After their exertions against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup midweek, Chelsea made a quick return to Premier League football. Their opponents this weekend: eighth-placed Leicester City FC.

Leicester were in relatively decent form; they’d won four and drawn one of their eight league games since the start of December. Their pace and counterattacking style tended to work well against teams at the top end of the league table: the one draw in that run of results was a 2 – 2 vs Manchester United. They also drew 1 – 1 with Manchester City in the league cup, before getting knocked out on penalties.

Chelsea were five places and sixteen points ahead of their visitors overall, but they weren’t that much better in terms of recent form. The London club had five wins and two draws since December; they were only four points ahead of Leicester City in that period of time. […]

Chelsea were in Norfolk county for their FA Cup third round game v Norwich City FC. Norwich were in thirteenth place in the Championship with twenty-two games played, just two points behind “Old Farm” rivals Ipswich Town in twelfth.

Chelsea were a full thirty places ahead of their hosts, third in the premier league, a point behind Manchester United and two ahead of Liverpool FC.

Norwich and Chelsea had last met in the premier league, back in 2015/16, before Norwich were relegated to the EFL Championship. The Blues beat the Canaries 1 – 0 at home and 2 – 1 away that season. Diego Costa scored the winning goal both games, while Chelsea prospect Kenedy recorded a memorable strike the first minute of the away game. Nathan Redmond scored Norwich’s only goal of the two fixtures.

Norwich midfielders Marco Stiepermann and Harrison Reed both missed this game through injury. Chelsea’s Eden Hazard was also unavailable, with a minor injury from their midweek match at the Emirates.

There was some good news though: David Luiz started for Chelsea after two months out with a knee injury. Charly Musonda had also recovered from a groin injury, and was on the bench today. […]

The great thing about rotation, when it’s done properly, it gives players with a point to prove their long-awaited chance… to prove their point. All five goals were scored by Chelsea players that have spent more time on the bench this season than on the pitch – and they showed today they’re more than just backups.

And maybe it was the quality of the opposition, but Chelsea also showed vastly improved finishing compared with their previous games. They had a 42% conversion rate today versus 13% against Southampton, 0% v Everton and 25% v Brighton & Hove Albion. It helped to avoid shooting straight at the keeper maybe.

The most important stat though: Manchester United drew with Southampton after Romelu Lukaku was stretchered off injured, so Chelsea ended 2017 second in the league! Yeah it’s just halfway through and City are too far ahead, but it’s not bad for a transitional season. At least so far. Well done to Antonio Conte, the players and the board.

And Happy New Year everyone! […]

It was matchday 15 of the 2017 season. Ex-Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez and Newcastle United were in London for the first league game of the weekend, against his former club.

November had turned to December, and as Chelsea’s players returned from injury, and Antonio Conte settled on his favoured shape and starting line-up, his team’s defensive inconsistencies were fading into memory.

Newcastle’s recent form was relatively similar to that of the last visitors to Stamford Bridge, Swansea City. They had four losses and one draw from their last five games – but they sat twelfth, much higher up the league table than the eighteenth placed Welsh side.

Chelsea were in third, with four wins and one draw from their last five league games. They had a chance today to draw level on points with second placed Manchester United – if they could take all three points today. […]

London is Blue is a soccer fancast created by Chelsea FC fans from America and covers all things Chelsea. Hosts are @BBBusbee, @DanDormer and @NickVerlaney. London is Blue is proud to be presented by WorldSoccerShop. Visit them at www.WorldSoccerShop.com to find the best Chelsea FC gear! Part 1: Swansea City Review Chelsea vs. Swansea City, […]

Swansea City AFC were in London for their midweek EPL fixture against defending champions Chelsea. The Welsh side were in desperately poor form, having secured just one point and scored only two goals in their last five league games.

Manager Paul Clement said at the weekend, he didn’t believe he would be sacked if his team lost against Bournemouth. They had managed a goalless draw against the Cherries, but his words were eerily similar to Tony Pulis’s, just before West Bromwich Albion lost 4 – 0 to Chelsea – and Mr. Pulis lost his job.

Some of the circumstances were in Swansea’s favour though – Chelsea had just completed a run of three consecutive away games in seven days, including a couple of six-hour flights to and from Azerbaijan for a champions league fixture. The London club also had a relatively lengthy list of players that were either injured, or had just returned from injury, still lacking match fitness. Perhaps Swansea could take advantage. […]

London is Blue is a soccer fancast created by Chelsea FC fans from America and covers all things Chelsea. Hosts are @BBBusbee, @DanDormer and @NickVerlaney. London is Blue is proud to be presented by WorldSoccerShop. Visit them at www.WorldSoccerShop.com to find the best Chelsea FC gear! Part 1: AS Roma Review Chelsea 0-3 AS Roma, […]

Roma lined up in a 4-3-3 with Stephan El Sharaawy, Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti up top.

Chelsea reverted to their familiar 3-4-3 with Rudiger, Luiz and Cahill in center back, and Cesar Azpilicueta shifted out to right back. Cesc Fabregas and Tiemoue Bakayoko started in midfield.

It was a slightly less compact, defensive setup than expected from Chelsea – they were away from home and top of the group – Roma needed a win much more than they did.

Either way, Antonio Conte would soon find out whether or not it was right tactical setup for this game. […]

London is Blue is a soccer fancast created by Chelsea FC fans from America and covers all things Chelsea. Hosts are @BBBusbee, @DanDormer and @NickVerlaney. London is Blue is proud to be presented by WorldSoccerShop. Visit them at www.WorldSoccerShop.com to find the best Chelsea FC gear! GUEST: Stamford Chidge, @StamfordChidge Part 1: Bournemouth AFC Review […]

Chelsea faced a pretty tough examination from their visitors in the second half. Caballero was absolutely the man of the match for me. There’s no hiding from the facts – put this Chelsea team under pressure, and without N’golo Kante, David Luiz or similar players in midfield, they will fold.

In fact, they did fold over and over this game, but Caballero showed a bit more experience and quality perhaps than Courtois had in some other challenging games this season, and held the line until their attacking quality won them the match. […]