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  1. Chelsea travelled to Goodison Park for their final game of August. Eden Hazard and David Luiz were both out through injury, thus forcing Spencer's hand; Andreas Christensen made his first appearance of the season. Everton: Robles Josué Galloway Lenglet Coleman Gueye Baines McCarthy Schneiderlin Barkley Benteke Substitutes: Varela, Tonelli, Mirallas, Lucas, Swift, Michel, Deulofeu Chelsea: Courtois Azpilicueta Zouma Christensen Alonso Matic Kanté Fàbregas Willian Costa Pedro Substitutes: Begovic, Gayà, Aké, Camacho, Loftus-Cheek, Musonda, Batshuayi Referee: Mike Dean Chelsea started the match quickly, with Kanté having a shot blocked by Baines in the third minute. Two minutes later, a free kick from Willian found Zouma, who headed the ball wide. In the twelfth minute, a shot by Pedro was blocked by Lenglet. Pedro then centred the ball for Willian a minute later, with Robles saving the Brazilian's header. In the 23rd minute, Kanté was shown a yellow card for a foul on Gueye. Four minutes later, McCarthy found Coleman on the right, who crossed the ball into the area for Benteke. Benteke powered a header goalwards, but Courtois tipped the ball over. In the 29th minute, Willian hit a searching long ball to Costa, who found Kanté. Kanté spread the play to the right for Willian, who hit the ball 35 yards left to Fàbregas. Fàbregas headed the ball down to Kanté, who passed to Pedro. Pedro found Marcos Alonso, who fired the ball into the roof of the net for his first Chelsea goal. In the 31st minute, Alonso's throw-in found Fàbregas, who passed to Matic. Matic played the ball to Kanté, who volleyed the ball high over the bar. It was a miss that Chelsea would regret. In the 35th minute, Matic was adjudged to have pushed Gueye following an Everton corner, and Mike Dean pointed to the spot. Leighton Baines stepped up confidently and powered the ball into the bottom left corner. In the 38th minute, Willian played the ball into the area for Costa, whose shot was tipped behind by Robles. Chelsea then won another corner, from which Matic saw a 20 yard volley tipped wide by Robles. Chelsea replaced a tiring Christensen with Aké at half time, and barely a minute in, Marcos Alonso sent a header wide. Four minutes later, Kanté let fly from 25 yards, but the shot was turned behind by Robles. Kanté had another chance in the 53rd minute, which was tipped behind by Robles. Three minutes later, Pedro played in alo Alonso, whose shot was tipped away by Robles. The corner was met by Zouma, whose header went inches wide. In the 59th minute, Schneiderlin brought Gueye into play. Gueye passed to McCarthy, who passed to Schneiderlin. Schneiderlin angled the ball out left, where Baines took over. Baines sent a low cross into the area for Benteke, who beat Zouma to convert the cross and give Everton the lead. Chelsea then took Matic off, replacing him with Camacho. In the 62nd minute, a headed clearance by Benteke was intercepted by Willian. Willian jinked past Schneiderlin before sending an optimistic effort wide. A minute later, Willian's free kick found Costa, whose header was tipped behind by Robles. In the 67th minute, Baines played the ball back to Schneiderlin, who found Gueye to his right. Gueye passed to McCarthy, who found Schneiderlin. Schneiderlin shifted the focus to Coleman on the right, and Coleman sent a cross into the area. At the near post, Aké looked to intercept, but only succeeded in putting the ball into his own net. In the 71st minute, Gueye was shown a yellow card for a foul on Costa, before Galloway was replaced by Tonelli. Chelsea continued to search for a way back into the match, and in the 77th minute Kanté found Willian on the right. Willian crossed the ball back to Fàbregas, whose shot went wide. In the 83rd minute, Barkley passed to Tonelli, whose shot was pushed away by Courtois. Three minutes later, a Chelsea counter-attack saw Kanté find Willian, whose shot was saved by Robles. In the 90th minute, Alonso found Pedro, whose shot went wide, leaving Chelsea with nothing to show despite having more than twice the number of shots on target as the hosts. Barclays Premier League - at Goodison Park, Liverpool Everton 3-1 Chelsea (Baines pen 35, Benteke 59, Aké og 67; Marcos Alonso 29) Man of the Match: Marcos Alonso To add insult to injury, all Chelsea's title rivals won. Manchester City's win at Watford saw them stay top on maximum points, while Arsenal and Liverpool recorded 2-0 wins against Leicester and Derby respectively. Manchester United won 2-0 against Bournemouth to knock the Cherries down to 4th, while Tottenham hit West Brom for seven at The Hawthorns.
  2. Spencer had flown out to Nyon for the draw for the UEFA Champions League Group Stage. It wasn't the only draw Chelsea were involved in that day; the third round of the EFL Cup saw them drawn to face Liverpool. Pot 1: Atlético Madrid (ESP, Holders), Bayern Munich (GER), Barcelona (ESP), PSG (FRA), Chelsea (ENG), Inter Milan (ITA), Sporting Lisbon (POR), CSKA Moscow (RUS) Pot 2: Real Madrid (ESP), Juventus (ITA), Benfica (POR), Arsenal (ENG), Borussia Dortmund (GER), FC Porto (POR), Tottenham (ENG), Man Utd (ENG) Pot 3: Bayer Leverkusen (GER), Shakhtar (UKR), Zenit (RUS), FC Basel (SUI), Athletic Bilbao (ESP), AS Monaco (FRA), Celtic (SCO), Gladbach (GER) Pot 4: Red Bull Salzburg (AUT), Club Brugge (BEL), BATE Borisov (BLR), Besiktas (TUR), Feyenoord (NED), Legia Warsaw (POL), Dinamo Zagreb (CRO), Chievo (ITA) The first team to be drawn out was CSKA Moscow, in group A. Atlético Madrid, the holders, followed in Group B, with Chelsea being drawn in Group C. Bayern were drawn into Group D, with Sporting Lisbon going into Group E and Inter Milan in Group F. Barcelona went into Group G, with PSG in Group H. Then came Pot 2, which Spencer was dreading. The shakeup of the draw some years back meant that that teams were now seeded by League performance, rather than performance in prior competitions. As such, Chelsea had a 60% chance of being drawn with Real Madrid, Juventus or Borussia Dortmund. He doubted that Roman Abramovich would be too happy if Chelsea finished third in a “Group of Death”. FC Porto were drawn out first, going into Group A. Benfica were next, going into Group B. Spencer held his breath as the ball for Group C was opened, revealing...Juventus. Tottenham, the Europa League holders, were drawn with Bayern, while Real Madrid went to Group E with Sporting Lisbon. Dortmund were drawn with Inter, while Arsenal were drawn to face Barcelona, leaving Man Utd to be drawn against PSG. Next was Pot 3, which looked easier on paper, but still had some tough sides. Athletic Bilbao went into Group A, with FC Basel going into Group B. Gladbach were drawn into Group C, with AS Monaco in Group D. Celtic then went into Group E, with Shakhtar in Group F. Zenit were drawn in Group G, with Leverkusen in Group H. Finally, Pot 4 was drawn. Besiktas went into Group A, with Chievo in Group B. Dinamo Zagreb went into Group C, with Red Bull Salzburg in Group D. BATE went in Group E, while Club Brugge went into Group F. Feyenoord were drawn in Group G, leaving Legia Warsaw in Group H. Group A: CSKA Moscow, FC Porto, Athletic Bilbao, Besiktas Group B: Atlético Madrid, Benfica, FC Basel, Chievo Group C: Chelsea, Juventus, Gladbach, Dinamo Zagreb, Group D: Bayern Munich, Tottenham, AS Monaco, Red Bull Salzburg Group E: Sporting Lisbon, Real Madrid, Celtic, BATE Borisov Group F: Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Shakhtar, Club Brugge Group G: Barcelona, Arsenal, Zenit, Feyenoord Group H: PSG, Man Utd, Leverkusen, Legia Warsaw
  3. Chelsea hosted Stoke in their next home game. With Batshuayi having disappointed against Watford, Diego Costa made his first start of the season. Chelsea Courtois Azpilicueta Zouma Luiz Alonso Matic Kanté Fàbregas Pedro Costa Hazard Substitutes: Begovic, Gayà, Christensen, Camacho, Loftus-Cheek, Willian, Batshuayi Stoke City Butland Johnson Shawcross Indi Pieters Allen Arnautovic Whelan Imbula Shaqiri Bojan Substitutes: Grant, Dummett, Diouf, Berahino, Sobhi, Siqueira, Adam Referee: Michael Oliver Both sides came close in the opening stages, with Marcos Alonso shooting wide from a free kick while Courtois did well to tip a Bojan effort wide. Diego Costa then came close twice, heading the ball at Butland from a Marcos Alonso free kick before heading wide a minute later. In the 14th minute, a throw-in from Arnautovic found Bojan, whose shot hit the side netting from a tight angle. In the sixteenth minute, Kanté saw a shot saved by Butland, before Marcos Alonso sent a free kick wide three minutes later. In the 26th minute, Alonso put another free kick wide. A minute later, a corner from Fàbregas was met by Zouma, who headed the ball wide. Zouma had another chance two minutes later, heading over from a Fàbregas corner. In the 32nd minute, Imbula found Bojan, who hit a long-range effort high and wide. From the goal kick, Chelsea attacked, and Kanté found Pedro, who got into the box before hitting a left-footed shot which was saved by Butland. In the 41st minute, a free kick from Fàbregas was intercepted by Arnautovic. Hazard got to the loose ball and took it to the byline, before sending it back to the near post where Zouma finished with a tap-in. From the kick off, Azpilicueta robbed Shaqiri and found Kanté. Kanté found Pedro, who sent a lofted ball to Fàbregas. Fàbregas passed to Matic, who passed to David Luiz. David Luiz found Alonso, who looked for Fàbregas to his right. Fàbregas passed to Kanté, who looked for Pedro. Pedro got into the area and passed to Costa, who fired a shot into the roof of the net. Chelsea attacked early in the second half, with Zouma sending a header off target in the 50th minute before Pedro saw a shot saved by Butland two minutes later. In the 62nd minute, Bojan forced a save from Courtois with a long-range shot. That was his last action of the match, as he was replaced by Berahino. Eleven minutes later, Pieters was replaced by Dummett. Joe Allen sent a shot wide in the 77th minute, before Mame Diouf replaced Arnautovic. Chelsea then made a change, replacing Fàbregas with Loftus-Cheek. With four minutes left, Alonso hit a cross to Kanté, who passed to Costa. Costa found Pedro, whose shot was turned round the post by Butland. Barclays Premier League - at Stamford Bridge, London Chelsea 2-0 Stoke City (Zouma 41, Diego Costa 42) Man of the Match: Kurt Zouma Bournemouth held top spot after their first three matches, while Manchester City were the only other team on maximum points. Arsenal's 5-1 win at Burnley and Liverpool's 2-0 win in the Merseyside Derby saw them on seven points. Man Utd, meanwhile, had lost 2-0 at Leicester with £69M man Nainggolan being sent off after 12 minutes, seeing them stuck on 3 points. In the midweek European matches, Liverpool were beaten 2-1 at home by Bayer Leverkusen, ending their Champions League hopes before they'd begun.
  4. Drogba11CFC

    An Impossible Man

    "Chelsea being Chelsea" In the words of Hannibal (not Dr Lecter), you find a way or you make one. Interesting that it was against Benfica again.
  5. Chelsea's opening game of the season would be against West Brom. Spencer was eager to get off to a good start; being well aware of how Chelsea's previous three title defences had gone. 2006-07 had seen the club narrowly lose out to Man Utd after a horrendous injury to Petr Cech, 2010-11 had started well but gone off the rails, and the less said about 2015-16, the better. Some interesting results had come up in earlier matches before Chelsea kicked off on the Monday night; Tottenham were held to a 2-2 draw at the London Stadium, whilst Romelu Lukaku scored both goals in Arsenal's 2-1 home win over Man Utd. Man City and Liverpool both won, against Sunderland and Watford respectively. In the press conference before the match, Spencer stressed the importance of a good start. He also praised his opposite number Roberto Di Matteo, calling his former manager “A great manager and an even better person.” Chelsea Courtois Azpilicueta Zouma Luiz Alonso Matic Kanté Fàbregas Willian Batshuayi Pedro Substitutes: Begovic, Gayà, Christensen, Camacho, Hazard, Costa West Brom Foster Evans Orbán Sulu Baiano Fletcher Yacob Chadli Taylor Long Mariano Substitutes: Myhill, Jung, Morrison, Amrabat, Phillips, Nyom, Livermore Referee: André Marriner Chelsea started quickly and won a corner in the second minute. Fàbregas took it, and Zouma got up above Taylor, but his header missed the target. In the sixth minute, Chelsea were awarded a free kick for a shove on Zouma. Courtois sent the ball long to Pedro, who lost out to Evans. Matic, however, intercepted and headed to Kanté, who led Batshuayi onto the ball. Batshuayi kept hold of possession and looked to find Willian out on the right. Willian took the ball down the right and knocked the ball towards the far post. Evans beat Pedro to the ball, but Fàbregas intercepted and slid the ball into the box, where Kanté hit a left footed volley first time into the roof of the net. Two minutes later, Fàbregas once again played the ball to Kanté, who couldn't direct his shot goalwards. In the tenth minute, Chadli was penalised for a foul on Kanté. Willian took the free kick, but sent it over the bar. Two minutes later, Marcos Alonso had a cross diverted away by Foster. In the 23rd minute, a cross from Willian was headed clear by Orbán, but only as far as Azpilicueta. Azpilicueta passed to Matic, who brought Fàbregas into play. Fàbregas searched out Alonso, who sent a lofted ball to Kanté. Kanté had a shot, which went over the bar. Six minutes later, Pedro passed to Kanté, who passed to Matic. Matic was fouled by Fletcher, but the referee played advantage and Matic passed to Willian, whose shot was tipped wide by Foster. In the 31st minute, Courtois headed the ball into the path of Mariano, whose attempt to lob the Chelsea keeper ended up going just wide. Five minutes later, Kanté looked for Batshuayi who played an incisive pass to Willian. Willian took a shot, but the ball struck the post. In the 38th minute, Fàbregas was flagged offside. West Brom looked to pass the ball up the pitch, but David Luiz headed clear and Willian guided a header towards Kanté. Kanté searched out Pedro to the left, and Pedro spread the play right to Fàbregas. Fàbregas squared the ball first time for Kanté, who sprayed it out left to Pedro. Chelsea built down the left as Pedro exchanged passes with Alonso, before passing to Kanté, who got to the D before sending a shot into the top corner. It was a fantastic goal, described as “Sheer Artistry” and “A sensational solo strike” by Martin Tyler on Sky Sports. Two minutes later, Willian intercepted a pass and set off on a run before sending the ball to Batshuayi. Batshuayi lost the ball to Johnny Evans, but Pedro nipped in and had a shot from a tight angle which was saved by Foster. On the stroke of half time, Batshuayi passed to Pedro, whose shot was blocked by Orbán. In the 54th minute, a corner from Fàbregas found Zouma, who nodded the ball wide of the goal. In the 62nd minute, West Brom replaced Fletcher with Morrison. Two minutes later, Mariano passed to Morrison, whose shot was saved by Courtois. In the 71st minute, Chelsea were awarded a free kick. Willian went for goal, but Foster parried the shot. That was Willian's last action, as he was then replaced by Hazard. In the 74th minute, Foster played a goal kick short to Evans, who passed to Orbán. Orbán looked to pass to Sulu, but Sulu suddenly pulled up and Pedro pounced on the loose ball and raced into the area. His shot hit the post, but Hazard raced in for a tap-in into an empty net. Sulu was then replaced by Jake Livermore, while Costa replaced Batshuayi. With three minutes left, Marcos Alonso crossed the ball into the area for Costa, whose header was saved by Foster. Chelsea then replaced Fàbregas with Loftus-Cheek. In the final minute, Alonso played a one-two with Hazard before sending a cross into the area. Kanté got up to head at goal, but steered his header wide. Barclays Premier League - at Stamford Bridge, London Chelsea 3-0 West Brom (Kanté 6, 39, Hazard 74) Man of the Match: N'Golo Kanté
  6. The end of the preseason had passed and the traditional curtain raiser was here. The FA Community Shield would pit Chelsea against FA Cup winners Watford. Watford themselves were under new management. Walter Mazzari had been snapped up by Roma and so former Shakhtar and Zenit manager Mircea Lucescu had stepped up, and had caused a stir after storming out of a press conference after being asked if he regarded the Community Shield as important. Chelsea Courtois Wakefield Zouma Luiz Gayà Matic Kanté Fàbregas Willian Batshuayi Pedro Substitutes Begovic, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Camacho, Loftus-Cheek, Hazard, Costa Watford Arlauskis Dawson Prödl Hoban Tierney Capoue Agbo Doucouré Pereyra Peñaranda Success Substitutes: Pantilimon, Rowan, Mazzucchi, Deeney, Lewis, Jenkinson, Berghuis Referee: Bobby Madley Following a minute's silence for the victims of the Grenfell Tower Fire, the game started slowly. The first real chance came in the 25th minute, as Capoue looked ahead to Doucouré. Doucouré passed into the path of Peñaranda, whose shot was tipped behind by Courtois. In the 32nd minute, Gayà threw the ball in to Matic, who passed back. Gayà looked up and swung a first time pass right to N'Golo Kanté, who passed to Fàbregas. Fàbregas played a perfect aerial pass to Pedro, who got clean through on goal. However, the winger then contrived to send the ball bending wide of the goal when one-on-one with Arlauskis. A minute later, Fàbregas played a pass up towards Pedro, who played the ball to Kanté. Kanté surged over the halfway line, but was hacked down with both feet by Uche Agbo. It was a shocking tackle, and Bobby Madley showed no hesitation in producing the red card. From the free kick, Fàbregas passed to Matic, who fed Batshuayi in an advanced position. Batshuayi sprayed the ball out to Gayà, who played a one-two with Pedro before delivering the cross. The ball was cleared, but David Luiz intercepted and passed to Gayà, who moved the ball on to Fàbregas. Fàbregas fed the ball forward to Pedro, who played in Gayà. Gayà's cross was headed clear by Hoban, but only as far as Kanté. Kanté shot from distance, but his shot deflected out off Hoban. Fàbregas aimed the corner for the far post. Matic missed the ball, but Kanté unleashed a first time shot into the net past a stranded Arlauskis. Three minutes later, a free kick from Willian found the head of Zouma, who headed wide. In the 40th minute, a clearance from Hoban was intercepted by Matic, who passed back to David Luiz. Luiz played a low forward pass to Kanté, who found Willian. Willian beat Tierney to get into the box and centred the ball to Batshuayi, who fired it into the top corner from close range. Watford looked to get back into the game and in the 44th minute, Pereyra placed the ball into the path of Peñaranda, whose shot from outside the box was saved by Courtois. In the final minute of the half, Batshuayi played in Kanté, whose shot was saved by Arlauskis. Chelsea attacked straight from the kick off, and in the 46th minute Pedro saw a shot from a tight angle tipped wide by Arlauskis. Three minutes later, a header from David Luiz went sailing over the bar. In the 52nd minute,a free kick from Willian found its way to Kanté, whose shot went wide. Three minutes later, Charlie Wakefield's throw in found Kanté, who slid the ball into the box to Willian. Willian passed to Fàbregas, whose shot was blocked by Hoban. A minute after that, Fàbregas sent a free kick into the area, where David Luiz's header was intercepted by Capoue. Watford then made a substitution, replacing Pereyra with Deeney. Deeney tried to make an immediate impact, but his free kick was blocked by Fàbregas. In the 58th minute, a Chelsea counter-attack saw Fàbregas pass to Wakefield. Wakefield passed back to Fàbregas, who played in Pedro. Pedro went for goal, but Arlauskis got over well to tip the shot away. Three minutes later, Watford replaced Success with Berghuis, while Spencer brought Costa on for Batshuayi two minutes afterwards. In the 66th minute, Fàbregas played in Kanté, whose shot went flying over the bar. In the 75th minute, a Chelsea counter-attack saw Matic play a long ball to Costa. Costa swung the ball to Pedro who easily beat Jenkinson before passing to Fàbregas. Fàbregas fed in Costa, whose shot went just wide. Chelsea then brought Loftus-Cheek on to replace Fàbregas, before Camacho came on to replace Matic. In the final minute, Willian got away from Tierney with ease before playing a high one into the near post. Costa rose above Carl Jenkinson to head at goal, but sent his header wide. FA Community Shield - at Wembley Stadium, London Chelsea 2-0 Watford (Kanté 35, Batshuayi 40; Agbo s/o 34) Man of the Match: Willian The press split their attention between Chelsea and Watford; Sid Collingwood captioned the red card “UCHE AGGRO” while praising Chelsea's style of play, saying “Spencer's side were outstanding for much of the match and Watford couldn't cope. And this was without Cahill, Azpilicueta, Costa and Hazard. We could be in for an interesting season.”
  7. Chelsea's final friendly would be in the Spanish holiday resort of Alicante against Hércules CF, and many Chelsea fans had taken advantage, flying in early to enjoy a week in the sun. Spencer elected to start Begovic in goal, with Loftus-Cheek and Christensen also starting. Once again, Chelsea burst out of the blocks and had their reward after two minutes. A clearance by Hércules keeper Buigues was intercepted by Marcos Alonso, who passed first time to Loftus-Cheek. Loftus-Cheek passed to Pedro, who cut inside before feeding the ball to Kanté, who got to the edge of the area before launching an unstoppable strike into the net. Three minutes later, a Marcos Alonso corner found Christensen, whose header went over the bar. In the tenth minute, Batshuayi played in Musonda, whose shot was easily gathered by Buigues. Six minutes later, Hércules had their first chance, as a searching pass from Salinas found Guerra, whose shot was tipped behind by Begovic. Chelsea were rampant, and in the 21st minute, Miñano threw himself in front of a Marcos Alonso free kick before Buigues diverted a Musonda shot away a minute later. Buigues then had to be on hand again to save from Pedro and Batshuayi in the 24th minute. In the 40th minute, Miñano was booked for a foul on Kanté. From the free kick, Batshuayi fed in Pedro, whose shot was saved by Buigues. In the 44th minute, Marcos Alonso launched a long free kick into the area. Inglés cleared, but Loftus-Cheek retrieved possession and passed to Christensen. Christensen passed to Kanté, who played in Pedro. Pedro tried a shot, which was deflected into the path of Batshuayi. Buigues got a hand to the shot, but not enough to stop it from going into the net. Chelsea looked to start the second half as they'd finished the first and in the 46th minute, Marcos Alonso sent a free kick clean over the bar. Three minutes later, Kanté passed low to Batshuayi, who sent a shot clean over the bar. In the 55th minute, Siro López passed to Bicho, who played a perfect pass for Guerra. Guerra beat the offside trap before firing past Begovic. In the 63rd minute, Azpilicueta passed to Musonda, who tried his luck with his left foot. His shot, however, was saved by Buigues. Six minutes later, Gaspar hit an optimistic long-range effort which was saved by Begovic. In the 72nd minute, Costa passed to Kanté, whose shot was tipped wide by Buigues. In the 78th minute, Alonso played a long ball to Costa, who headed back to Loftus-Cheek. Loftus-Cheek passed to Kanté, who played it to the feet of Musonda. Musonda got into the area before crossing the ball to Pedro, who beat Buigues at the near post. In the 82nd minute, Christensen headed the ball to Kanté, whose left footed shot was saved by Buigues. A minute later, Kanté centred the ball to Costa, who headed over. Friendly - at José Rico Pérez, Alicante Hércules CF 1-3 Chelsea (Guerra 55; Kanté 2, Batshuayi 44, Pedro 78) Man of the Match: Pedro
  8. After their win in Germany, Chelsea travelled to Nouvelle-Aquitaine to face French Ligue 2 side Chamois Niortais. Spencer elected to start Antonio Rüdiger for the first time, along with forward Dominic Solanke. Chelsea attacked straight from the kick off and in the second minute, David Luiz saw a free kick skim the top of the bar. A minute later, another free kick saw Luiz find Musonda, who put an optimistic effort wide. In the fourth minute, Nathan Aké exchanged passes with Fàbregas, who passed to Hazard. Hazard played back to Aké, who aimed a cross for the far post. Musonda headed the ball down for Solanke, who unleashed a volley into the net to cap off a fine move. Four minutes later, however, Chamois responded. Bourhane played a long ball up to Baroan, who got behind the back four before beating Courtois at his near post. In the tenth minute, Allagbé saved a shot from Hazard, before Ijioui headed wide from a free kick. In the nineteenth minute, a header from Aké was intercepted by Ijioui, who sent a long ball upfield. Rüdiger attempted to head the ball to Courtois, but Baroan nipped in ahead of him and volleyed the ball past the unmoving Chelsea keeper. In the thirtieth minute, Fàbregas found Hazard with a low forward pass. Hazard passed to Solanke, who bent a shot into the top corner for his second of the game. Chelsea looked to get in front, and a minute later Wakefield found Musonda, who looked to get his name on the scoresheet. His shot, however, was saved by Allagbé. Hazard then had two chances, the first one being saved by Allagbé before firing the second one wide. In the 42nd minute, David Luiz fired a free kick over the bar. The second half had been nowhere near as eventful as the first and the first real chance didn't come until the 58th minute, when Charlie Wakefield sent a cross far post, where Musonda headed the ball into the side netting. Musonda would come close again four minutes later, as he ran onto a pass from Rüdiger before sending a shot over the bar. In the 64th minute, Musonda came forward again, receiving the ball from Solanke before hitting a hopeful shot which Allagbé. Allagbé was called into action again in the 73rd minute, saving a volley from Hazard following a cross from Wakefield. The hosts had their first chance of the half in the 75th minute, as Courtois saved an Agouazi free kick. Two minutes later, Wakefield's throw in found Musonda, who ghosted past Desmars before crossing to Solanke, whose header was straight at Allagbé. That was the last real chance of the match, as it ran out of steam. Friendly - at Stade René Gaillard, Niort Chamois Niortais 2-2 Chelsea (Baroan 8, 19; Solanke 4, 30) Man of the Match: Antoine Baroan
  9. Drogba11CFC

    An Impossible Man

    Looks like every newspaper in the country has just had their front page written for them.
  10. Chelsea's next friendly was against Hamburger SV, against whom they had drawn 0-0 the previous year. Spencer opted to bring Eden Hazard and Raul Jiménez into the side. The match was barely two minutes old when former Arsenal defender Johan Djourou was booked for a foul on Jiménez. In the fifth minute, a corner from Marcos Alonso found the head of Zouma. Douglas Santos headed the ball back, but Zouma intercepted and passed back to Camacho. Camacho played a square ball to Kanté, who fired a shot past Adler at his near post. In the 14th minute, a 30 yard ball from Hazard found Camacho, who sent a first time volley just wide. Hazard was next, receiving a square ball from Willian before putting a shot the wrong side of the post. In the 24th minute, a Chelsea free kick was played to Kanté, who passed back to Camacho. Camacho held up play before passing to the feet of Loftus-Cheek. Loftus-Cheek played an excellent ball to Willian, who sent a low shot into the opposite corner to double Chelsea's lead. Hamburger then had their first chance of the match in the 27th minute, as Gregoritsch fired a shot over the bar. Lasogga then had a shot a minute later, which was saved by Courtois. In the 31st minute, a long ball from Majrav found Lasogga, who beat David Luiz in the air before seeing his header saved by Courtois. Five minutes before half time, a throw-in from Alonso found Hazard, who headed it back. Alonso's cross was deflected to Kanté, who passed to Loftus-Cheek. Loftus-Cheek passed back to Zouma, who played a one-two with Camacho before finding Kanté. Kanté sent a long ball to Hazard, who headed it down to Jiménez. Jiménez had a go from the edge of the area, with Adler saving the shot. A minute from the break, Zappacosta threw the ball to Willian. Willian passed the ball to Zappacosta, who sent a cross from the byline towards the far post. Mavraj nodded the ball away, but it was intercepted by Loftus-Cheek. Loftus-Cheek passed to Camacho, who took a shot which he couldn't get on target. In the 51st minute, Kostic looked to go for goal, but his shot clattered off Alonso before it even reached the area. In the 59th minute, Mavraj passed to Ferati, who brought Holtby into play. Holtby passed to Kostic, who fed a through ball to Schipplock. Schipplock got in behind the defence before firing a shot past Courtois to reduce the deficit. Two minutes later, Hamburger were awarded a free kick, which Holtby put wide of the goal. In the 66th minute, Chelsea were awarded a free kick, which Willian couldn't direct goalwards. Two minutes later, Zouma beat Djourou in the air before heading wide from a corner. In the 69th minute, Walace was booked for a foul on Hazard. Musonda then sought out Jiménez, who had a shot saved by Adler. Ferati fired a free kick high and wide in the 77th minute, before missing a gilt-edged chance six minutes later. The game then ran out of steam as Chelsea made it three wins from three in their preseason. Friendly - at Volksparkstadion, Hamburg Hamburger SV 1-2 Chelsea (Schipplock 59; Kanté 5, Willian 24) Man of the Match: Willian
  11. Chelsea's next friendly was against Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. Spencer made a few changes, namely Batshuayi in for the injured Costa. The Blues had made two new signings prior to the match; Antonio Rüdiger from AS Roma and Davide Zappacosta from Torino. The former had been signed with a view to the future, the latter to add depth to the squad. It was Chelsea who made the early running and in the fifth minute, a corner from Fàbregas found David Luiz, who sent a header off target. Three minutes later, a throw-in from Azpilicueta found Camacho, who passed back to Azpilicueta. The full back passed to Loftus-Cheek, who played a short pass to Fàbregas. Fàbregas passed to Willian, who found Batshuayi. Batshuayi played the ball to Pedro, who got into the area before whipping the ball in towards Willian. Willian headed the ball down to Batshuayi, who passed to Pedro, and Pedro hit a first time shot into the net to cap off a wonderful move. Pedro nearly doubled his tally in the eleventh minute after receiving a pass from Batshuayi, but this time his shot was saved by Perry. Three minutes later, Batshuayi was fed in by Pedro and blasted the ball towards goal, but Perry was equal to the shot. Willian then had two chances in as many minutes, putting a free kick over before sending a volley off target. Marcos Alonso was then booked for a foul on Prenderville. Chicago Fire had their first chance in the nineteenth minute. Kappelhof beat Christensen in the air, but his header was saved by Courtois. The game then quietened down for the rest of the half, although Batshuayi had a shot blocked by Barlow in the 39th minute. In the 54th minute, David Luiz shrugged Delgado off the ball and played it forward to Willian. From just inside his own half, Willian raced down the right wing before getting a cross in, which Batshuayi met with a first time volley past Perry. In the 57th minute, Fàbregas suffered a gashed leg after a collision with João Meira, and was replaced by Kanté. In the 64th minute, Meira was shown a yellow card for a foul on Kanté, with the free kick being blocked by Goossens. Kanté then had a shot, which was blocked by Giliano Wijnaldum. In the 70th minute, Chicago Fire replaced Myers with Hess, while Chelsea replaced Azpilicueta and Loftus-Cheek with Zappacosta and Matic. Both sides each made another substitution six minutes later, as Spalding replaced Barlow while Aké replaced Camacho. In the 83rd minute, Zouma came on to replace David Luiz. In the 90th minute, Jiménez replaced Batshuayi and made an immediate impact as, in the third minute of added time, Christensen searched out Pedro on the left wing. Pedro easily got past Kappelhof before putting the ball into the six yard box, where Jiménez converted. Friendly - at Toyota Park, Bridgeview, IL Chicago Fire 0-3 Chelsea (Pedro 8, Batshuayi 54, Jiménez 90+3) Man of the Match: Pedro As the Blues travelled to Hamburg for their next friendly, more transfer news broke. After chasing him all season, Barcelona had finally signed Phillippe Coutinho from Liverpool for £64million. Meanwhile, Guardiola had continued his shopping spree with the £35million signing of Andrea Belotti from Torino. One transfer which had raised a few eyebrows, meanwhile, was the £19.5 million transfer of Jesse Lingard from Man Utd to Southampton.
  12. Chelsea kicked off their 2017/18 preseason with a match in Texas against the Houston Dynamos. However, the Blues were without Gary Cahill, who was sidelined for up to four months with a damaged achilles tendon. Charlie Wakefield, who had impressed while on loan at Watford the previous year, started at right back, while Kurt Zouma replaced Cahill. Wakefield almost repaid his manager's faith in him two minutes into the match, as he hit a right-footed shot off target. Two minutes later, Pedro was fed in by Costa and shot just wide. Houston had their first chance in the tenth minute, with Agus heading wide from a Strickland free kick. Agus had another chance three minutes later, which was saved by Courtois. Chelsea attacked again, and Pedro had two chances in two minutes, forcing a save from Jacob Cole before seeing a shot blocked by Dellacamera. In the 17th minute, a cross from Wakefield found Costa, who headed the ball down to Pedro. Pedro let the ball drop before firing a right-footed shot into the net to give Chelsea the lead. Chelsea continued to attack, and Fàbregas had a shot blocked by Crosno in the 23rd minute before Marcos Alonso sent a free kick over the bar a minute later. Alonso took another free kick a minute after that, which was blocked by Crosno. Powell and Agus both picked up yellow cards as the first half came to a close, before Alonso received a stern telling off early in the second half. Costa then pulled up with a groin strain, and was replaced by Dominic Solanke. Brad Hahnemann looked to bring Houston level in the 55th minute, but put it wide, before Strickland received a yellow card for a foul on Pedro. Loftus-Cheek was then booked for a foul on Crosno. Andreas Christensen then replaced Wakefield, before Matic replaced the booked Camacho and Kanté replaced Loftus-Cheek. Chelsea looked to close the game out in the last ten minutes. Pedro saw a shot tipped behind by Cole before Marcos Alonso sent a free kick wide. Solanke fired over with three minutes left, before Willian saw a shot saved by Cole and a Kanté shot was blocked by Agus. Preseason Friendly - at BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas Houston Dynamos 0-1 Chelsea (Pedro 17) Man of the Match: Kurt Zouma
  13. Spencer returned from his post-season holiday in plenty of time for the club's pre-season training camp in Hong Kong. What he did not expect to find was an unhappy squad. "What's going on?" he asked Angelo Alessio. "I come back from two weeks off and the squad are acting like we finished tenth again!" "While you were off golfing in Spain, PSG put in a bid for Diego Costa," Alessio explained. "We rejected it, but the players think that Costa's being treated harshly." "I'll deal with this," Spencer responded. Opening up the team Whatsapp group, he keyed in "Team meeting, dressing room, ASAP". An hour later, Spencer was facing the squad in the dressing room. "OK, can someone tell me what this is all about?" he asked. "Because if we're going to retain our title, I need everyone singing from the same hymnsheet." Eden Hazard spoke up. "We believe that Costa deserves a new contract, boss." he said. "After his form last season." "I'll sort it out as soon as I can." Spencer replied. Costa signed a new contract in due course, but there was one player who wouldn't be signing a new contract. After a first team career lasting seventeen years, including four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, a Europa League and a Champion's League, a Players' Player of the year award, 713 appearances and 66 goals, John Terry decided to hang up his boots, retiring on 30th June 2017. In a post on Instagram, Terry paid tribute to many of his team-mates and his club. Another, and somewhat unexpected departure from Chelsea was Angelo Alessio. Massimiliano Allegri had paid for Juventus' poor season in Serie A with his job and the Old Lady had turned to a familiar face: Antonio Conte. Fresh from his sabattical, Conte came calling for Alessio, who had been only too willing to link up with his former colleague. Allegri's assistant at Juventus, Marco Landucci, would subsequently arrive at Stamford Bridge to replace Alessio. With Costa, Hazard, Matic and Azpilicueta all content to stay thanks to Champions League qualification, despite repeated interest from PSG, Barcelona and Real Madrid, Spencer turned his attention towards improving squad depth. In contrast, by the time Chelsea departed for the United States for their two pre-season friendlies, three of their rivals had spent big. Eager to build on their title challenge the previous season, Arsenal signed Romelu Lukaku from Everton for £33.5million, while Mourinho, eager to claim the title from his former player, had brought Radja Nainggolan from Roma to Old Trafford for £69million. The most talked-about transfer, however, was Marco Veratti's move from PSG to Manchester City for an eye-watering £86million, as Pep Guardiola seemed determined to get back into the top four.
  14. I did that in my Chelsea save (which you can find in FM Stories) just before facing Man Utd at Stamford Bridge. I won 4-1. I always have my players close down/tightly mark/show onto weaker foot all opposition forwards, midfielders and wing backs. I always sing the walk on music for each ground before the match starts. I fine players for dismissal as follows: 2nd yellow/DOGSO: Warning, then 1 week fine Violent conduct: 2 week fine
  15. 2016/17 Season Summary (with thanks to @CFuller for the inspiration) Premier League Final Table | Pos | Inf | Team | Pld | Won | Drn | Lst | For | Ag | GD | Pts | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 1st | C | Chelsea | 38 | 24 | 7 | 7 | 71 | 34 | 37 | 79 | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 2nd | CL | Man Utd | 38 | 22 | 9 | 7 | 70 | 28 | 42 | 75 | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 3rd | CL | Arsenal | 38 | 22 | 6 | 10 | 75 | 31 | 44 | 72 | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 4th | CL | Liverpool | 38 | 22 | 6 | 10 | 82 | 56 | 26 | 72 | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 5th | CL | Tottenham | 38 | 17 | 17 | 4 | 63 | 34 | 29 | 68 | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 6th | EL | Man City | 38 | 19 | 9 | 10 | 59 | 34 | 25 | 66 | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 7th | EL | Watford | 38 | 17 | 10 | 11 | 52 | 47 | 5 | 61 | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 8th | EL | Southampton | 38 | 16 | 10 | 12 | 49 | 48 | 1 | 58 | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 9th | | Bournemouth | 38 | 15 | 9 | 14 | 54 | 55 | -1 | 54 | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 10th | | Burnley | 38 | 15 | 9 | 14 | 47 | 53 | -6 | 54 | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 11th | | Everton | 38 | 13 | 11 | 14 | 44 | 44 | 0 | 50 | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 12th | | Leicester | 38 | 12 | 14 | 12 | 42 | 54 | -12 | 50 | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 13th | | West Ham | 38 | 11 | 12 | 15 | 44 | 50 | -6 | 45 | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 14th | | Sunderland | 38 | 10 | 13 | 15 | 39 | 52 | -13 | 43 | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 15th | | Stoke | 38 | 10 | 10 | 18 | 43 | 52 | -9 | 40 | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 16th | | West Brom | 38 | 10 | 9 | 19 | 37 | 55 | -18 | 39 | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 17th | | Swansea | 38 | 9 | 12 | 17 | 39 | 62 | -23 | 39 | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 18th | R | Hull | 38 | 7 | 13 | 18 | 31 | 59 | -28 | 34 | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 19th | R | Middlesbrough | 38 | 6 | 8 | 24 | 27 | 64 | -37 | 26 | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 20th | R | Crystal Palace | 38 | 2 | 8 | 28 | 18 | 74 | -56 | 14 | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| Awards PFA Player of the Year: Diego Costa (Chelsea) FWA Footballer of the Year: Diego Costa (Chelsea) PFA Young Player of the Year: Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool) Golden Boot: Diego Costa (Chelsea, 26 goals) Manager of the Year: Walter Mazzari (Watford) PFA Team of the Year: David De Gea (Man Utd); Hector Bellerin (Arsenal), Nicolas Otamendi (Man City), David Luiz (Chelsea), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal); Willian (Chelsea), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Juan Mata (Man Utd), Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool); Diego Costa (Chelsea), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) Managerial Movements Leicester - Claudio Ranieri resigned on 4 July, Senol Gunes appointed on 4 July Stoke - Mark Hughes sacked on 3 December, Francesco Guidolin appointed on 17 December Crystal Palace - Sam Allardyce sacked on 28 January, Remi Garde appointed on 5 May West Brom - Tony Pulis sacked on 18 February, Roberto Di Matteo appointed on 12 March Middlesbrough - Aitor Karanka sacked on 22 May, Neil Harris appointed on 1 June Hull - Marco Silva sacked on 22 May, Warren Joyce appointed on 7 June Leading Transfers (January only) | Date | Person | From | To | Fee | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 16/1/2017 | Mario | Villarreal | Man Utd | £25.5M | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 8/1/2017 | Felipe Anderson | Lazio | Tottenham | £24M (£35M) | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 21/1/2017 | Gabriel Paulista | Arsenal | Quanjian | £24M | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 15/1/2017 | John Brooks | Hertha | Man City | £20.5M (£31.5M) | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 28/1/2017 | Chancel Mbemba | Newcastle | Arsenal | £17.5M (£24.5M) | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 27/1/2017 | Marcel Sabitzer | RB Leipzig | Liverpool | £18.75M (£26M) | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 31/1/2017 | Davy Klaassen | Ajax | Liverpool | £18M (£26.5M) | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 31/1/2017 | Jonny | Celta de Vigo | Arsenal | £15.75M (£20.5M) | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 22/1/2017 | Michael Keane | Burnley | Liverpool | £16.25M (£20M) | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 31/1/2017 | Sergi Gómez | Celta de Vigo | Man City | £10.25M | | ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| Also in England Championship Promoted: Newcastle (1st), Derby (2nd), Norwich (3rd Also in Play-offs: Huddersfield (4th), Nottm Forest (5th), Wolves (6th) Relegated: Blackburn (22nd), Preston (23rd), Burton (24th) League One Promoted: Millwall (1st), Charlton (2nd), MK Dons (3rd) Also in Play-offs: Bradford (4th), Sheff Utd (5th), Bolton (6th) Relegated: Coventry (21st), Bristol Rovers (22nd), Chesterfield (23rd), Southend Utd (24th) League Two Promoted: Luton (1st), Carlisle (2nd), Colchester (3rd), Plymouth (6th) Also in Play-offs: Leyton Oriend (4th), Wycombe (5th), Crewe (7th) Relegated: Barnet (23rd), Morecambe (24th) National League Promoted: Eastleigh (1st), Barrow (2nd) Also in Play-offs: Lincoln (3rd), Tranmere (4th), Forest Green (5th) Relegated: Bromley (21st), Maidstone (22nd), Macclesfield (23rd), Braintree (24th) National League North Promoted: Kidderminster (1st), Boston Utd (2nd) Also in Play-Offs: AFC Fylde (3rd), Darlington (4th), Alfreton (5th) Relegated: Gainsborough (22nd), Gloucester (23rd), Curzon Ashton (24th) National League South Promoted: Hampton & Richmond Borough (1st), Ebbsfleet (4th) Also in Play-Offs: Chelmsford (2nd), Eastbourne Boro (3rd), Whitehawk (5th) Relegated: Poole Town (22nd), Gosport (23rd), Truro (24th) Promoted from Regional Leagues Billericay Town, Havant & Waterlooville, Kettering Town, Merthyr Town, Spennymoor, Workington Domestic Cups FA Cup: Newcastle 0-0 Watford (Watford win 4-3 on penalties) EFL Cup: Man City 0-1 Tottenham (aet) Community Shield: Leicester 0-2 Man Utd EFL Trophy: Swindon 0-4 Walsall FA Trophy: Tamworth 0-5 York City FA Vase: Eastbourne Town 0-2 South Shields Europe UEFA Champions League: Barcelona 2-3 Atletico Madrid (aet) - at Principality Stadium, Cardiff UEFA Europa League: Tottenham 2-2 Mainz (aet, Tottenham win 4-1 on penalties) - at Friends Arena, Stockholm UEFA Super Cup: Real Madrid 3-1 Sevilla - at Lerkendal, Trondheim Awards Best Player in Europe - Lionel Messi (Barcelona) Golden Shoe: Kevin Gameiro (Atlético Madrid) Golden Boy: Anthony Martial (Man Utd) Dutch Eredivisie Top Three: Feyenoord (1st), PSV (2nd), Ajax (3rd) French Ligue 1 Top Three: PSG (1st), Monaco (2nd), Marseille (3rd) German Bundesliga Top Three: Bayern (1st), Dortmund (2nd), Gladbach (3rd) Italian Serie A Top Three: Inter (1st), Chievo (2nd), Juventus (3rd) Portuguese Primeira Liga Top Three: Sporting (1st), Porto (2nd), Benfica (3rd) Scottish Premiership Top Three: Celtic (1st), Rangers (2nd), Hearts (3rd) Spanish La Liga Top Three: Barcelona (1st), Atletico (2nd), Athletic (3rd) Global FIFA Club World Cup: Real Madrid 4-0 Al-Hilal (Saudi Arabia) - at Nissan Stadium, Yokohama Awards Ballon d'Or - 1st: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), 2nd: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man Utd), 3rd: James Rodriguez (Real Madrid) FIFA World Player of the Year - 1st: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), 2nd: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man Utd), 3rd: Neymar (Barcelona) World Soccer World Player of the Year: 1st: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), 2nd: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man Utd), 3rd: James Rodriguez (Real Madrid) FIFA/FIFPro World XI: Manuel Neuer (Bayern); Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Mats Hummels (Bayern), Aymeric Laporte (Athletic), David Alaba (Bayern); Thiago (FC Bayern), Paul Pogba (Man Utd); Lionel Messi (Barcelona), James Rodriguez (Real Madrid), Neymar (Barcelona); Paulo Dybala (Juventus) Substitutes: Petr Cech (Arsenal), Jerome Boateng (Bayern), Anthony Martial (Man Utd), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man Utd), Sergio Aguero (Man City), Ezequiel Garay (Valencia), Diego Costa (Chelsea) Leading Transfers (January only, not including Premier League) | Date | Person | From | To | Fee | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 7/1/2017 | Yacine Brahimi | FC Porto | Guangzhou Evergrande | £36M | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 18/1/2017 | Gonzalo Castro | Dortmund | Guangzhou Evergrande | £31.5M (£36.5M) | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 31/1/2017 | André Hahn | Gladbach | Dortmund | £16M | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 8/1/2017 | Wesley Hoedt | Lazio | PSG | £13.75M (£19.75M) | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 31/1/2017 | Tony Jantschke | Gladbach | Bayern | £15M (£19M) | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 15/1/2017 | Carlos Vela | Real Sociedad | Real Madrid | £14.5M (£22.5M) | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 22/1/2017 | Adam Masina | Bologna | Juventus | £13.25M (£16.75M) | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 24/1/2017 | Rafinha | Bayern | Quanjian | £9.5M | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 20/1/2017 | Sergio Canales | Real Sociedad | Villarreal | £9M (£12.5M) | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------| | 31/1/2017 | Cristian Pavón | Boca Juniors | FC Porto | £7M (£10.5M) | | --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|