No room for complacency as Blues bid to tame Black Cats

Posted by Mark Worrall

Gus Poyet, Jose Mourinho PA PhotosJose Mourinho must secure the three points against former Chelsea man Gus Poyet's Sunderland.

Chelsea welcome Sunderland to Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening knowing that victory is paramount if dreams of winning the Premier League are to be kept alive prior to the following weekend’s showdown with table-toppers Liverpool at Anfield.

On Wednesday night, the basement-dwelling Black Cats severely dented Manchester City’s title hopes when earning a 2-2 draw at the Etihad. It could have been even worse for the Citizens, who scrambled a last-minute equaliser when Sunderland keeper Vito Mannone spilled Samir Nasri’s shot and the ball bobbled over the line. Continue Reading...

Mourinho tactics win out against stubborn Swans

Posted by Mark Worrall

On a day of high drama in the Premier League, Chelsea huffed and puffed to a 1-0 win over 10-man Swansea at a sun-drenched Liberty Stadium. A second-half Demba Ba strike was enough to settle a dull match and keep the Blues in touch with table-topper Liverpool, who had earlier scrambled to a narrow 3-2 victory over Manchester City.

- Report: Swansea 0-1 Chelsea
- Delaney: Three things: Swansea City vs. Chelsea

Following the midweek Champions League triumph over Paris Saint-Germain, Blues boss Jose Mourinho, while opting for his tried and trusted back line of custodian Petr Cech, Cesar Azpilicueta, Branislav Ivanovic, Gary Cahill and John Terry, rotated his side further forward. Continue Reading...

Courtois the talking point as Chelsea draw Atletico

Posted by Mark Worrall

ChelseaGettyImagesThibaut Courtois is set to face Chelsea in the Champions League semifinals.

Even before the Champions League semifinal draw against Atletico Madrid was made, the legalities and logistics of Thibaut Courtois being allowed to face his parent club was discussed by one and all.

And as fate would have it, the Belgian goalkeeper -- yet to play for Chelsea -- is set to line up against the 2012 winners, with a place in the final one step away. It was initially suggested that Atletico would have to pay a 5 million-pound fee to use Courtois, and Enrique Cerezo, president of the Madrid club, claimed his side would not be able to stump up the cash. Continue Reading...

Unlikely hero Ba stuns PSG as Blues march on in Europe

Posted by Mark Worrall

Salvatore Sirigu is rooted to the spot as Andre Schuerrle fires Chelsea in front.GettyImagesSalvatore Sirigu is rooted to the spot as Andre Schuerrle fires Chelsea in front.

On yet another night of glorious unpredictability at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea overturned a 3-1 first-leg deficit to progress to the Champions League semifinals following a 2-0 victory against Paris Saint-Germain.

A first-half strike from Andre Schuerrle, on as an early substitute for Eden Hazard, gave the Blues hope. Demba Ba, sent on for Frank Lampard midway through the second half, settled matters with a late goal.

Despite the 3-3 aggregate score line, Chelsea qualify by virtue of Hazard’s penalty scored at the Parc des Princes, and their fans will be dreaming that history might be about to repeat itself as their team edge closer to a final date in Lisbon in May. Continue Reading...

Chelsea seek to overturn PSG deficit with unity, experience

Posted by Mark Worrall

Chelsea will try to make up a two-goal Champions League quarterfinal deficit at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night against a Paris Saint-Germain side that will be well aware of the Blues' capabilities of triumphing against the odds in Europe's elite club competition.

Two years ago, Napoli came to London defending a similar 3-1 lead. The Italian side was expected to qualify but was blown away 4-1 by a motivated Chelsea roared on by a passionate and partisan crowd. Full-back Branislav Ivanovic settled the tie with a goal in extra time, and the Blues progressed to the quarterfinals where they would ease past Benfica. Continue Reading...

Salah shines on debut as Chelsea cruise past Stoke

Posted by Mark Worrall

Chelsea returned to the top of the Premier League following a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Stoke City at Stamford Bridge. A scintillating man-of-the-match performance from Egypt international Mohamed Salah, making his full Premier League debut for the Blues, had the home crowd buzzing as the painful memories of recent defeats to Crystal Palace and Paris Saint-Germain were erased.

- Report: Chelsea 3-0 Stoke City
- Delaney: Three things: Chelsea vs. Stoke

Salah opened the scoring on 32 minutes confidently sweeping home a neat Nemanja Matic cutback and, just after the hour mark, his trickery drew a foul from Stoke defender Andy Wilkinson inside the Potters' penalty area. Continue Reading...

Mourinho's defensive approach in Paris backfires in UCL loss

Posted by Mark Worrall

Jose Mourinho shows his anger during Chelsea's defeat in Paris.PA PhotosMourinho shows his anger during Chelsea's defeat in Paris.

Chelsea were left with a mountain to climb after a late Javier Pastore goal gave Paris Saint-Germain a 3-1 victory in tonight’s Champions League quarterfinal first leg tie at Parc des Princes.

Eden Hazard had leveled from the spot following an early Ezequiel Lavezzi goal, but the Blues failed to capitalise on the impetus gained from the equaliser. A calamitous own goal by David Luiz saw PSG take the lead in the second half and the London club were undone at the death by an injury time strike by substitute Pastore. Continue Reading...

Mourinho's game plan holds key to success over PSG

Posted by Phil Lythell

Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images Chelsea will need a big performance from Cesar Azpilicueta if they are to stop Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani.

The business part of the season is now well and truly upon us and confirmation of its arrival will be manifested in Chelsea's opposition in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

The Blues have a date with Paris Saint-Germain, a club experiencing its own Chelsea-esque period with the recent influx of Qatari millions emulating the largesse shown by Roman Abramovich after his takeover of Chelsea a decade ago. The Londoners might have lost twice in the competition already this campaign, though this quarterfinal tie will be the first true test of their mettle on the continental stage. Continue Reading...

Plot thickens for unpredictable Chelsea

Posted by Mark Worrall

With the bitter disappointment of Saturday's defeat at relegation-threatened Crystal Palace still fresh in their collective memories, Chelsea's shell-shocked players travel to France for a midweek Champions League tie with runaway Ligue 1 leaders Paris Saint-Germain knowing they must raise their game if they are to secure a positive outcome at the Parc des Princes.

For many sides this would be a tall order -- but not Chelsea. Woven into the colourful tapestry of the London club are many tales of glorious unpredictability, and Blues supporters don't have to look back too far to see sterling examples of when adversity has turned to triumph. Continue Reading...

Chelsea's hopes crumble with defeat at Palace

Posted by Phil Lythell

John Terry GettyImagesJohn Terry's own goal handed victory to Palace.

Chelsea's title hopes were left hanging by a thread after a deserved and damaging 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace.

The sight of the players slumped to their knees as Lee Mason blew the final whistle told the story of a team who now know they have it all to do if they are to bring the Premier League trophy back to Stamford Bridge after a four-year absence. Their reaction illustrated that this setback was not through lack of effort, yet there was so much missing from this collective performance that it is hard to pick out a single positive aspect. Continue Reading...

Kings of the King's Road ready to reign at Palace

Posted by Mark Worrall

Chelsea in action vs Crystal PalaceGettyImagesChelsea were made to work hard for their 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace in December.

Having all but ended Arsenal’s Premier League title hopes with an emphatic 6-0 win at Stamford Bridge last weekend, Jose Mourinho takes his table-topping Chelsea side across London on Saturday to play relegation-threatened Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, knowing that nothing but a win will do if the Blues are to maintain the pressure on rivals Liverpool and Manchester City.

The biggest irony for Mourinho lies in the fact that starting with Palace, Chelsea could win their remaining seven league games and still fall short of Manchester City’s potential points tally. Continue Reading...

Chelsea striking department set for major refurbishment

Posted by Phil Lythell

Ian Horrocks/Getty ImagesRomelu Lukaku is thriving at Everton on loan but does he have a future at Chelsea?

Whatever happens between now and the end of May, this has been a season of progress and encouragement for Chelsea FC. The return of a club legend to the dugout, a genuine title challenge and a coherent team identity has restored a sense of stability that has not been seen at Stamford Bridge in the past few years despite the glory achieved on the continental front.

The lone, lingering disappointment has become one of the clichés of the season when talking about Chelsea -- the lack of a world class striker either at or approaching the peak of his powers. Continue Reading...