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  1. Chelsea travelled to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United in their next league fixture. The Blades had endured a shaky start to the season following Dean Henderson's return to Man Utd, although they had signed Radja Nainggolan on loan from Inter Milan. Sheffield United Verrips Basham Egan Retsos Baldock Berge Fleck Stevens Nainggolan Mousset Bernard Substitutes: Dewhurst, Freeman, Lundstram, McBurnie, Freeman, Osborn, Sharp Chelsea Kepa Azpilicueta Christensen Rüdiger Emerson Jorginho Kanté Mount Ziyech Werner Sancho Substitutes: Caballero, Loftus-Cheek, Zouma, Havertz, Hudson-Odoi, Batshuayi, James Referee: Chris Kavanagh The first chance came to the home side in the sixth minute. A corner from Fleck found Berge, whose header went looping over the bar. In the 8th minute, a cross from Ziyech found Mount, who hit a volley over the bar. Kanté was the next player to try his luck, with his volley in the 13th minute going over the bar. In the 21st minute, Kanté exchanged passes with Azpilicueta before passing to Jorginho. Jorginho hit a first time shot which flew into the net from 25 yards out to give Chelsea the lead. The Blues nearly doubled their lead immediately, as in the 23rd minute Emerson hit the side netting from a tight angle, before Werner missed after connecting with a pass from Ziyech. In the 25th minute, Azpilicueta received the ball from Werner and shot just wide. Chelsea were in total control, and in the 28th minute a cross from Emerson found Ziyech, whose header was tipped over by Verrips. Verrips was called into action again from the corner, saving Emerson's shot. In stoppage time, a cross from Emerson found Kanté, whose header went over the bar. A minute into the second half, Christensen was booked for a foul on Bernard. In the 48th minute, a free kick from Mount found Rüdiger, whose header was diverted over by Verrips. Verrips would be on hand again in the 51st minute, as he saved from Sancho after a one-two between him and Mount. In the 54th minute, a free kick from Mount was headed over by Rüdiger. Rüdiger would see a shot tipped over in the 57th minute, as would Emerson a minute later. In the 59th minute, Bernard was replaced by Sharp. With just over 20 minutes left, a free kick from Mount found Werner, whose header was saved by Fleck. Sheffield United had barely had a sniff but in the 71st minute, Fleck was shoved by Azpilicueta and sent the free kick just wide. With 15 minutes left, Emerson was booked for a foul on Baldock, before McBurnie came on for Mousset. With ten minutes to go, Jorginho was shown a yellow card for a foul on Nainggolan. Fleck's free kick deflected off Emerson to Berge, who looked for Retsos in the area. Retsos took a shot, but his effort was turned away by Kepa. Chelsea then went up the other end, and Verrips did well to tip Sancho's shot behind. With five minutes left, Lundstram came on for Fleck while a tiring Azpilicueta was replaced by James. With two minutes left, Sharp ran onto a pass from Nainggolan and took a low shot which Kepa could only parry. James got there first and cleared. Saturday 19 September 2020, 17:30: Barclays Premier League - at Bramall Lane, Sheffield Sheffield United 0-1 Chelsea (Jorginho 21) Attendance: 32,318 (3,000 away) Man of the Match: Jorginho Other results Friday Huddersfield 2-0 Leicester (Diakhaby 30, Bacuna 88) Saturday Man Utd 1-0 Liverpool (Gabriel Barbosa 28) Brighton 1-1 Burnley (Bernardo 60; McNeil 33) Fulham 1-1 Norwich (Mawson 3; Lamela 13) Southampton 1-2 Aston Villa (Obafemi 30; Soteldo 54, Mata 88) Tottenham 2-0 Bournemouth (Son 52, Sanchez 74) West Ham 0-2 Arsenal (Depay 19, Pépé 86) Sunday Leeds 2-4 Wolves (Cooper 31, Shackleton 46; Taison 23, 45+1, 62, David Luiz 35) Man City 2-0 Everton (Kane 68, 77) League Table | Pos | Inf | Team | Pld | Won | Drn | Lst | For | Ag | GD | Pts | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 1st | | Arsenal | 6 | 6 | 0 | 0 | 26 | 5 | 21 | 18 | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 2nd | | Chelsea | 6 | 5 | 0 | 1 | 16 | 7 | 9 | 15 | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 3rd | | Man Utd | 6 | 5 | 0 | 1 | 13 | 4 | 9 | 15 | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 4th | | Man City | 6 | 5 | 0 | 1 | 10 | 6 | 4 | 15 | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 5th | | Liverpool | 6 | 4 | 1 | 1 | 17 | 3 | 14 | 13 | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 6th | | Wolves | 6 | 4 | 1 | 1 | 16 | 9 | 7 | 13 | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 7th | | Tottenham | 6 | 4 | 1 | 1 | 12 | 5 | 7 | 13 | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 8th | | Everton | 6 | 3 | 0 | 3 | 12 | 10 | 2 | 9 | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 9th | | Aston Villa | 6 | 3 | 0 | 3 | 8 | 8 | 0 | 9 | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 10th | | Fulham | 6 | 2 | 2 | 2 | 5 | 10 | -5 | 8 | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 11th | | Sheff Utd | 6 | 2 | 1 | 3 | 8 | 10 | -2 | 7 | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 12th | | Leicester | 6 | 2 | 0 | 4 | 8 | 12 | -4 | 6 | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 13th | | Brighton | 6 | 1 | 3 | 2 | 6 | 10 | -4 | 6 | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 14th | | West Ham | 6 | 2 | 0 | 4 | 4 | 11 | -7 | 6 | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 15th | | Bournemouth | 6 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 12 | 12 | 0 | 5 | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 16th | | Burnley | 6 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 8 | 13 | -5 | 5 | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 17th | | Norwich | 6 | 1 | 1 | 4 | 5 | 12 | -7 | 4 | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 18th | | Huddersfield | 6 | 1 | 0 | 5 | 7 | 16 | -9 | 3 | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 19th | | Leeds | 6 | 0 | 2 | 4 | 6 | 18 | -12 | 2 | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 20th | | Southampton | 6 | 0 | 0 | 6 | 4 | 22 | -18 | 0 | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
  2. The return of the UEFA Champions League saw Chelsea travel to the Allianz Stadium to face Juventus. The Bianconeri were now managed by former Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri, and boasted a lineup comprising of Gonzalo Higuain, Mattijs De Ligt, and Ballon d'Or holder Cristiano Ronaldo, as well as former Arsenal players Wojciech Szczesny and Aaron Ramsey. Spencer opted for a more cautious approach and a deeper defensive line. Juventus Szczesny Danilo De Ligt Bonucci Sandro Bentacur Pjanic Rabiot Ramsey Higuaín Ronaldo Substitutes: Perin, Demiral, Bernadeschi, Cavani, Cuadrado, Pellegrini, Kulusevski Chelsea Kepa Azpilicueta Christensen Rüdiger Telles Kovacic Kanté Havertz Ziyech Werner Sancho Substitutes: Caballero, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Zouma, Pulisic, Batshuayi, James Referee: Felix Brych (GER) Ils sont les meilleurs Sie sind die besten These are the Champions Die meister Die besten Les meilleurs équipes The Champions! Chelsea started brightly and won a series of corners before Pjanic was booked in the fifth minute for a foul on Werner. In the 7th minute, Sancho intercepted a clearance from Ronaldo which was blocked by Danilo. In the 10th minute, Sancho received the ball from Telles and drilled in a cross to Werner, whose header was saved by Szczesny. Ziyech then received the ball from Azpilicueta and dribbled past Alex Sandro before hitting the side netting from a tight angle. Juventus' first real chance came in the 14th minute. Pjanic sent a free kick goalwards, but Kepa was able to stop it on the line. Azpilicueta then cleared a volley from Bentacur off the line before a header from Ronaldo was pushed away by Kepa. Ronaldo came close again in the 19th minute. A pass from Ramsey found him unmarked, but his shot was saved by Kepa. Ramsey was then shown a yellow card for a foul on Kovacic, while Danilo was booked for a foul on Sancho. In the 28th minute, Rüdiger was booked for a foul on Higuaín. Three minutes later, a free kick from Pjanic found De Ligt, whose header went over the bar. In the 37th minute, another free kick from Pjanic found Bentacur, whose header was saved by Kepa. Juventus had had more of the half, but Chelsea began a spell of pressure as it drew to a close. In the 39th minute, Ziyech received the ball from Kanté and hit a hopeful shot which went wide. Four minutes later, a header from Sancho was saved by Szczesny. A minute before the break, a half volley from Ziyech was blocked by De Ligt. The loose ball fell to Havertz, who sent his shot wide. A minute into the second half, Telles fed the ball down the line for Sancho, who crossed into the area. The cross found Werner, who headed over the bar. In the 48th minute, Ronaldo was tripped by Christensen. Pjanic went for goal from the free kick, but his shot was saved by Kepa. In the 52nd minute, Ziyech received a pass from Azpilicueta and took a shot which was blocked by Szczesny. Two minutes later, a Chelsea corner saw Ziyech's shot clatter off Bonucci. The loose ball was put back into the box by Telles, with Werner's header being secured by Szczesny. Juventus then went to the other end and won a corner, from which De Ligt's header wasn't even close. Juventus then made their first change, replacing Ramsey with Frederico Bernardeschi. In the 59th minute, Azpilicueta played a smart one-two with Ziyech before swinging the ball towards Havertz, who put his volley wide. Two minutes later, Juventus made Havertz pay. Bernardeschi took over from Bentacur, and passed the ball into Danilo's path. Danilo was unmarked, and drove a low shot across Kepa and into the net. Juventus then made another change. Ronaldo had performed poorly, but surprisingly it was Higuaín who was taken off, with veteran striker Edinson Cavani replacing him. In the 63rd minute, Kanté was shown a yellow card for a foul on Rabiot. Three minutes later, a cross from Pjanic found Ronaldo, whose header was saved by Kepa. In the 76th minute, Cavani ran onto a 40 yard ball from Rabiot, only to see his shot saved by Kepa. It was a miss Cavani would regret, as two minutes later Telles received the ball from Kovacic and passed down the line for Sancho. Sancho's cross found Werner, whose volley was blocked by De Ligt. The rebound fell to Werner, however, and he pounced to bring Chelsea level. Felix Brych initially disallowed the goal for offside, but overturned his decision on the advice of VAR. With just under 10 minutes left, Chelsea replaced Ziyech with Pulisic. In the 83rd minute, a pass from Pjanic found Bernardeschi, who hit a long range shot off target. In stoppage time, Bentacur got free of the last defender and took a shot which was saved by Kepa, before a header from Bonucci cleared the crossbar. Wednesday 16 September 2020, 20:00: UEFA Champions League Group F - at Allianz Stadium, Turin Juventus 1-1 Chelsea (Danilo 61; Werner 78) Attendance: 41,507 (2,075 away) Man of the Match: Danilo Other results UEFA Champions League Group A: CSKA Moscow 1-3 AC Milan (Chalov 90; Mahrez 12, 32, 32), Bayern Munich 0-0 Real Madrid Group B: RB Leipzig 2-0 PAOK (Olmo 3, Daka 42), Shakhtar 1-3 Barcelona (Solomon 81; Griezmann 7, Suárez 27, Milinkovic-Savic 52) Group C: Liverpool 3-0 Real Sociedad (Salah 13, Mané 15, 71), Lyon 0-1 Lazio (Cataldi 71) Group D: Fenerbahçe 1-0 Zenit (Tolgay Arslan 80), Olympiakos 0-3 Arsenal (Lacazette 37, 50, Aubameyang 75) Group E: Ajax 3-0 Partizan Belgrade (van de Beek 35, Tadic 42, Mertens 78), Man Utd 5-0 Schalke 04 (Shaw 8, Gabriel Barbosa 16, Fernandes 40, Pereira 42, Pogba 57) Group F: Club Brugge 1-0 Krasnodar (Castelleto 33) Group G: Borussia Dortmund 3-0 Valencia (Haaland pen 13, Brandt 19, Witsel 39), Man City 2-0 Inter Milan (Kane 57, 76) Group H: Celtic 0-1 PSG (Neymar 44), Benfica 2-1 Basel (Seferovic 21, Cervi 90+2; Èder pen 68, Siegrist s/o 90) Europa League Group C: Sparta Prague 1-0 Kilmarnock (Kropik 86; Dicker s/o 42) Group H: Rangers 1-1 Viktoria Plzen (Dowell 42; Vagner 56) Group J: Wolves 2-2 Borussia Mönchengladbach (Wilson 3, Diogo Jota 70, Doucouré s/o 82; Embolo 43, Hofmann 87) Group K: Everton 1-1 Sporting CP (Calvert-Lewin 28; Cabral 4) Group Table | Pos | Inf | Team | Nation| Pld | Won | Drn | Lst | For | Ag | GD | Pts | | -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 1st | | Club Brugge KV | BEL | 1 | 1 | 0 | 0 | 1 | 0 | 1 | 3 | | -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 2nd | | Chelsea | ENG | 1 | 0 | 1 | 0 | 1 | 1 | 0 | 1 | | -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 3rd | | Juventus | ITA | 1 | 0 | 1 | 0 | 1 | 1 | 0 | 1 | | -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 4th | | Krasnodar | RUS | 1 | 0 | 0 | 1 | 0 | 1 | -1 | 0 | | -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
  3. Chelsea's first opponents after the international break were Huddersfield Town at Stamford Bridge. The Terriers had found life tough in the Premier League since their return, having lost their opening four matches under former Hull City manager Marco Silva. With Juventus on the horizon, Spencer elected to field a fairly youthful side. Chelsea Kepa James Ampadu Tomori Emerson Kanté Mount Havertz Ziyech Werner Hudson-Odoi Substitutes: Caballero, Rüdiger, Loftus-Cheek, Zouma, Kana, Sancho, Batshuayi Huddersfield Town Grabara Ward Schindler Kongolo Masina Bacuna O'Brien Ghezzal Hughes Sobhi Kownacki Substitutes: Steer, Stankovic, Bernabé, Grant, Diakhaby, Stearman, Johnson Referee: Graham Scott Spencer wanted a good start but he got the exact opposite. In the second minute, Mount was robbed by Will Hughes from a Chelsea corner. As Chelsea scrambled to get back, Hughes played a one-two with Ghezzal and sent the ball past Kepa to give Huddersfield the lead inside 100 seconds. Chelsea responded by laying siege to the Huddersfield goal. In the 3rd minute, Havertz met a cross from James with a shot which was charged down by Schindler. Ziyech then tried his luck in the 6th minute, as his right-footed volley was tipped wide by Grabara. Then, in the 8th minute, a long range piledriver by Emerson was blocked by Ward. However, in the tenth minute things got even worse. A cross from James was charged down by Masina, who passed to Sobhi. Sobi took the ball over the halfway line and got level with the area before sending in a cross. Will Hughes got in behind the defence and slid the ball into the net to put the visitors two goals ahead. The Blues doubled their efforts, and in the 13th minute Havertz received the ball from James and took a shot which was saved by Grabara. In the 18th minute, Hudson-Odoi took the ball away from Ward and sent a cross into the area. Masina's clearance fell to Ziyech, whose shot came back off the post. Two minutes later, Kongolo threw himself in front of Mount's shot. Ziyech seemed to be playing like a man possessed, and in the 22nd minute he played a one-two with Werner and took the ball past Masina before taking a shot which cannoned back off the crossbar. He came close again in the 24th minute, as he received the ball from Mount and outpaced Masina before taking a hopeful looking shot which was saved by Grabara. Huddersfield had been under heavy pressure but they nearly struck again in the 27th minute. Ghezzal's free kick was intercepted by Havertz, but Sobhi recovered and passed to Ghezzal. Ghezzal went past Emerson with ease before taking a shot from a tight angle which was saved by Kepa. In the 34th minute, a corner from Mount found Havertz, whose header was saved by Grabara. Kanté was then booked for a foul on Hughes. In the 36th minute, James beat Sobhi to the ball and fed it left to Ziyech, who played a one-two with Werner and fired the ball into the net from a tight angle to bring Chelsea back into the match. Huddersfield nearly restored their two-goal advantage two minutes later. A clearance from Bacuna found Kownacki, who got through on goal before sending the ball just wide. In the 43rd minute, Tomori was shown a yellow card for a foul on Kownacki. In first half stoppage time, a free kick from James found Havertz, whose header was saved by Grabara. Reece James was then booked for a foul on Sobhi. Huddersfield suffered a blow at the beginning of the second half, as Masina pulled up with strained ankle ligaments from a challenge by Ziyech and was replaced by Stearman. In the 50th minute, Ward received a yellow card for a foul on Hudson-Odoi. James sent the free kick into the box, where Tomori reacted amidst the confusion to volley the ball into the net and bring Chelsea level. Chelsea then came close to going ahead a minute later, as Havertz 0played a defence-splitting pass to Hudson-Odoi, whose shot from an angle was saved by Grabara. Huddersfield then picked up two yellow cards in as many minutes, with Hughes being booked for a foul on Ampadu before O'Brien received a yellow card for a foul on Mount. It was now all Chelsea, and in the 57th minute Ziyech ran onto a pass from Havertz before sending a shot on target. A minute later, as Chelsea came forward again, Emerson was brought down by Ghezzal. Graham Scott consulted VAR, before showing Ghezzal a red card for going in with two feet. With an extra man, Chelsea looked to take full advantage and in the 61st minute, Emerson whipped in a cross to Ziyech, who headed the ball into the net to give Chelsea the lead. Two minutes later, Werner received the ball from Ziyech and sent a cross into the area. Ward got to it ahead of Hudson-Odoi, but the former Crystal Palace man could only succeed in putting it into his own net to double Chelsea's lead. The Blues showed no sign of letting up, and in the 64th minute Ampadu sent a header over the bar. Emerson then put an audacious shot wide, before James saw a shot saved by Grabara and Kanté sent a half volley off target and Hudson-Odoi forced a save from Grabara. However, with just under 20 minutes left, Ward sent a cross into the area. Kownacki ran onto it and sent a volley into the net, despite Kepa getting a hand to it. Chelsea looked to restore their two-goal lead, and in the 74th minute Ziyech headed over the bar from Mount's free kick. In the 77th minute, Werner connected with Hudson-Odoi's cross only to see his shot blocked by Stearman. Huddersfield then took Sobhi off, replacing him with Grant. In the 79th minute, Hudson-Odoi saw a shot tipped over by Grabara, with Ziyech heading way over from the corner. In the 81st minute, Tomori was replaced by Rüdiger. A minute later, Mount received the ball from Havertz and passed ahead of Ziyech, who hit a first time shot into the net to complete his hat-trick and seal the points. He then went off to a standing ovation, as he was replaced by Sancho. Chelsea still weren't done, as in the 85th minute Werner met Emerson's cross with a volley which went over the bar, before Sancho saw a shot saved by Grabara. In the 90th minute, Emerson received the ball from Havertz only to shoot wide from a tight angle. Chelsea continued their barrage through stoppage time. Grabara got his fingertips to James' volley, before turning a header from Sancho over the bar and parrying a shot from Emerson. Saturday 12 September 2020, 15:00: Barclays Premier League - at Stamford Bridge, London Chelsea 5-3 Huddersfield Town (Ziyech 36, 61, 82, Tomori 50, Ward og 64; Hughes 2, 10, Kownacki 71, Ghezzal s/o 58) Attendance: 41,631 (3,000 away) Man of the Match: Hakim Ziyech Other results Friday Liverpool 5-0 Leeds (Firmino 6, 59, Mané 36, Gomez 72, Salah 87) Saturday Wolves 1-1 Tottenham (Ruben Neves pen 3; Aurier 44) Arsenal 3-1 Sheff Utd (Aubameyang 22, 42, pen 62; Berge 90) Burnley 0-1 West Ham (Ajeti 84, Meunier s/o 71) Leicester 0-1 Fulham (Knockaert 29) Norwich 0-4 Man Utd (Bailey 6, Rashford 20, 36, Gabriel Barbosa 28) Aston Villa 0-1 Man City (Foden 82) Sunday Bournemouth 2-2 Brighton (Acuña 41, Solanke 69; Alzate 5, Maupay 54) Monday Everton 3-0 Southampton (Gbamin 14, Ikoné 45+1, Kluivert 81)
  4. Week 34: Tuesday 7 July 2020 Crystal Palace 1-3 Chelsea 18:00 Watford 2-1 Norwich 18:00 Arsenal 1-1 Leicester 20:15 Wednesday 8 July 2020 Man City 3-0 Newcastle 18:00 Sheffield Utd 1-1 Wolves 18:00 West Ham 1-2 Burnley 18:00 Brighton 0-3 Liverpool 20:15 Thursday 9 July 2020 Bournemouth 1-2 Spurs 18:00 Everton 2-0 Southampton 18:00 Aston Villa 1-2 Man Utd 20:15
  5. Chelsea travelled to Old Trafford to finish August. The Blues knew that a point would see them briefly top the table ahead of Arsenal's trip to Southampton. Spencer opted to give Telles his Chelsea debut, with Ziyech on the right. The hosts were without Ruben Dias, who had been sent off against Aston Villa. Manchester United De Gea Semedo Lindelöf Maguire Tuanzebe Fernandes Pogba Bailey Pereira Rashford Barbosa Substitutes: Henderson, Wan-Bissaka, Fred, Martial, James, Garner, Greenwood Chelsea Kepa Azpilicueta Rüdiger Zouma Telles Jorginho Kanté Kovacic Ziyech Werner Sancho Substitutes: Caballero, Christensen, Kana, Mount, Pulisic, Batshuayi, James Referee: David Coote It took just 2 minutes for the first yellow card to be shown, as Rüdiger was booked for a foul on Barbosa. The first goal came in the 5th minute. Ziyech received the ball from Kovacic and sent a pass into the area for Werner. Werner got to it ahead of Lindelöf and slotted the ball into the net for his fifth goal of the season. Chelsea looked to double their lead, and in the 7th minute a headed clearance by Tuanzebe found Telles, whose volley went over the bar. A minute later, Leon Bailey raced clear of the defence only to see his shot parried by Kepa. In the 10th minute, Jorginho was booked for a foul on Pereira. From the free kick, Tuanzebe claimed he'd been pushed by Rüdiger, and David Coote awarded a penalty which Rashford tucked away to level the score. In the 16th minute, Bailey had a half volley, which went high over the bar. Zouma was then shown a yellow card for a foul on Barbosa. In the 24th minute, Telles was fouled by Bailey. His free kick found Ziyech, whose header was saved by De Gea. He went for the follow up, but the angle was too narrow for him to score. United immediately went to the other end, and Rashford played a long ball to Barbosa, who got into the area and sent a shot across Kepa to give them the lead. Ten minutes before half time, a free kick from Telles found Werner, whose header was saved by De Gea. United then counter attacked, and Barbosa got past Rüdiger before sending a shot wide. In the 41st minute, Barbosa outpaced Zouma and passed forward to Bailey. Bailey went for goal, but his shot was tipped over by Kepa. Bailey tried his luck again in the 45th minute, but his shot was blocked by Zouma. Chelsea looked to come back in the second half but it started disastrously. Barbosa ran onto a pass from Tuanzebe and tried his luck from an angle. His shot was saved by Kepa, but the rebound fell to Pereira, who volleyed home to double United's lead. Chelsea looked to get back into the match, and in the 49th minute Kanté intercepted Maguire's clearance and hit a volley which went high over the bar. United attacked again, and in the 50th minute Tuanzebe exchanged passes with Bailey before sending the ball narrowly wide. Bailey himself came close in the 52nd minute as he got past Kovacic before taking a shot which was tipped over by Kepa. In the 53rd minute, Rashford ran onto a pass from Bailey and sent a shot past Kepa into the net. However, Rashford had been offside and the goal was ruled out. A minute later, Azpilicueta was shown a yellow card for a foul on Rashford. Rashford would see another shot tipped over in the 55th minute. Kanté had performed poorly, and in the 58th minute he was replaced by Mount. Mount nearly made an instant impact, as he hit a half volley which De Gea turned behind after Ziyech seized on a mistake by Bailey. With 25 minutes left, a disappointing Sancho was replaced by Pulisic. A corner from Pereira then found Pogba, whose header was saved by Kepa. Chelsea began to search for a way back into the match, and in the 68th minute a left footed volley from Mount was saved by De Gea. With 12 minutes left, a long ball from Rüdiger found Ziyech, who got past Tuanzebe and passed to Werner. Werner got past Maguire and got into the area before firing a shot across De Gea and halving the deficit. With seven minutes left, Ziyech hit a shot off-target, before Rashford saw a shot blocked by Azpilicueta. With time almost up, Werner received the ball from Kovacic and surged past Wan-Bissaka before curling in a cross. However, the ball was caught by De Gea. Friday 28 August 2020, 20:00, Barclays Premier League - at Old Trafford, Manchester Manchester United 3-2 Chelsea (Rashford 11, Gabriel Barbosa 26, Pereira 46; Werner 5, 78) Attendance: 75,634 (3,000 away) Man of the Match: Andreas Pereira Other results Saturday Man City 2-1 Leicester (Otamendi 10, García 52; Barnes 22) Brighton 1-3 Wolves (Alzate 90+3; Doucouré 2, Montiel 75, Taison 90) Fulham 2-0 Everton (Cavaleiro 40, Mitrovic 89) Sheff Utd 1-0 Aston Villa (McBurnie 73) West Ham 2-1 Bournemouth (Yarmolenko 17, Haller 75; Wilson pen 19) Huddersfield 0-5 Liverpool (Fabinho pen 15, Oxlade-Chamberlain 54, Mané 79, 81, Salah 83) Southampton 1-8 Arsenal (Ings 3; Özil 38, Xhaka 41, 67, pen 69, Torreira 49, Depay 80, 88, David Luiz 90+2) Sunday Tottenham 1-0 Norwich (Sissoko 80) Leeds 3-3 Burnley (Augustin 13, 89, 90+4; McNeil 2, Cork 49, Gudmundsson pen 79) The first awards of the season saw Timo Werner named Player of the Month for August after his six goals saw him lead the scoring charts, while Kai Havertz came third in the Young Player of the Month award behind Everton duo Justin Kluivert and Yari Verschaeren.
  6. He hasn't left (although if the atmosphere deteriorates and PSG come calling with a £50M+ offer in January, I'll bite their hands off.)
  7. So I'm in my second season at Chelsea in FM20 and early in the window I bring in Timo Werner, Marco Kana and Kai Havertz - the first of which proves invaluable after Tammy Abraham suffers a broken leg. PSG come calling for Azpilicueta. I warn them off, he then decides he wants me to strengthen the squad - as though bringing in the three aforementioned players doesn't count. Of course, I can't do that, having spent £151M on said players, and he proceeds to spit his dummy and go public when the window closes. My question is: when he went to me about the "broken promise", why wasn't there the option to tell him "I did strengthen the squad"? Given that, after all, I quite plainly did (Havertz cost me £90M and this was on top of the January signings of Sancho and Telles.) Now I've got a team leader who could turn the dressing room against me and I'm not sure what to do other than dropping him for the next game.
  8. Having checked into their hotel prior to the following night's game against Manchester United, Spencer had his players watch the draw for the group stage of the Champions League with him. Chelsea were in Pot 2, meaning that they would be in the same group as Barcelona, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, or Zenit St. Petersburg. Pot 1: Liverpool (ENG), Barcelona (ESP), Juventus (ITA), Manchester City (ENG), Bayern Munich (GER), PSG (FRA), Manchester United (ENG), Zenit (RUS) Pot 2: Real Madrid (ESP), Arsenal (ENG), Borussia Dortmund (GER), Chelsea (ENG), Benfica (POR), Lyon (FRA), Ajax (NED), Shakhtar (UKR) Pot 3: Lazio (ITA), Valencia (ESP), CSKA Moscow (RUS), Schalke 04 (GER), RB Leipzig (GER), Basel (SUI), Krasnodar (RUS), Olympiakos (GRE) Pot 4: Celtic (SCO), Fenerbahçe (TUR), Inter Milan (ITA), Club Brugge (BEL), PAOK (GRE), Real Sociedad (ESP), AC Milan (ITA), Partizan Belgrade (SRB) Bayern Munich were drawn out first, going into Group A. Barcelona went into Group B, with Liverpool in Group C. Zenit were drawn in Group D, while Man Utd went into Group E. Juventus were drawn in Group F, with Man City in Group G and PSG in Group H. Then came Pot 2, and Real Madrid joined Bayern Munich in Group A. Shakhtar were drawn in Group B with Barcelona, while Lyon joined Liverpool in Group C. Arsenal joined Zenit in Group D, with Ajax going into Group E with Man Utd. Chelsea were drawn into Group F with Juventus, while Borussia Dortmund joined Man City in Group G and Benfica were yet again drawn to face PSG in Group H. Pot 3 followed, and CSKA Moscow were drawn into Group A, with RB Leipzig in Group B. Lazio went into Group C, while Olympiakos joined Zenit and Arsenal in Group D. Schalke went into Group E, while Chelsea and Juventus were joined in Group F by Krasnodar. Valencia joined Man City and Borussia Dortmund, while Basel were drawn with PSG and Benfica. Finally, pot 4 was drawn. AC Milan went into Group A, while PAOK were drawn in Group B. Real Sociedad were drawn in Group C, while Fenerbahçe were drawn in Group D. Partizan Belgrade were drawn into Group E, while Club Brugge joined Juventus, Chelsea and Krasnodar. Inter Milan went into Group G, putting Celtic in Group H. Group A: Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, CSKA Moscow, AC Milan Group B: Barcelona, Shakhtar, RB Leipzig, PAOK Group C: Liverpool, Lyon, Lazio, Real Sociedad Group D: Zenit, Arsenal, Olympiakos, Fenerbahçe Group E: Man Utd, Ajax, Schalke 04, Partizan Belgrade Group F: Juventus, Chelsea, Krasnodar, Club Brugge Group G: Man City, Borussia Dortmund, Valencia, Inter Milan Group H: PSG, Benfica, Basel, Celtic
  9. Chelsea's next game was the West London Derby at home to local rivals Fulham. The Blues had won their last 5 matches against the Cottagers, and Spencer knew that only a win would suffice. Chelsea Kepa James Tomori Christensen Azpilicueta Kanté Kovacic Hudson-Odoi Havertz Sancho Werner Substitutes: Caballero, Rüdiger, Kana, Mount, Pulisic, Batshuayi, Emerson Fulham Rodák Troost-Ekong Mawson Ream Drameh Anguissa Bryan Séri Paredes Decordova-Reid Mitrovic Substitutes: Ashby-Hammond, Christie, Cavaleiro, Knockaert, Cairney, Murphy, O'Riley Referee: Jon Moss Chelsea looked to start strongly, and in the 3rd minute Hudson-Odoi was tripped by Anguissa. James' free kick found Christensen, whose header sailed over the bar. In the 5th minute, Sancho received the ball from Kovacic and looked for Werner. Werner hit a left-footed shot, which Rodák had no trouble saving. Chelsea continued to attack and in the 10th minute, a cross from James found Havertz, whose header was saved by Rodák. Jadon Sancho then had two chances in the space of three minutes, shooting wide from distance in the 14th minute, before receiving a long ball from Tomori and putting his volley the wrong side of the post. Kai Havertz was the next player to try his luck, sending a volley over the bar in the 20th minute, before a 27th minute shot by Kanté was blocked by Rodák. Hudson-Odoi then had two chances in a three minute spell. In the 32nd minute he ran onto a cross from Azpilicueta and volleyed the ball just over the bar, before he saw a shot blocked by Bryan in the 34th minute. In the 39th minute, Tomori was shown a yellow card for a foul on Mitrovic. Chelsea came out in the second half looking to break the deadlock, and in the 53rd minute Werner sent a header off-target before Hudson-Odoi sent a half volley sailing over the crossbar. As the home fans began to wonder if this was going to be one of those games, Havertz was brought down by Anguissa. James sent the free kick towards Havertz, who got up above Anguissa and headed the ball into the net to finally give Chelsea the lead. With 25 minutes left, Fulham replaced Paredes with O'Riley, while Sancho was replaced by Pulisic. With just over 15 minutes left, Hudson-Odoi delivered a free kick to Tomori, who sent a header over the bar. Four minutes later, Azpilicueta hit a right footed volley far too high. With ten minutes left, Drameh and Séri were replaced by Christie and Cairney, before Werner was replaced by Batshuayi. With two minutes left, Batshuayi got above Troost-Ekong and powered a header at goal, but was denied by the fingertips of Rodák. Saturday 22 August 2020, 12:45: Barclays Premier League - at Stamford Bridge, London Chelsea 1-0 Fulham (Havertz 59) Attendance: 41,631 (3,000 away) Man of the Match: Kai Havertz Other results Friday Arsenal 3-2 Tottenham (Aubameyang 19, 27, pen 59, O'Connell s/o 47; Draxler 24, Fernandes 32) Saturday Aston Villa 2-1 Man Utd (Wesley pen 31, Puig 87; Bailey 90+2, Dias s/o 24) Bournemouth 2-3 Sheff Utd (L. Cook 38, Wilson 65; Bernard 58, Mousset 84, 90+3) Burnley 3-1 Huddersfield (Gudmundsson 39, Barnes 48, McNeil 53; Hughes 10) Everton 4-0 Brighton (Ikoné 2, Richarlison 56, Kluivert 60, Verschaeren 77) Leicester 3-2 Southampton (Niang 4, Tielemans 36, Vardy 40; Obafemi 3, Bertrand 12) Norwich 3-0 Leeds (Lamela 13, 68, Petkovic 87) Liverpool 3-0 West Ham (Mané 33, 35, Lallana 40) Wolves 2-3 Man City (Neves 31, Taison 48; De Bruyne 30, Kane 82, 87) The draw for the third round of the Carabao Cup took place the following Thursday, and Spencer listened to it on the radio just before the press conference. "The first team out," the announcer said, "Is Number 24, Derby County. They are at home to...number 11, Southampton." "Number 7, Wolverhampton Wanderers, will play...Number 26, Colchester United." "Number 6, Manchester United, are at home to...number 14, Wigan Athletic." "Number 25, Rotherham United, will play…number 30, Portsmouth." "Number 5, Manchester City, are at home to...number 32, Norwich City." "Number 29, Tottenham Hotspur, will play. ..number 18, Leicester City." "Number 15, Leeds United, are at home to...number 17, AFC Bournemouth." "Number 3, Everton, will play...Number 19, Swansea City." "Number 22, Reading, are at home to...number 21 Crystal Palace." "Number 31, Tranmere Rovers, will play...number 12, Scunthorpe United." "Number 9, Burnley, are at home to...number 1, Arsenal." "Number 10, Milton Keynes Dons, will play...Number 20, Stoke City." "Number 4, Liverpool, are at home to...number 27, Watford." "Number 23, Doncaster Rovers, will play...Number 13, West Ham United." "Number 16, Lincoln City, are at home to...number 2, Chelsea." "Therefore Number 28, Forest Green Rovers, will play Number 8, Aston Villa."
  10. Week 33: Saturday 4 July 2020 Norwich 1-2 Brighton 12:30 Leicester 1-1 Crystal Palace 15:00 Man Utd 4-0 Bournemouth 15:00 Wolves 2-1 Arsenal 17:30 Chelsea 3-0 Watford 20:00 Sunday 5 July 2020 Burnley 1-1 Sheffield Utd 12:00 Newcastle 2-0 West Ham 14:15 Liverpool 5-0 Aston Villa 16:30 Southampton 1-2 Man City 19:00 Monday 6 July 2020 Spurs 1-2 Everton 20:00
  11. Chelsea's first home game of the season saw them host Southampton. The Saints had lost their opening match against Manchester City, and Spencer hoped to repeat the feat. Manchester City themselves had suffered a 3-0 home defeat in the Manchester Derby, which was all the more remarkable considering that they'd won every single one of their home games the previous season. Chelsea Kepa James Rüdiger Christensen Azpilicueta Kovacic Kanté Hudson-Odoi Havertz Sancho Werner Substitutes: Caballero, Jorginho, Mount, Pulisic, Batshuayi, Ampadu, Emerson Southampton Forster De Sciglio Stephens Bednarek Hoedt Bertrand Ward-Prowse Højbjerg Lemina Ings Redmond Substitutes: McCarthy, Valery, Djenepo, Carrillo, Romeu, Ballo-Touré, Elyounoussi Referee: Simon Hooper Chelsea looked to fly out of the blocks and in the first minute, Werner rose above Stephens only to head wide. Southampton then attacked, and De Sciglio's cross found Redmond, whose header went flying over the bar. Chelsea, stung by this, launched a barrage of attacks. A header from Sancho brought a save from Forster, another shot from Sancho was blocked by Højbjerg, and Werner sent a header over the bar. A shot from Azpilicueta was then turned behind as Chelsea dominated the opening stages. In the 14th minute, Sancho received the ball from Azpilicueta and tried a long range effort which went wide. Southampton had barely got out of their own half but they won a corner in the 17th minute. Ward-Prowse delivered the ball to Højbjerg, whose header skimmed the top of the bar. Southampton would regret that miss, as in the 20th minute Christensen searched out James on the right. James crossed the ball into the area, where Werner powered a header into the net to give Chelsea the lead. Having set up the first goal, James nearly got on the scoresheet himself. Havertz was brought down by Ward-Prowse, and James saw his free kick saved by Forster. In the 27th minute, Werner received the ball from Kovacic and played a first time pass to Hudson-Odoi, whose shot was blocked by Bertrand. Southampton then caught Chelsea on the break, with Kepa being on hand to deny Lemina. Just after the half hour, Havertz received the ball from Kovacic and passed to Azpilicueta. Azpilicueta sent a cross to Werner, whose header went just over. In the 33rd minute, Chelsea were awarded a penalty after Christensen was shoved by De Sciglio. Werner stepped up and made no mistake, scoring with expert precision. Chelsea were showing no mercy, and in the 37th minute Hudson-Odoi put a thunderous drive wide, before Reece James saw a shot tipped over by Forster. Five minutes before half time, a free kick from James found Hudson-Odoi, whose header went over the bar. Hudson-Odoi had another chance a minute later, seeing his speculative shot saved by Forster. Forster was called into action again in the 43rd minute, saving a shot from Sancho before Werner sent a header over the bar. On the stroke of half time, Rüdiger was booked for a foul on Lemina. Wesley Hoedt and Rüdiger then both sent headers over the bar. Chelsea showed no sign of letting up in the second half and in the 49th minute, Werner saw a shot clatter off Bednarek. If a third goal was inevitable, nobody could have predicted the scorer. A cross from James found Havertz, who headed the ball to Sancho. Sancho found himself crowded out and passed back to Azpilicueta, who hit a scorching drive. Forster fumbled it, and only succeeded in helping it into the net. Southampton's misery was then increased further. Their back three tried to play "keep away" with Werner, but the German intercepted a pass from Hoedt and raced into the area before lashing the ball into the bottom corner to complete his hat-trick. In the 56th minute, Bertrand was booked for a foul on Hudson-Odoi. Werner then saw a shot blocked by Bertrand before Christensen sent a header sailing over the crossbar. With his hat-trick complete, Werner was replaced by Batshuayi, before Redmond came close. That would be Redmond's last action, as he was replaced by Carrillo. Batshuayi then came close to getting on the scoresheet, but his volley was blocked by Hoedt. Havertz then went off, with Mount replacing him. Chelsea were still looking for a fifth, and in the 73rd minute Mount's corner found Sancho, whose header was saved by Forster. With 8 minutes left, a cross from Hudson-Odoi found Batshuayi, who headed just over from an awkward angle. Spencer then took Sancho off, replacing him with young Welshman Ethan Ampadu, whilst Lemina was replaced by Oriol Romeu. With three minutes left, a free kick from Mount found Rüdiger, whose header was saved by Forster. In stoppage time, a free kick from Ward-Prowse found Hoedt, who headed wide to sum up Southampton's afternoon. Saturday 15 August 2020, 15:00: Barclays Premier League - at Stamford Bridge, London Chelsea 4-0 Southampton (Werner 20, pen 33, 54; Azpilicueta 53) Attendance: 41,631 (3,000 away) Man of the Match: Timo Werner Other results Friday Leicester 1-3 Arsenal (Tielemans 82, Choudary s/o 71; Özil 11, Aubameyang 41, Lacazette 76) Saturday Man City 0-3 Man Utd (Cancelo s/o 72; Barbosa 26, Pogba 37, Rashford 87) Huddersfield 1-2 Wolves (Kownacki pen 45; Taison 34, 59) Leeds 1-3 Aston Villa (Augustin 16; Grealish 4, Konsa 64, Borrelli 90+4) West Ham 1-4 Everton (Bowen 17; Kluivert 52, Sigurdsson 53, Verschaeren 90+1, Ikoné 90+2) Bournemouth 2-2 Liverpool (Mepham 25, Fraser 90+1; Fabinho pen 3, Firmino 19) Sunday Burnley 1-5 Tottenham (Wood 78, Westwood s/o 62; Alli 2, 28, pen 73, 76, Alderweireld 16) Fulham 1-1 Sheff Utd (Mitrovic 35; Bernard 1) Monday Norwich 0-2 Brighton (Maupay 30, Groß pen 37)
  12. The start of the 2020/21 season effectively ushered in a new era. Away from all the transfers, Joachim Löw, Fernando Santos and Didier Deschamps all resigned following Euro 2020, being replaced by Bruno Labbadia, Sérgio Conceição and Hervé Renard. The big international news, however, had come on 12th July, when Cristiano Ronaldo, who had missed Euro 2020 through injury, tearfully announced his retirement from international football. In Spain, meanwhile, both Madrid clubs sacked their managers, deciding that it was time for change. Diego Simeone was promptly appointed manager of Argentina, with Lionel Scaloni having been sacked after the Copa America. On 8th August, the Premier League kicked off at Anfield, with Liverpool comfortably beating Burnley 2-0. The victory was marred, however, by Paulo Dybala suffering a twisted ankle. Chelsea started their campaign where they had finished the last one, away to Aston Villa. Spencer opted to give Werner, Ziyech and Havertz their debuts. Aston Villa Heaton Guilbert Konsa Hause Mings Puig Silva El Ghazi Grealish Soteldo Samatta Substitutes: Nyland, Engels, Luiz, Wesley, Green, Revan, Nakamba Chelsea Kepa Azpilicueta Christensen Zouma Emerson Kovacic Havertz Mount Ziyech Werner Sancho Substitutes: Caballero, Rüdiger, Jorginho, Loftus-Cheek, Pulisic, Batshuayi, James Referee: Paul Tierney Chelsea immediately looked to impose themselves on the hosts, with Mason Mount hitting a spectacular half volley over the bar in the first minute. Jadon Sancho had collected the best player and best young player at Euro 2020, an in the 4th minute he rose highest to meet a cross from Azpilicueta with a header that was saved by Heaton. Heaton was called into action a minute later to save Werner's header, before saving a left-footed shot from Ziyech. Chelsea were dominant, and Emerson then saw two chances saved by Heaton in the 10th and 11th minutes. Aston Villa had been on the back foot throughout the opening stages, but in the 20th minute a long shot from Silva was blocked by Havertz. In the 22nd minute, Emerson was tripped by Konsa. Mount delivered the free kick to the far post, where Zouma saw his header saved by Heaton. A minute later, Kovacic was booked for a foul on Grealish, even though there were suggestions that the Villa player had dived. In the 26th minute, Chelsea won a corner. Mount's ball found Werner, whose header looped over the crossbar. It seemed inevitable that Chelsea would score, but in the 29th minute Villa were awarded a penalty for a foul by Azpilicueta. Adrien Silva stepped up and stroked the ball home to give Villa the lead. Villa had the ball in the net again a minute later - although it was their own net. A long ball from Emerson found Sancho, who sent a cross into the area. Konsa looked to intercept, but only succeeded in putting the ball into his own net for 1-1. Aston Villa could have gone back in front in the 31st minute, but Silva sent a free kick wide. Zouma was then shown a yellow card for a foul on Samatta. Sancho then intercepted Guilbert's freekick, and stroked the ball ahead of Werner with a weighted pass. Things opened up nicely for Werner, and he slotted the ball into the bottom corner to score on his debut and turn the game around in the space of four minutes. Chelsea fans celebrated in the stands and sang Werner's praises on social media, while from the opposite side, Stan Collymore, who'd been giving it large after the penalty, tweeted "Timo Werner ist ein Hurensohn." - a reference to a popular chant, created in 2017, for those who disliked the striker. Chelsea now had the bit between their teeth, and in the 35th minute Ziyech got past Mings and took a shot from an angle, which was tipped over by Heaton, who also saved Werner's header from the corner. In the 37th minute, Christensen was booked for a foul on Mings. Chelsea were now dominant, and four minutes before halftime Azpilicueta's cross found Werner, whose header was tipped against the post by Heaton. Emerson got to the follow up, but his shot was tipped behind. Then, on the stroke of half time, Ziyech played a one-two with Werner before sending a shot wide. In first half stoppage time, Samatta was booked for a foul on Havertz. Chelsea once again started the second half strongly and in the 51st minute, a free kick from Mount found Havertz, whose header was saved by Heaton. Havertz would have better luck a minute later. Emerson took the ball down the left and got past Guilbert before passing to Sancho. Sancho threaded a pass into Havertz's path, and Havertz struck the ball into the bottom corner to score on his debut. Villa tried to get back into the game, and in the 59th minute Samatta sent a cross to Puig, who was on loan from Barcelona. Puig met the cross with a header which was saved by Kepa. Two minutes later, Kovacic saw a shot saved by Heaton, who also saved Werner's volley in the 64th minute. Aston Villa then took Soteldo off, replacing him with Douglas Luiz. In the 67th minute, a tiring Zouma was replaced by Rüdiger, before Ziyech sent a half volley just wide. A corner from Mount then found Werner, whose header was saved by Heaton. In the 73rd minute, Guilbert was booked. Mount's free kick found Christensen, whose header went over the bar. With 15 minutes left, Aston Villa replaced Samatta with Wesley. Five minutes later, Guilbert was told by Paul Tierney that he was on a last warning, and he was replaced by Björn Engels. With two minutes left, Christensen headed over from a free kick, before Wesley headed over in the 90th minute. The final whistle saw Chelsea off to a winning start. Saturday 8 August 2020, 15:00: Barclays Premier League - at Stamford Bridge, London Aston Villa 1-3 Chelsea (Silva pen 29; Konsa og 30, Werner 33, Havertz 54) Attendance: 40,563 (3,000 away) Man of the Match: Jadon Sancho Other results: Saturday Liverpool 2-0 Burnley (Mané 4, Oxlade-Chamberlain 18; Hendrick s/o 75) Arsenal 7-0 Fulham (Özil 19, O'Connell 30, Lacazette 33, 38, Aubameyang 41, Tierney 48, Chambers 73) Brighton 0-0 Leeds Man Utd 1-0 Huddersfield (Rashford pen 45) Sheff Utd 2-3 Leicester (Fleck 82, McBurnie 90+2; Ayling 10, Vardy pen 39, Gray 90+3) Southampton 0-2 Man City (Kane pen 2, Sterling 12) Sunday Tottenham 1-0 West Ham (Alli 70; Rice s/o 77) Wolves 4-1 Norwich (Jonny 22, Neto 61, 90+2, Diogo Jota 86; Pukki 13) Monday Everton 1-5 Bournemouth (Richarlison 68; Solanke 5, 58, 83, Wilson 41, 43)
  13. Chelsea's next friendly took them to the HDI Arena to face Hannover 96, who had missed out on promotion to the Bundesliga the previous season. The Blues made short work of their hosts, with Abraham running onto a slide rule pass from Kovacic in the 45th minute before slotting the ball into the opposite corner of the net. He then turned provider in the 50th minute, sending in a cross which Ziyech headed into the net. However, the following Thursday, disaster struck. What looked like a routine tackle in training saw Abraham suffer a broken lower leg. Abraham was sent to see a specialist, but he would be out for up to five months. This cast a shadow as Chelsea travelled to the King Power Stadium to take part in Andy King's testimonial match. Timo Werner led the Chelsea line and took just eleven minutes to open the scoring, heading home from Kovacic's cross. Kai Havertz then doubled the lead in the 34th minute as he met Sancho's pass with a snapshot that beat Schmeichel at his near post, before Sancho met James's cross with a close range volley to complete the rout in the 65th minute. The Blues travelled to Frankfurt for their final two friendlies, having been invited along with Toronto FC and Barcelona to participate in the "Indeed Cup". The Blues faced the Canadians in their semi final, and recorded a straightforward win. Mason Mount found the net with a half volley from Hudson-Odoi's cross in the 25th minute, before Jadon Sancho ran onto a long ball from Kovacic and took the ball around Reynolds before placing a shot into the net to secure a relatively comfortable 2-0 win and set up a final against Barcelona. Barcelona came into the final with a lineup containing Messi and Griezmann, as well as Ángel Di María, their £26.5million signing from Paris Saint-Germain. Barcelona were therefore favourites to win, and in the 5th minute Arturo Vidal swung a cross into the area, where Griezmann arrived to fire home at the near post. The lead didn't last long, however, as a minute later Mount swung the ball out wide to Ziyech. Ziyech fizzed a cross in low to the near post, where Werner chested it down. He then passed to Mount, who was wide open and fired the ball into the net. Barcelona came back, and Júnior Firpo got past Azpilicueta before passing to Messi, who recovered the ball from Zouma's tackle and hit a shot into the net to restore Barcelona's lead. In the 18th minute, Mount played a long ball to Ziyech, who went for goal from an angle. His shot was parried by Ter Stegen, but he first to the rebound and went for goal again. Ter Stegen saved that one too, but the loose ball fell to Werner, who steered it into the empty net. Chelsea began to dominate, and in the 29th minute Emerson ran onto Mount's ball and got past Umtiti before passing to Hudson-Odoi. Hudson-Odoi whipped in a cross to Ziyech, who powered a header into the net. And then, in the second half, Chelsea ran riot. In the 49th minute, Hudson-Odoi skinned Vidal and swung a cross into the area. Once again Ziyech rose above Júnior to send a header into the top corner. 4-2. On the hour mark, Sancho was tripped by Vidal in the area. With two goals to his name, responsibility for the penalty fell to Ziyech as per club policy, and he sent Ter Stegen the wrong way to complete his hat-trick for 5-2. The fans would have been forgiven for thinking that that was it, but with three minutes left Ziyech once again got the better of Júnior Firpo and split the defence with a pass to Werner. Werner, clear of the defence, got to the edge of the area and slotted the ball into the bottom corner. Barcelona two, Chelsea six. It might only have been a friendly, but as far as Spencer was concerned, it was the perfect way to finish pre-season.
  14. Chelsea's next friendly took them to the Volksparkstadion to face Hamburger SV, who had been promoted to the Bundesliga the previous season. Unlike the last game, Chelsea asserted themselves well, and got their reward when Callum Hudson-Odoi got on the end of Mount's corner to head home in the 25th minute. The lead was doubled in the 37th minute when Batshuayi ran onto James' long ball and fired a low shot into the opposite corner, before Ziyech met Mount's cross with a powerful header in the 65th minute to complete the rout. The following day, Italy won the European Championship for the first time since 1968, beating Spain on penalties after a 0-0 draw. Meanwhile, Spencer made one final move in the transfer market, spending £90million to land the signature of elite midfielder Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen. Other notable moves that week saw Riyad Mahrez move on loan to AC Milan, whilst Man Utd signed Nélson Semedo from Barcelona for £37.5million and Tottenham signed Ángel Correa from Atlético Madrid for £48.5million.
  15. Chelsea's first friendly was away to Lokomotiv Moscow. Spencer fielded a scratch side with much of his squad still at the Euros. He also didn't expect the fans to pay much attention, as England's Euro 2020 quarter final with Italy was taking place at the same time. The match, however, started badly, as Callum Hudson-Odoi was sent off inside two minutes for a two-footed tackle. Spencer elected to sacrifice Bakayoko, with new signing Hakim Ziyech replacing him. To add to the disappointment, Frederico Chiesa then gave Italy the lead. Chelsea still bossed the first half but it was the Russians who got the first goal, as from a corner Rahman was dispossessed by Djordjevic, who applied the finish. Chelsea were behind for only three minutes, as in the 29th minute Pulisic centred the ball for Ziyech, who powered a header into the net. Chelsea were arguably the better side, but with 20 minutes left Lokomotiv retook the lead. Rahman lost the ball to Miranchuk, who recovered from Kana's tackle and got away from Zappacosta to play in Loren, who half volleyed into the net. The hosts were reduced to ten men when Djordjovic hacked Rahman down with two feet, but they held firm to secure victory. Meanwhile Spencer, who had had one eye on the match and one eye on England, suddenly leapt up and hugged Jody Morris just before full time. Yury Semin raised an eyebrow and asked "Kakiye?" "Raheem Sterling, 93rd minute!" Spencer explained, "It's going to extra time!" Semin chuckled as he walked across to shake Spencer's hand. Spencer gave a brief team talk before making a beeline for the executive suite to watch the remainder of the game on the BBC World Service. Italy had more of extra time, but England defended resolutely. Then came the 114th minute. "It's now Lazzari," Jonathan Pearce said, "And he puts in a cross, Immobile's arriving, and Immobile scores! Italy lead with six minutes to go! Question marks, perhaps, over whether Chilwell or Tomori should have done better, but Italy won't care!" England desperately tried to get level again. Abraham met a cross from Sterling but headed over, before seeing another header saved by Donnarumma. He then surged past Lazzari in stoppage time only to see his hopeful shot go just over the bar. And when Harry Winks blasted a shot high and wide, England saw their hopes snuffed out. France would follow, losing 1-0 to Belgium, whilst Italy would beat Belgium 3-2 to set up a final against Spain, who beat Germany 2-0 in the other semi final. The following week saw a major clearout at Chelsea. Lewis Baker was the first to go, moving to PAOK for £3.8million, while Victor Moses joined CSKA Moscow for an initial fee of £4.2million. FC St Pauli beat Cincinnati and Nashville SC to the signing of Danilo Pantic for £2.6million, whilst Rahman joined Eintracht Frankfurt for £9.25million and FC Porto signed Bakayoko and Zappacosta for a combined initial fee of £26.75million. Meanwhile, Rúben Dias moved from Benfica to Manchester United for a fee of £49.5million, while Wolves paid £30.5million to sign Abdoulaye Doucouré from Watford.
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