Chelsea were in turmoil, apparently. The players were tired, strikers misfiring, technical directors quitting. Rumours were swirling that another popular title-winning manager would leave soon. Andy Carroll was threatening to sign on a permanent transfer.

And three consecutive goalless draws for the first time in club history. It wasn’t a bad run of results really; Chelsea had stayed in two cup competitions, and gained a point under difficult circumstances in the league. But still, in turmoil by all accounts.

Well… these things happen, and successful clubs find solutions. And Chelsea’s FA Cup replay vs Norwich City was an opportunity to start implementing those solutions.

Norwich City were 13th in the EFL Championship. They’d only played one game since their draw with Chelsea: they beat Bristol City away 1 – 0, which was a pretty decent result considering Bristol were thirteen points ahead of them before their game. […]

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! […]

Back to West London now, after two road trips to West Ham and Huddersfield. Chelsea’s opponents today: Southampton FC, fresh off a 4 – 1 home defeat to Leicester City. The game before though, Southampton managed a creditable 1 – 1 draw v Arsenal, who were in seventh place. They would not be pushovers today, by any means.

Chelsea (and Antonio Conte) were in game two of a “small ball” experiment. Even though Alvaro Morata was unavailable v Huddersfield, Michy Batshuayi was left on the bench. Today, both Michy and Alvaro were ready to play, but Conte started the same small, mobile attacking three as the previous game: Willian on the left, Pedro on the right, Eden Hazard in the center.

Mauricio Pellegrino rotated in Wesley Hoedt and Manolo Gabbiadini for Virgil van Dijk and Charlie Austin. Gary Cahill replaced Antonio Rudiger, who’d played well against Huddersfield, but maybe could have done more to prevent their late goal. N’golo Kante and Tiemoue Bakayoko were the two midfielders in Chelsea’s 3-4-3 today, so Cesc Fabregas was on the bench second game in a row. […]

Freezing weather, pouring rain, unbelievably enthusiastic home crowd, good times! It was a quick return to action in the Premier League. Chelsea played Huddersfield Town in their second away game in four days.

Chelsea had lost their last game against West Ham United. They started too slowly, the opposition scored and for the first time in the league since October, they couldn’t find their way back into the game. West Ham had ended an unbeaten run in which Chelsea had banked 19 of 21 available points.

Fortunately for Chelsea though, the teams around them weren’t able to take advantage. Manchester United lost their derby, Liverpool drew theirs, and Arsenal were held by Southampton.

Despite recent losses to Everton, Arsenal and Manchester City, Huddersfield were enjoying a pretty good start to their Premier League season. The two-nil win v Brighton in their last game had lifted them to twelfth place in the league, level on points with Southampton. […]

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: Jesus Martinez, Bayou City Blue @BayouCityBlues Part 1: Watford […]

Chelsea faced off against AS Roma in their third champions league game of the season. At stake: the top spot in Group C. Roma were second on four points, having won and drawn their two games against the other group members, FK Qarabag and Atletico Madrid. Chelsea topped the group on six points, from two wins against the same opposition.

Roma were coming off a pretty good run of form – they’d won four of their last five games in all competitions, although like Chelsea they had lost their most recent league game at home, a 1 – 0 reverse to Serie A leaders Napoli.

Their London hosts though, had been going through slightly more challenging times. Chelsea were the EPL Champions, but they’d only won one of their last four league games. It wasn’t exactly a crisis (yet), but their hopes of retaining their title were fading with every game. […]

The Premier League is back! Chelsea left for the international break on a downer, having lost their last game against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge. Yes, City have been at their best so far this season, but the loss still felt like a missed opportunity for the home side.

Circumstances, perhaps fixture congestion and insufficient rest for the starters, had conspired to make that game more difficult for Chelsea than it should have been. Today though they had a chance to recover form, as they made the short hop across London for the second derby of the season, this time against Crystal Palace.

Chelsea’s last game had been against the hottest team in the league, but this one was against a team in record-breaking poor form. Palace had been plagued by injuries since the start of the season, and had not scored a single goal or recorded a single point in seven league games so far. […]

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: Joe Tweeds, @JoeTweedie Part 1: Stoke City Review Chelsea 4-0 Stoke City, Premier League Saturday, […]

Chelsea were away to Stoke City in their sixth Premier League game of the season. It wasn’t exactly the proverbial cold Monday night at Stoke, but given the context of Chelsea’s feckless, disappointing goalless draw against Arsenal, this could easily have been a very tricky fixture for them.

Stoke have been a tough, physical side in defence for many years. But in a sign of changing times in the premier league, they – and many other mid-table EPL teams – now also have pretty good quality up front. They’re still the Stoke of Charlie Adam and Ryan Shawcross, but now they also have players like Saido Berahino, Maxim Choupo-Moting, Mame Biram Diouf, ex-Bayern Munich winger Xherdan Shaqiri, and Alvaro Morata’s former Real Madrid teammate Jese Rodriguez. […]

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: Arsenal F.C. Review Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal F.C., […]