chelsea defence before the second leg at Ewood Park. However Ake and Davey made a formidable defensive partnership, and with Blackman in goal Blackburn were stuck. Kane almost got the goal his overall display merited, but, after a great run down the right and a neat one-two, his shot was charged down by desperate defending inside the Blackburn box.
Minutes later the final whistle rang out, and Chelsea take an emphatic scoreline into the second leg. Surely the F.A Youth Cup will come back to the Bridge this season. One other question on the lips of fans is: When will these youth players get a chance at the big time? With players like Chalobah, Piazon, Feruz, Blackman and others in good form, will we see them next season in the first team.

Well done to the youth team. I will be at Ewood Park to see them lift the trophy. 

Calum Heseltine  

Friday, 20 April 2012

Chelsea 1-0 Barcelona: Match Report

Side Note: Just like to say I am now working at full capacity to try and get this blog up and running. I have not been able to post for a month or so because I have been revising non stop. Now that's almost sorted I will be able to post more.
We've Done It (Almost)

So we did what many people thought was impossible, we not only stopped Barcelona from scoring, but also managed to knick a goal of our own and win the game. We beat the almost self-proclaimed best team in the world. Yes, it wasn't pretty, but I would rather we win ugly than lose pretty. From the moment the first few thousand fans packed into the mighty Stamford Bridge to the moment the last few thousand left, every single fan had an air of hope, that feeling that we could just do this. 

That great hope was almost wiped away after just 6 minutes. Iniesta chipped a defence splitting ball to Sanchez who chipped the ball over the on-coming Petr Cech, only to hit the crossbar and the ball to be cleared by John Terry. This was greeted by the home fans with loud cheers, more out of relief than confidence. Barcelona were happy to pass the ball around in midfield for the first 15 minutes, and likewise Chelsea were happy to defend in numbers. However on 16 minutes Barcelona finally let the ball slip and Chelsea tried to seize the chance to counter attack. The ball was played well from left to right before Ivanovic went on a run from right back, he got to the edge of the 18 yard box before he was tackled and the ball was put out for a throw-in. Chelsea knew this may be one of their only chances to use a good set piece into the Barcelona box, Ivanovic stepped up with a long throw which was flicked on by Drogba. The ball bounced in the box and landed next to John Terry who flicked it against Dani Alves' leg, the ball broke to Cahill but again Alves cleared it off of Cahill's leg and went out for a goal kick.

Barcelona then went straight up the other end of the field, Iniesta played a neat ball to Messi from the right hand side, Messi jinked through Ivanovic and Cahill and was looking ready to cross. He instead chose to back heel the ball to Iniesta who hit the ball with some venom from a tight angle. Cech made a good save, however he could only palm the ball out to Cesc Fabregas who somehow could not put the ball into the back of the net from 7 yards. He scuffed his shot wide and Sanchez could only stab the ball wide to Alves whose cross was too deep and went out of play. For the next 10 minutes Barcelona once again kept possession in-front of the Chelsea defence. Barcelona got another half chance, this time an unusual long ball forward was headed away by John Terry, only to fall to the feet of Sanchez on the right wing. He got a quick cross to the edge of the box where Messi met it with a firm header, however Cech got down low and caught the ball comfortably.

Now you guessed again, Barcelona kept possession well without really creating anything. However Chelsea gave the ball away cheaply (on the odd occasion they got more than 3 touches) in the 42nd minute, Messi picked up the ball and ran at the Chelsea centre backs. Fabregas made a good run between Ivanovic and Cahill, Messi made a superb pass to him and Fabregas went to try and lob it over Cech. He got it over Cech but the ball had little pace on it, this just gave enough time for Ashley Cole to get back and clear the ball off the line in a last ditch slide.

Just 4 minutes later came the game-changing moment. Lionel Messi dropped back to around the centre circle to pick up the ball, by the time he had turned he was faced by both Lampard and Mikel. Lampard cheaply dispossessed him and immediately Drogba made the diagonal run, dragging Puyol and Mascherano with him. This left a massive gap on the right side of the pitch, due to Alves being in Chelsea's half. Ramires immediately saw the space and did what he does best, ran. He made the run past Xavi and recieved a perfectly weighted pass from Lampard, he took it down on his chest and sprinted toward the Barcelona box. When the ball was first won Xavi had 4 yards on Ramires, but as Ramires entered the Barcleona box he had 6 yards on Xavi. Due to this gap Puyol and Mascherano felt they both (why just Puyol didn't go over is a mystery, this highlighted that Mascherano is definitely not a defender) needed to go over and stop him, big mistake. This left Drogba free at the far post, Ramires looked up and put in a perfect left-footed cross to the far post. Drogba hit it first time with his left foot, Valdes dived the right way but could only palm it into his own net. The Bridge went wild. Fans roared the name of Drogba, chanted "Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea" and jumped up and down like we had won the cup. However this was just a slender lead in the first leg of a Champions League semi-final, there was still 45 minutes and another game to go. But this didn't stop the fans and players alike thinking we could do it.

The second half really kicked into action on 50 minutes. Adriano picked up the ball on the half way line and ran at the Chelsea defence, he took a neat little touch past Lampard, who almost brought him down. This opened up some space for Adriano to hit the ball with his weaker right foot, his curling effort was palmed away by Petr Cech's strong right wrist out for a throw-in. Barcelona gave away the ball at the throw and Chelsea got some rare possession, they went up the other end of the pitch and won there first corner of the game on 52 minutes. Lampard whipped it in, Ivanovic got a flick-on, but Cahill couldn't pull off a superb attempt at a scissor kick at the back post. The third chance of a hectic five minutes came when Sanchez played a neat one-two with Fabregas, Fabrgas' return was a neat ball chipped over John Terry. Sanchez was bearing down on goal, he took a poor first touch which gave Ashley Cole time to come across and force him to rush his shot and balloon it wide. Looking back this was a very good chance and he probably should have done better with it.

After this little scare, Chelsea shored up the defence. Once again they allowed Barcelona to keep the ball and try to hit them on the break. They soaked up the pressure well and Barca were struggling to break them down. However on the 69th minute Mikel made a rash challenge, from the resulting free kick Xavi could only put the ball over the bar. After this it was the same story as the rest of the match. Up until the 84th minute. Chelsea had a rare attack, the ball bounced around before eventually the ball fell to substitute Kalou, however he could only lift the ball way over the bar from 14 yards. After that it seemed as though Barcelona realised they were 1-0 down with just 5 minutes to go. They won a free kick about 40 yards out, taken very cleverly by Messi, he fired it around the wall at a low level. Cech was preparing for the save, however Puyol ducked down low and got a slight flick on, Cech readjusted well to tip it around the post at full stretch.

In the 93rd minute, with Barcelona desperate to get something from the game. Messi played the ball in to Busquets on the edge of the box, Busquets played a neat back heel to Messi. Terry read it really well though and slid in, however his clearance went straight to Thiago, his curling shot rolled along the ground, past Cech, but hit the post. With Cech on the floor it looked as though it would be an easy finish for a Barcelona man, however Chelsea got a massive slice of luck, it fell to that man Busquets, who is possibly the worst finisher on the field. He ran on, got his foot right underneath the ball and skied it high and wide. From the resulting goalkick the referee blew the whistle. The game was over. Chelsea fans were jubilant, as were the players. No one could say that after that dogged performance that Chelsea didn't deserve it. The job is only half done with a second-leg at the Nou Camp still to play. However Chelsea are in form and looking to beat Arsenal tomorrow, if they win that then they will be on a massive high. With it now confirmed that Drogba has signed a 2 year contract with a Chinese club, winning the Champions League would be an amazing send off for the senior players. Lets just pray we can do it. In Di Matteo we trust.
Calum Heseltine

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Chelsea 1-0 Barcelona: Highlights

Chelsea - Barclelona 1-0 Highlights HD 18.04.2012
Highlight's in English. Match Report to follow.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Andre Villas Boas has been Sacked

How many times have Chelsea been in this position over the past 9 years? A manager has a run of poor results or loses the players confidence in him and he gets sacked. In my opinion some of these have been harsh in the past, like the great work Avram Grant and Carlo Ancelotti did for the club, however this one I'm a bit torn on. When you actually take a look at this seasons stat's under AVB and you will see just how bad they have been. He has the lowest win percentage in the Abramovich era, yes even worse than Scolari's woeful record, and this is only scratching the surface of the problem. Not only have we had over 4 months of poor 'form', it looked like  the players did not want to play for the manager, as if they had no trust or faith in him. Frank Lampard was so annoyed at how he had been treated that he went out to the press and let his feelings be known, this escalated into a war of words between Lampard and AVB in the press. There have been countless reports of 'dressing room unrest' where by the players do not agree with the manager's tactics or team selection, many people have blamed this on the age of AVB. Some say that because he is the same age, if not younger, than some of the senior players. It is said that some of the players felt they were being talked down to and that they did not like being undermined like that. AVB's management style was a strange one, he wasn't the sort of manager that would put his arm around a player if they needed it. He was the boss, they were his staff. Again the players didn't take to this. This leads to the players not wanting to play for the manager, which ultimately results into poor performances. And this can only lead to fans turning on the manager about the poor results. So ultimately it did not work out for him, I wish him all the best in future endeavours and can only feel sorry for him that it didn't work out at Chelsea. Roberto Di Matteo has been given the interim manager's job, but who will get the full time job at the end of this season? Mourinho? Guardiola? Even Benitez? (hopefully not). Let me know what you think? Who should be the next Chelsea manager?


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