Ayodeji Itasanmi (Twitter: @aryhorblueblood) Stamford Bridge/April 1, 2018 Welcome back from the international break as we welcome Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham team to Stamford Bridge for what’s sure to be a tough game for both these teams as the race to finish among the top four becoming as competitive as ever, with only Manchester City assured […]

Sunday 18th March, King Power Stadium – Chelsea made a quick return to action against Leicester City in the FA Cup quarter-finals. Just four days had passed since their demoralizing 3 – 0 loss to Barcelona in the Champions League.

Chelsea had reached the FA Cup quarter-finals after home wins against two Premier League sides: Hull City (4 – 0) and Newcastle United (3 – 0). Before that, they’d struggled mightily to overcome Norwich City on penalties after a slightly vindictive refereeing performance in the third round replay.

Claude Puel’s side had dealt quietly and competently with Sheffield United (1 – 0), Peterborough United (5 – 1) and Fleetwood Town (2 – 0 in the replay after a goalless game at Highbury). Nigerian international Kelechi Iheanacho was City’s hero in this competition, having scored four goals against Fleetwood and Peterborough.

Antonio Conte made four changes to the team that started at Camp Nou: Willy Caballero came in for Thibaut Courtois, after the Belgian’s entertaining double-nutmeg performance against the Catalan side. Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alvaro Morata replaced Cesc Fabregas and Olivier Giroud in midfield and attack. […]

Ayodeji Itasanmi (Twitter: @aryhorblueblood) King Power Stadium/March 18, 2018 That certainly wasn’t a 3-0 performance from the Blues at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night but that’s football. Sometimes you give everything and end up with nothing, like we did on Wednesday night, and at other times you give little and end up with everything. […]

Barcelona and Chelsea clashed again in the second leg of the UEFA Champions league round of sixteen.

The teams had enjoyed very different fortunes since the 1 – 1 draw at Stamford Bridge in February. Chelsea had been beaten twice in Manchester by United and City, before scraping a 2-1 win vs Crystal Palace at home.

They were fifth in the league, four points behind Liverpool in fourth, and twenty-five points (yes you read that right, twenty-five points) behind league leaders Manchester City.

Barcelona had played four league games to Chelsea’s three, beating Girona and Atletico Madrid 6 – 1 and 1 – 0 respectively at home, and bottom club Malaga 2 – 0 away.

Surprisingly, their one draw had come against relegation-threatened Las Palmas, but the Catalan giants were eight points clear at the top of La Liga Santander with ten games left to play. Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez were the league’s top scorers at 24 and 21 goals, and all was right with the world. […]

Ayodeji Itasanmi (Twitter: @aryhorblueblood) Camp Nou/March 14, 2018   This is arguably our biggest and most difficult match of the remainder and I’m sure Antonio Conte and his players will be under no illusion as to the difficulty of the task that awaits them at the Catalan on Wednesday night. We couldn’t have prepared better […]

Crystal Palace visited Stamford Bridge for the late EPL kick-off, in Chelsea’s sixth derby in the league this season. Chelsea’s record against their London neighbours in 2017/18 didn’t make good reading: one win against Tottenham at Wembley, two draws home and away to Arsenal, and two disappointing defeats away to West Ham and Crystal Palace.

Chelsea also needed to break another bad streak – they’d lost four of their last five league games against Bournemouth, Watford, Manchester United and Manchester City, only managing a win against bottom club West Bromwich Albion. That was just three points from a possible fifteen. They were now a full five points adrift of a Champions League qualification place.

Palace had their own troubles – they were fighting (and losing) a relegation battle. Recent form was poor; two draws against Newcastle United and West Ham in their last five league games, two points from fifteen. Similar form to Chelsea in fact.

They did have a habit of raising their game against their West London hosts though: Crystal Palace won their last three fixtures against Chelsea. And they’d only narrowly lost their last two games against Tottenham and Manchester United, 1-0 and 3-2 respectively. […]

  Ayodeji Itasanmi (Twitter: @aryhorblueblood) Stamford Bridge/March 10, 2018 Chelsea has lost four of the last five in the league and the need for all three points on Saturday evening, when Roy Hodgson’s injury-hit Crystal Palace team visits Stamford Bridge, cannot be over-emphasized. With the all-important visit to the Camp Nou to face Barcelona in […]

With the exception of a 3 – 0 win when Huddersfield defended deep and let them play, every time Chelsea have used Eden Hazard as a striker this season, they’ve struggled to attack effectively, either scoring just one goal or none at all.

Today was no different: Chelsea did not register a single shot on target the entire game.

Manchester City had shown against weaker opposition (Burnley and Wigan Athletic) that they could be breached, but with both their center forwards warming the bench, Chelsea were simply not set up to take advantage.

Even more worrying though, was a heads-down attitude and lack of application from some Chelsea players at certain moments in the game. […]

By, Ayodeji Itasanmi (Twitter: @aryhorblueblood)   Etihad Stadium/March 4, 2018 I’m sure nobody expected this match to be something of a dead rubber, for City at least because no team can stop them winning the league, when the fixture list was released in June, but that’s the overriding sentiment going into this Sunday’s match considering […]