Chelsea exited one of the cup competitions this week, despite being one game away from a final at Wembley Stadium.
They also recorded their first league victory of the calendar year, despite missing several first-team players.
One of the club’s Brazilian wingers moved to a fellow English Premier League side on loan earlier this week, in a bid to gain regular playing time.
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s academy side have created history after reaching the semi-finals of a senior competition.
In other news, four of The Pensioners’ fixtures across April and May have been rescheduled for television screening.
Blues supporter and Football Journalism student Jonty Colman looks at five major talking points from around the club this week.
Brighton and Hove Albion 0-4 Chelsea
Chelsea started their week with a comfortable 4-0 victory over English Premier League debutants Brighton and Hove Albion.
The Blues went ahead after just three minutes when Eden Hazard turned in Victor Moses’ deflected cross for his first goal in four matches.
The visitors were without Thibaut Courtois, Pedro, Gary Cahill, Cesc Fabregas and Alvaro Morata for the match, but it didn’t stop them taking control early on.
Antonio Conte’s side doubled their lead in the sixth minute. Hazard, Willian and Michy Batshuayi started as the front three against Albion and the trio linked up superbly for The Blues’ second. A passing move between them ended with Hazard back-heeling the ball to his Belgian teammate Batshuayi, who flicked the ball onto Willian before the Brazil international fired his effort from outside of the penalty area into the roof of the net. Sublime.
Hazard got his second and Chelsea’s third of the match shortly after half time; Willian split the home defence with a perfectly weighted pass down the left side to the Belgian, who cut inside, leaving several defenders stranded before placing his shot past helpless Seagulls goalkeeper Matt Ryan.
Defender Moses completed the rout shortly before full time after going clear through on goal thanks to substitute Charly Musonda’s ball before slotting his effort past Ryan for his first league goal in 14 months.
The result moved Chelsea back up to third in the league table following Liverpool’s 1-0 loss to Swansea City on Monday.
Arsenal 2–1 Chelsea
The Blues exited the Carabao Cup at the semi-final stage after losing 2-1 against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.
The two sides had drawn at Stamford Bridge a fortnight ago during the first leg in a rather dull encounter but that quickly changed as Hazard gave Chelsea the lead after seven minutes. The Belgian was put through on goal by Pedro and Hazard’s shot had been saved by Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina, but The Gunners’ Colombian stopper was only able to push his shot into the net.
Arsenal equalised six minutes later in bizarre fashion; Mesut Ozil’s corner was headed goal-bound by Nacho Monreal, his effort appeared to be going wide after being blocked by Marcos Alonso, but the ball then deflected off Antonio Rudiger’s head before beating Blues goalkeeper Willy Caballero, a very unfortunate way to concede.
The Gunners then sealed their place in next month’s final early in the second half. Switzerland international Granit Xhaka saw the ball fall straight at his feet when Alexandre Lacazette’s cross deflected off Rudiger and the midfielder poked the ball home from close range to send Arsenal to Wembley Stadium.
Chelsea were without Thibaut Courtois, Cesc Fabregas and Alvaro Morata for the semi-final with the trio all missing through injury.
After the game, Antonio Conte blamed the defeat on a limited bench, despite not selecting Charly Musonda in the 18-man squad.
Arsenal will face Manchester City in the final at Wembley on Sunday 25 February.
Toon move for Kenedy
Brazilian winger Kenedy has joined fellow English Premier League side Newcastle United on loan for the remainder of the season.
The 21-year-old has featured five times for The Blues this season, all of which have come in either the FA Cup or the EFL Cup. Kenedy has not been a major part of the first-team picture this season after a controversial Instagram post during the club’s pre-season tour in China.
The wideman will not be able to feature for The Magpies in their next game, which is against Chelsea in the FA Cup Fourth Round on Sunday. The Brazilian is both cup tied and ineligible to play against his former side.
U21s reach semis
Chelsea’s Under-21s have progressed into the semi-finals of the EFL Trophy, after a 3-0 victory over Oxford United.
Joe Edwards’ side went ahead after 10 minutes through Harvey St Clair and found themselves two goals clear just six minutes later courtesy of Daishawn Redan.
The Blues sealed their place in the last four midway through the second half with a curling effort from Juan Castillo.
Chelsea will face Lincoln City in the next round with the tie scheduled to take place on Tuesday 6 February.
Fixture changes for March and April
On Wednesday morning it was announced that four of Chelsea’s matches across March and April have been selected for television coverage.
Amongst these ties include a trip to the likely league winners Manchester City and London derbies at home to Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur.
Here are the four fixtures that have been re-arranged:
Sunday 4 March: Manchester City v Chelsea (4:00pm)
Saturday 10 March: Chelsea v Crystal Palace (5:30pm)
Saturday 17 March: Burnley v Chelsea (12:30pm)
Sunday 1 April: Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur (4:00pm)
That’s all for this week, join us again next Thursday for more from the Stamford Roar!