Chelsea’s week consisted of two home matches, with neither going exactly as they would have liked.
After a slight hiccup in the club’s stadium re-development plans, The Blues appear to be back on track following a conference this week.
The academy found out who they will face in the next round of the EFL Trophy and Chelsea have also appointed a new member of staff well up the club’s hierarchy.
Blues fan and Football Journalism student Jonty Colman looks at the five major talking points from around the club this week.
Chelsea 0-0 Leicester City
Another game, another goalless draw, this time against 2015/2016 English Premier League champions Leicester City.
Chelsea struggled for the first 25 minutes at Stamford Bridge on Saturday and the likes of Shinji Okazaki and Jamie Vardy both came close to putting The Foxes ahead.
The Blues had rested Andreas Christensen for the game, but he was forced into action midway through the first half when he replaced captain Gary Cahill after he suffered an injury. Christensen’s arrival shored up the defence, but it proved to be to no avail, as The Blues struggled going forward.
Claude Puel’s side were reduced to 10 men in the second half, after Ben Chilwell received two bookings in less than five minutes for fouls on Willian and Victor Moses. However, Chelsea were unable to score against The Foxes for their third game in a row, which has set a new club record of consecutive goalless draws.
Chelsea 1-1 Norwich City
At the fifth time of asking, Chelsea finally recorded their first victory of 2018, despite ending their FA Cup Third Round replay against Norwich City with nine men.
Michy Batshuayi’s tap in from Kenedy’s cross early in the second half gave The Blues the lead but Jamal Lewis levelled the match with his first ever senior goal after heading in Timm Klose’s cross deep into second half stoppage time.
The Blues thought they should have had a penalty in extra time when Willian was fouled by Klose, but the referee booked Willian, despite VAR clearly showing that there was contact.
Chelsea were reduced to 10 men after Pedro’s foul earned him a second yellow card then three minutes later, substitute Alvaro Morata was booked for diving and his protests saw him dismissed, reducing the hosts to nine men.
Pedro and Morata will now be suspended for The Blues’ league clash with Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.
The Blues secured their place in the next round after winning 5-3 via a penalty shootout. Chelsea will face fellow English Premier League side Newcastle United in the Fourth Round at Stamford Bridge on Sunday 28th January.
New stadium given the go ahead
The club’s bid to redevelop Stamford Bridge received a massive boost on Monday evening.
Their plans to convert their home into a 60,000 seater stadium recently hit a stumbling block when the Crosthwaites family, who live in the local area, complained that the new stadium would affect their “right to light” which would have made the project “undeliverable”. However, at a conference on Monday evening, Hammersmith and Fulham Council announced that they will acquire an interest in land owner by Network Rail, which would prevent any concern caused by the “right to light” principle.
The redevelopment could cost £1 billion and would mean that The Blues would have to play their games away from SW6 whilst construction takes place.
Academy face Oxford test
Chelsea’s Under-21s have been drawn against Oxford United in the quarter finals of the EFL Trophy.
After beating Portsmouth 2-1 last week, The Blues will face yet another Sky Bet League One side, this time in the form of Oxford United.
The last eight clash will take place at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday 23rd January; kick-off is at 7:30pm and tickets can be purchased on Chelsea’s official website.
New chief executive appointed
Last Thursday, the club appointed Guy Laurence as their new Chief Executive.
Laurence will begin his role at the start of February and will report directly to the club’s board of directors. The Manchester-born chief has sporting experience with the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto FC, who play in the Major League Soccer in the United States of America.
Join us again next week for more from the Stamford Roar!