- Latest Headlines
A First Half Shambles
The English champions seem fully intent upon repeating past mistakes, notably from two seasons ago, as they proceeded to the worst possible start to the defence of their league title. Captain Gary Cahill got himself sent off inside fifteen minutes for a stupid and reckless challenge. In the next half hour, the visitors exploited the ensuing chaos, as they cashed in with one, then two, and finally three goals before the interval. While Chelsea were in defensive disarray, Sam Vokes simply filled his boots with a couple of decisive goals.
If the FA Cup was a scintillating spectacle, then the Community Shield was a damp squib by comparison. Still, it's always difficult to take the football season's curtain opener too seriously, and it rarely proves to be an accurate barometer of the credentials of either protagonist. In the event, Arsenil did manage to eke out a late equaliser which facilitated the first penalty shootout in England using the 'Abba' formula. Not for the first time it was Chelsea who were distinctly out of tune in the spot kicks spotlight. If Gary Cahill was a slightly surprising choice as first taker, then Tibo Courtois going next seemed bizarre, a perception that was fully vindicated by an awful miss. Next came newbie Alvaro Morata who did nothing to boost his own confidence when he too couldn't even shoot on target and work the goalkeeper.
A Bitter Finale
Just over fifty years since Chelsea succumbed by two goals to one in a Wembley FA Cup final to a north London neighbour, history more or less repeated itself, as the English champions fluffed their lines and deservedly lost a second FA Cup final to dastardly Arsenil. Peculiarly, the Blues have won all six FA Cup finals in the last twenty years against non-London opponents but have lost all three FA Cup finals that they have ever contested against London opposition, conceding twice each time. Even more freakish is the fact that Chelsea have not drawn any of their last thirty matches in London.
An Historic Milestone Of Thirty Wins!
A rampant Chelsea finished off their sixth season as English champions in style with their sixth straight Premier League triumph. They will hope to build upon this impressive sequence in August when they set about a defence of their thoroughly deserved silverware and seek to outdo their thirteen in a row which they magnificently accomplished in mid winter. On this day, John Terry fittingly bowed out of his unsurpassable career at Chelsea by being substituted in the 26th minute amidst a guard of honour from his grateful team mates. Stamford Bridge bade an emotional and grateful farewell to one of its greatest ever players.
A Goalscoring Spree Versus Watford
Credit must go to Watford for refusing to let the occasion pass them by. They twice equalised, including coming back from 3-1 down to 3-3, even briefly threatening an unlikely away win. They also took the match so seriously that their challenges for the ball were a bit too enthusiastic at times, resulting in an eventual red card. Of course, the vistors were assisted by a makeshift Chelsea team, as the manager correctly shuffled his pack and rested players ahead of Wembley duty. That said, Mr Conte surprisingly started Hazard. The Belgian maestro was his usual bag of tricks, twisting and turning and getting upended by some naughty fouls yet again. Perhaps the star of the show was Willian who is maybe in the form of his life. It's amazing that this great player can't even get a starting place. Then, that's the price to pay for being in the squad of the best team in Britain!
Batshuayi's Goal Secures Sixth Title Triumph
West Bromwich Albion characteristically did everything in their defensive powers to defy Chelsea this evening, but in the end the visitors were not to be denied for their obvious industry and persistence against the typically dogged Baggies. The hero of the occasion proved to be an unlikely one, as the substitute Michy Batshuayi came in from the cold to deliver the most important goal of his fledgling career, as he converted from an Azpilicueta assist. Up until the young Belgian's late intervention, it had been a frustrating occasion for the away team, as a combination of fine goalkeeping, sound defending, and inaccurate finishing threatened to prolong the Premier League race for two or three more days.
Champions-Elect Enjoy Routine Win
Serial division-hoppers Middlesbrough fell through the trapdoor tonight at Stamford Bridge, following a dismal run since Christmas. They were no match for a rampant Chelsea, whose players took it in turns at shooting practice. It certainly felt like a contest between the best team in Britain and a team from a lower league. The visitors really needed to be positive and seek a win, but this was just about the most comfortable clean sheet that Courtois and chums have accumulated.
Chelsea Dismantle Everton
A trio of second half goals and miracle of miracles, a clean sheet too, well holy cow that was an even better result than the five-nil thrashing of the Toffees back in November. Even this old sceptic is coming around to the idea that Chelsea just might win the Premier League after all! If only we could play Evercrap every week, because the so-called champions-elect have remarkably finished with an aggregate of eight-nil against the otherwise formidable Toffees this season. In addition, it kind of slipped under the radar, but Chelsea have officially or mathematically qualified to dine at the top table of next season's Champions League. I recall the night in May 1999 when we first qualified for the CL. It was major news. Nowadays it's pretty much taken for granted. How time has changed!
Another Four-Two Victory!
For the second time in four days, the league leaders have scored four goals whilst also conceding twice. On each occasion the incomparable Eden Hazard found the back of the net, while the double helping was this time bagged by lethal Diego Costa who has scored three times against the Saints in this campaign. Chelsea wouldn't be Chelsea if they didn't make the occasional hash at defending, and another Spaniard Oriol Romeu tapped in from close range to nullify Hazard's early strike. It took a trademark header from big Gary Cahill on the stroke of half time to restore the one-goal advantage, something which was scarcely deserving after an unimpressive first 45 minutes.
Big Matic Seals Semi Triumph
Nemanja Matic: he scores when he wants to! Fortunately, he selected a very good occasion to blast in his first accurate effort of the season. Following on a mere five minutes after Hazard's left foot had drilled us into the lead for a third time, the big Serb took a lay-off from the Belgian wizard and coolly despatched a drive into the top corner that left Lloris, his troops, and supporters alike all feeling rather stunned. If Chelsea had a better striker, the score could have been more substantial, as both Batshuayi and his replacement Senor Costa were wasteful with free headers. Otherwise, apart from the customary display of erratic defending, it was all good against the norf London wannabes.