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It was a season that began with so much promise – and come the end of August, Chelsea fans were beaming.

Having secured the Double the previous season, the 2010/11 campaign had began in stupendously good fashion – a 3-1 loss to Manchester United in the Community Shield aside. Add in the excitement of the capture of Brazilian star-in-the-making Ramires from Benfica, three wins from three in the Premier League with not a single goal conceded in that period of time, and Carlo Ancelotti’s men could do no wrong.

After a very disappointing pre-season that saw four defeats from five, few people expected Chelsea to pose too much of an early-season challenge to Manchester United in the Wembley curtain opener. United were in great form after a productive summer, and, unlike Chelsea, their squad had changed very little, with only a couple of additions in Javier Hernandez and Chris Smalling joining over the course of the transfer window. On the other hand, it was all-change at Cobham; Ancelotti had waved farewell to an ageing but nonetheless talented midfield quartet of Ballack, Belletti, Deco and Joe Cole, whilst youngster Scott Sinclair and Miroslav Stoch sought pastures new. Ricardo Carvalho had rejoined former boss Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid as well – whilst Yossi Benayoun and Ramires had come in. The squad needed time to gel – and a chance to play against their northern rivals posed the perfect opportunity.

After beating United 4-1 on penalties after a thrilling 2-2 draw last year, Chelsea this time found themselves desperately unlucky when Luis Antonio Valencia and Javier Hernandez’ face saw the Red Devils take an early lead somewhat against the run of play. Salomon Kalou reduced the arrears – only for Dimitar Berbatov to make it 3-1 in added time with an exquisite lob – and United had won what some call a glorified friendly. I, personally, call it a good cause – and a piece of silverware.

It wasn’t a bad performance, but neither was it the result we wanted. Disappointing, but nowhere near as important as a strong start to the league season would be.

Like most Chelsea supporters, I was willing to concede victory in that game for a solid start to the new league season. I did not expect a 6-0 demolition of West Bromwich Albion, however. I remember being a little anxious prior to the game – after playing Wigan on the first day of the 05/06 season, I’ve become increasingly nervous about playing newly-promoted teams who want to prove themselves in the big time on the opening day. Throw in the fact West Brom are actually a decent little side, a 6-0 victory was just simply magnificent. The performance matched the scoreline – and it meant Chelsea had scored an incredible 21 goals in three home Premier League games when you filter in 7-0 and 8-0 wins over Stoke and Wigan respectively last term. Florent Malouda opened and closed the scoring, whilst sandwiched in between was a Didier Drogba hattrick, and Frank Lampard got off the mark in typical ruthless fashion.

For one or two optimistic fans, a 6-0 win might have seen a return from a cheeky fiver, but there were few people betting Chelsea would make it two on the bounce. You could argue it was an even better performance, especially when you consider an embarrassing 3-1 loss at the DW last term. Drogba had netted a hattrick of goal in the previous match and in this game he became the threefold creator; setting up a Salomon Kalou brace, whilst Nicolas Anelka scored twice also. Florent Malouda continued his fine form in front of goal and Chelsea new boy Yossi Benayoun slotted home the sixth in front of the raucous travelling fans. Chelsea were top of the Premier League by two points and goal difference six greater than that of second-placed Arsenal.

The aforementioned form of Malouda continued into the next game; a home match against Stoke. Chelsea had won 7-0 the last time these two teams had met and after the Blues’ early season scoring exploits some people thought they could add another impressive demolition to their name. To their credit, however, Stoke were resolute and only the crossbar’s width prevented Glen Whelan from netting in the second half. Nevertheless, Malouda duly opened the scoring and Didier Drogba smashed home a penalty.

Frank Lampard had earlier seen a spot-kick saved by Thomas Sorenson and found himself struggling with injury. Little did we know this would be one of two season-defining infirmities which would ultimately undermine Chelsea’s title tilt.

But nine points from nine, 14 goals scored and three successive clean sheets made for impressive reading. Carlo Ancelotti was earning praise for the dynamic of his team – the goalscoring form of Drogba, Kalou, Malouda and Anelka was a sign of things to come, and the team’s all-round confidence was exhuming from each and every one of the players. A friendly-looking Champions League draw featuring MSK Zilina, Marseille and Spartak Moscow rounded off the month with Chelsea looking set to continue their domestic domination and take giant strides towards European glory.

These were happy days on SW6.

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Super! But I have dibs on the October review :lol:

Carlo Ancelotti's mob begun the month with 15 points already on the table, the sole blemish being the away defeat to Manchester City, a side the Blues had now lost to 3 times running. October's first encounter was in the Premier League, and it was no ordinary match - Arsenal came visiting for the first 'Big 4' clash of the season, and a London derby to boot. The Blues were had been boosted by a Champions League group stage win against Marseille the previous week, and they were looking to to put further distance between themselves and the chasing pack by grabbing all the points against a quality opposition. As always in games between these two sides, the most prominent name on the team sheet was that of a certain Ivorian. Didier Drogba returned to the lineup, fresh due to serving a habitual Champions League suspension and was raring to go at his favourite opposition. An electric Stamford Bridge saw the game begin with Arsenal surprisingly the dominant side in the initial stages. Marouane Chamakh and Laurent Koscielny wasting glorious opportunities to put the away side in an early lead and allowing the hosts to gradually grow into the game. Big games like these are often won or lost in the midfield and that's where the first telling contribution of the game came from, Chelsea's Brazilian new boy Ramires tackled ferociously and played a through ball into the oncoming Ashley Cole's feet whose perfect cross found Didier Drogba and the big targetman showed incredible skill to somehow backheel the ball into the net with his back to the goal. Arsenal's domination of possession counted for little as Chelsea went into the break a goal to the good. The second half saw more of the same, Chelsea defending the width of their box and Arsenal trying to pass their way into the net, but having no success at it. With 90 minutes approaching and the home support growing more and more restless, another man who loves to score against Arsenal stepped up to literally annihilate any hopes of a comeback from the visitors. The outcome seemed almost inevitable as Alex lined up his 30 metre freekick. An almighty thump and a few milliseconds later, he was seen milling away in delight, getting drowned in a sea of blue jerseys while the ball still continued to spin furiously in Fabianski's net. A statement of maturity, determination and intent from the reigning champions saw the month begin on a very sweet note.

Midweek international games followed and it was not until the 16th of October that fans would have a taste of Chelsea action. The venue was Villa park, a decidedly ominous ground for the Blues. The continued absence of Frank Lampard and a fever-stricken Didier Drogba meant that the champions' visit was made an even tougher task. Once again, it was the opposition who started the brightest and Chelsea had Petr Cech to thank for keeping them in the game till half time. Putting off Stephen Ireland when he had just the keeper to beat, a brilliant one-handed save from a John Carew effort and generally looking calm and assured while coming for crosses meant that 'Big Pete' was on his way to rediscovering his best form for years. The Blues started the second half on a much more positive note, largely due to the energetic Yuri Zhirkov who had come on for the young Frenchman Gael Kakuta at halftime. A result seemed more and more likely as both sides hit the woodwork, Branislav Ivanovic for Chelsea and Ciaran Clark for Villa. The loudest cheer of the night however was reserved for Jose Bosingwa who was making his return to the first tream after being out for almost a year. With the game nearing the end, Nicolas Anelka should have secured 3 precious points for Chelsea, but somehow managed to head an Ashely Cole cross into the post from a mere 2 yards out. It could have gotten worse for the visitors but thankfully for them, Nigel Reo Cocker chipped wide when one on one with Cech in the final seconds of the game. A point at Villa Park a decent result.

Champions League action beckoned as Chlsea returned to Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium for their first competitive match there after the 2008 CL final loss. Much of the media buildup to the game focussed on this aspect and John Terry was among a number of Chelsea players to reject apprehensions of nervousness or bad memories among the Chelsea squad on their return to the scene of that fateful night. But the best way to overcome any lingering doubts was to seal 3 points against a Spartak Moscow side that currently lay tied on points at the top of the group table. If it's Moscow, it had to be the Russian Yuri Zhirkov to leave his mark on the game. A delicious left footed volley from the edge of the box resulted in his first goal for the club. Nico Anelka doubled the advantage just before half time, his calm finish, his 50th for Chelsea. A lower intensity second half followed as Chelsea conserved some energy for weekend Premier League action and eventually rode out comfortable 2-0 winners.

Mick McCarthy's Wolves visited Stamford Bridge for the 9th league game of the season. The Blues welcomed Didier Drogba back into the side but Frank Lampard's continued absence meant that Zhirkov got his first league start of the campaign. Jose Bosingwa also started his first game for the club in a year and it was he who came closest to breaking the deadlock early on. Having a right-sided Ashley Cole clone nearly reaped dividends straightaway, only to be thwarted by the Wolves' keeper. Chelsea were not at there best and afforded Wolves a lot of time and space on the ball and it could have hurt them had any of a number of Matt Jarvis crosses been nodded home. But they weren't and Wolves paid the price for their wastefulness when a lovely passage of play between Anelka and Zhirkov teed up Florent Malouda for a right footed finish. The French winger's 7th goal of the league campaign sent the home side into the break 1-0 up. The surprisingly open game continued into the second half with both sides creating chances but not taking them. It was left to a fit again Salomon Kalou to put the game to bed late on, his 5th league goal putting a rather undeserved sheen on the scoreline.

Blackburn's Ewood Park was the venue for the last game of the month, another place the Blues had found tough to negotiate in recent years. With Blackburn on the cusp of a takeover, energy, spirit and determination abounded in the stadium as the Blues found it to difficult to deal with their hosts' offering them no time on the ball. The Rovers looked thirsty for the blood of the champions and took the lead just before the half hour mark, nomadic forward Benjani getting his first for the club, finishing off his shoulder and finally beating Petr Cech, who had been nothing short of exceptional upto that point. It was the first goal conceded by the Czech keeper in the entire month. But he was not about to kept quiet, this time making a key offensive contribution, putting through a wonderful early ball for Florent Malouda, whose crossfield ball was nodded down by Didier Drogba into the path of Anelka who finished calmly past an onrushing Paul Robinson. Chelsea perhaps lucky to head into the break on even terms. The second half saw a better performance from the champions, and Malouda's industry almost brought a goal for Zhirkov, only to be thwarted by Robinson. Daniel Sturridge was brought on after 70 minutes and he made an instant impact but his stinging long shot flew just wide and into the side netting. Jason Roberts should have clinched the game for the hosts in the 80th minute but he somehow contrived to pull his shot wide of the goal with only Cech to beat. His profligacy was to be punished however as Branislav Ivanovic nodded home an excellent Zhirkov cross from close range. The 83rd minute strike proving to be the decider as Chelsea continued their somewhat worrying run of unconvincing performances.

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November was the month things started to unravel for the champions which caused alarming cause for concern amongst the Blues faithful.

The start of the month was fine 5 points clear at the top of the Premier League and a 4-1 win at home to Spartak Moscow in the Champions League on the 1st day of the month ,the 6th win in 7 games,, second half goals from Nicolas Anelka, Didier Drogba from the spot and a double from Branislav Ivanovic gave the Blues qualification to the last 16 of the Champions League with 1 point needed in their remaining 2 games to go through as group winners, things were looking rosy down at Kings Road.

With Manchester United's trademark last minute winner the day before at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers the lead was cut back to 2 points but Chelsea had the chance to get it back to 5 with victory at Anfield, where last year Chelsea took a giant leap towards the title with a comfortable 2-0 win where Liverpool didn't show up at-all, but it was a different story this time round. Liverpool came at the Blues from the start and fully deserved the 2-0 lead they took courtesy of a Fernando Torres double. Chelsea came out more sharply in the second half with the introduction of Didier Drogba but a mix of superb goalkeeping from Reina and determined defending from the Liverpool backline ,Carragher especially, saw Liverpool keep hold of the 2-0 win which blew the title race wide open having said that home games against Fulham and Sunderland to come while Manchester United travel to The City of Manchester and Villa Park saw a ideal opportunity to extend the lead at the top once again.

A midweek match against Fulham provided Chelsea with a quick opportunity to get Anfield out of their system, Micheal Essien was a big miss at Anfield and he returned to the starting line up with a bang for the right and wrong reason's. The Ghanian got the only goal of a nervous game but also got himself sent off for a 2 footed lunge on Clint Dempsey in added on time which meant a 3 match ban. In truth the game should have been over long before the final whistle as Chelsea missed a host of chances, namely from Soloman Kalou, and if Fulham managed to level it would have well and truly been 2 points dropped. Further good news came from Manchester United drawing their match with local rivals Manchester City which meant the advantage at the top was back to 4 points.

A day later came the news that shocked Chelsea fans, Carlo Ancelotti and players a like, the assistant manager Ray Wilkins has got sacked with immediate affect, it was not seen coming and whether it has an affect on the team still remains to be seen.

More good news came on Saturday afternoon when Manchester United dropped a further 2 points on the road at Villa which gave Chelsea the opportunity to extend their lead to 6 points over them should they turn over the black cats. Given the 7-2 and 5-0 thumping's of them at Stamford Bridge in the last two season's and that Sunderland have not picked up a single point against Chelsea anywhere since 2001 i, like a lot of Chelsea fans, were understandably confident of gaining 3 points.

Bad news came before the match even kicked off, Arsenal's 2-1 win at Goodison Park meant the lead at the top was down to 2 points and both John Terry and Alex failed late fitness test's, Carlo decided to move Branislav Ivanovic to the centre and to the surprise of Chelsea fans partnered him with Paulo Ferreira instead of the youngster Jeffrey Bruma which meant we were effectively playing with 4 full backs . The depleted side also meant a 1st bench appearance for youth cup winner Jacapo Sala With Chelsea's captain and vice captain on the sideline's Didier Drogba took the responsibility of leading the side, but things quickly got from bad to worse.

Carlo Ancelotti's team didn't start off like a side depleted as John Mikel Obi's fantastic lobbed pass to Anelka saw him through only for Craig Gordon to bravely get to the ball first. Not long later Yuri Zhirkov flashed a half decent chance past Craig Gordon's left post but that was as good as it got for the boys in blue. Not long before half time Welbeck forced a superb save by Petr Cech and the resulting corner saw Kieran Richardson flash his effort just wide, it was a sign of things to come as Gyan and Welbeck were starting to run the makeshift defense raggid and it came as no suprise when barely a minute later Onuoha danced through the back line to give Sunderland a fully deserved half time lead, after the break Chelsea were even worse and Sunderland dominated in every aspect after Asamoah Gyan, from a Jordan Henderson assist. clinically fired past Petr Cech to make it 2-0, Carlo Ancelotti brought on Solaman Kalou, Josh McEachran and Gael Kakuta to try and turn the match around but that never looked likely and was virtually impossible once Danny Welbeck benefited from Ashely Cole's outrageous pass to make it a humiliating 3-0 defeat for the Champions in a fixture which has been a nailed on 3 points for years, any one hoping Ray Wilkins departure wont have had too much affect on the team were harshly corrected, in truth the score flattered the Stamford Bridge outfit and it could have been 6 and if it weren't for Cech probably would have been.

Things did not get better during the week either when Chelsea found out John Terry could be our for as long as 4 months and Alex needed surgery on a troublesome injury,something the Blues delayed until Terry returned earlier than expected, add that to Branislav Ivanovic being one booking away from a suspension a Centre back crisis seemed a matter of when not if. Frank Lampard's return from a long term injury did not look like happening too soon either, a response was needed in Birmingham and while the performance was much better than the last week the result was anything but, a superb display By Ben Foster and a Lee Bowyer goal from a Alex mistake gave Birmingham there first win over Chelsea since 1980 and the lead at the top was merely goal difference.

Midweek gave Chelsea a chance to forget about the recent league form when MSK Zilina came to town, a team that so far have looked horrifically out of their depth in the champions league. With qualification assured Carlo gave the chance to a lot of the youngsters as Jeffrey Bruma, Patrick Van Aanholt, Dan Sturridge, Gael Kakuta and Josh McEachran were all given starts, Ross Turnbull was also given a rare chance in goal. This was seen as a chance for the youngsters to shine and for the team to get a good win under their belts after the horror of recent weeks and although the Blues came away 2-1 victors it weren't going to plan early on. Babatounde Bello gave Zilina a shock lead and only a instinctive save from Ross Turnbull prevented Zilina adding to it. The second half was a different story as Dan Sturridge and Florent Malouda completed the turn around to put us through as group winners, some good news in what has been a tubelent month for the Champions.

The month ended with a trip up north to St James Park and after Manchester United's 7-1 win over Blackburn Rovers yesterday only a win would see the Champions back to the top of the table and Chelsea got off to the worst of starts when miscommunication between a half fit Alex and the usually solid Petr Cech saw Andy Carroll take one of the easiest of tap ins. Soloman Kalou spared us a hat trick of premier league defeats with a equalizer at the stroke of half time and despite spells of pressure in the second half Chelsea couldn't find that elusive winner and for the first time this season the West London outfit are not the team thats leading the way.

All in all this has been a catastrophic month for Chelsea and while the Champions League progress went smoothly they lost their grip on the premier league title, 4 points out of a possible 15 is not just relegation form its bottom of the table form, with the injuries mounting up, a paper thin squad and with a grueling fixture list to come in the next month, things are suddenly looking very bleak and worrying down at SW6.

What do you think? go easy on me please smiliecap1.gif

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September will be published today, October tomorrow and November the day after.

I must stress for everyone to proof read, because spelling, punctuation and grammar must be perfect. And please make sure you write in the past tense, because changing it all is a royal pain in the arse.

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Awesome, cheers mate!

I'm not surprised no-one wants to do December... I might as well have the honour :P

November was depressing enough, cant do both, although February wont be much better :(

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Ah right :lol: Well December's up, I'm going to write January either tomorrow (match report due today...), then we need Tomo to do February for Wednesday...

ill get it done by tonight biggrin.gifthumbsup.gif

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February began with the main noise being about the high profile signings of Fernando Torres and David Luiz from Liverpool and Benfica respectively but the match at the Stadium of Light came to soon for the pair to make their debut's, Chelsea, looking to avenge the shocking 3-0 home loss in November, got off to a bad start when Phil Bardsley gave the black cats the lead, goals from Frank Lampard from the spot and Soloman Kalou gave Chelsea the lead before Keiran Richardson's free kick brought Sunderland level before half time. The second half however Chelsea dominated and were rewarded by goals from John Terry and Nicolas Anelka to walk away from wearside with a fantastic 4-2 win.

The rest of the week was filled with Fernando Torres press, especially as his debut could be coming against the club he came from ,Liverpool,. David Luiz could also be making his debut in one way or another. The match did not go to plan whatsoever and Kenny Dalglish's team came away with a smash and grab 1-0 win, El Nino had a nightmare debut although David Luiz came on for the last 20 minutes and looked very promising furthering what i personally thought in the first place, that David Luiz should have started and Fernando should have been left out till Fulham.

A local derby at Craven Cottage followed on Valentine's day and David Luiz followed up his impressive cameo against Liverpool with a man of the match display here despite giving away a late penalty, which i still personally think was harsh. The performance was frustrating however and the way most of the team were in cruising mode in the second half you would have thought Chelsea were 5-0 up, they weren't however it was 0-0 and saw the Blues fall 5th and out of the champions league places.

Next up for Chelsea was a FA Cup replay against Everton at Stamford Bridge, without both Fernando Torres and David Luiz, it was another inept display from the double holders but it looked like they got away with it when Frank Lampard fired home in extra time, but a late Leighton Baines free kick took the match to a penalty shoot out, which given the recent history of Chelsea V Everton games was probally predicted. Missed penalty's by Nicolas Anelka and Ashely Cole made sure the 2 year hold Chelsea had on the FA Cup was only going to last another couple of months.

Given the worrying league position Chelsea's Champions League last 16 first leg tie away to Copenhagen had added significance that winning the tournament might be the only way they will still be in it next term, a double from Nicolas Anelka gave Chelsea breathing space to take back to Stamford Bridge, Chelsea are half way to the quarter finals and given a extra added boost by 4th place Tottenham losing to Blackpool at Bloomfield Road, all Chelsea have to do now is beat Manchester United and they are back in the top 4, thats all though.


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