How did the third month of 2019 go for all the Chelsea teams?
Welcome back to ‘The Monthly Report’ – our monthly feature that looks back at the previous month at everything Chelsea Football Club as we pick out our highlights and moments, both on and off the pitch.
The First team. The Women’s team. The Academy. Everything is covered.
Without further ado, let’s look back at March.
Victory over our west London rivals.
The brittle mentality re-appearing at Goodison Park.
Dynamo dominance in the Europa League.
Snatching points in unconvincing fashion against Wolves and Cardiff.
Another ‘entertaining’ month for the first-team, that’s for certain.
Defeating Dynamo Kiev 5-0 in the UEFA Europa League… in Kiev
Granted this was more-or-less an irrelevant match after already leading 3-0 on aggregate from the first leg, along with the fact that Dynamo Kiev was very much an average side.
But the quality, discipline and ruthless finishing that was on show in this performance made it the standout moment of the month, plus arguably one of the moments of our season to date.
A perfect hat-trick from Olivier Giroud, a blockbuster display from Ruben Loftus-Cheek, a defensive masterclass from Andreas Christensen along with Callum Hudson-Odoi once again showcasing his prodigious talent on the European scene… it was a great night all around.
The second-half collapse against Everton
After a first-half where we completely dominated the hosts in their own back-yard (besides actually scoring… another time, another place for that issue), we came out for the second half and looked like boys against men.
Everton played us off the park. And this is not the first time where we have had a second-half capitulation this season as it’s becoming an alarming reoccurrence. It would be easy to assume and criticise Maurizio Sarri’s half-time team-talks. But let’s be honest, how many times can Sarri tell these players to continue to play well and be let down before we (should have already in my honest opinion) came to the conclusion that is entirely the fault of the players?
Dynamo Kiev 0-5 Chelsea (UEFA Europa League, Round of 16 – 2nd Leg)
A great result, giving us momentum and confidence going into the Quarter-Finals.
Everton 2-0 Chelsea (Premier League)
GOAL OF THE MONTH
Jorginho vs Fulham (Premier League)
After being pretty much hounded by the media and fans alike for his supposed lack of goals and assists so far this season (even though his job is not to score but create them, which would have been a much higher number if not for the abysmal finishing from our attacking players), Jorginho most definitely silenced a few noisy critics with this sublime top-corner finish.
The goal celebration was not too shabby either.
PLAYER OF THE MONTH
After more promising displays in Europe, combined with topping up his goal contribution numbers, Callum Hudson-Odoi topped off a fine month for in a Chelsea shirt by making his debut for the senior England team.
A great month altogether for the English wonderkid.
The talent is there, the potential will be fulfilled. Just let him get to the top naturally.
STATS (ALL COMPS)
• Matches Played – 6 (W4, D1, L1)
• Goals – 18 (GF – 13, GA – 5)
• Top Scorer – Olivier Giroud (3)
• Average Possession – 66.7%
• xG Average (Premier League only) – 1.47
It was another successful month for the Chelsea Women, winning 3 of the 5 games they played across 3 competitions.
They started off the month with a convincing 4-0 win away to Liverpool Women in the FA Women’s Super League, which included a brilliant hat-trick from the talismanic Fran Kirby. Despite this, they did end the month with a disappointing 1-1 draw against West Ham United Women, which confirmed an end to Chelsea’s chance of winning the league for the second season in a row.
In the FA Women’s Cup, a narrow 1-0 Quarter-Final win over Durham W.F.C – thanks to a composed finish from Ji So-Yun, allowing Chelsea to remain on course to retain the cup and progress to the Semi-Finals, where Manchester City W.F.C awaits them.
The standout moment of the month for the women though was undoubtedly their 3-2 aggregate victory over Paris Saint-Germain Féminines in the Quarter-Finals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
After a brilliant 2-0 victory at home in the first leg, Chelsea was under the kosh for the entire second leg, buckling under the Parisian pressure and lost their overall lead in the time due to two quick goals from the hosts in the early stages of the second-half. With the engrossing last-eight tie destined for extra time, Maren Mjelde’s injury-time goal from nowhere gave Chelsea the crucial away goal they needed to progress to the Semi-Finals, where they will come up against the defending champions Olympique Lyonnais Féminin.
BEST MOMENT – Maren Mjelde’s injury-time goal in the 2nd Leg against PSG, which sent Chelsea Women through to the Champions League semi-finals
BEST RESULT – Chelsea 2-0 Paris Saint-Germain Féminines (Women’s Champions League, Quarter-Final – 1st Leg)
BEST GOAL – Hannah Blundell (2-0 vs Paris Saint-Germain Féminines (Women’s Champions League, Quarter-Final – 1st Leg))
PLAYER OF THE MONTH – Fran Kirby
STATS (ALL COMPS)
• Matches Played – 5 (W3, D1, L1)
• Goals – 12 (GF – 9, GA – 3)
• Top Scorer – Fran Kirby (3)
It was very much a mixed month for the 3 teams from the academy.
For the Development Squad, they started the month with a 2-0 win at home to Manchester City, before finishing with a 1-1 draw away to Tottenham Hotspur in Premier League 2 – Division 1. The U18’s had a tough month in the U18 Premier League, scoring only one goal in four games (in the 1-0 win over Aston Villa), which included losses to Brighton (0-1) and Arsenal (0-3) respectively, along with a goalless draw versus Norwich City.
But the result – and performance – of the month from the Academy surely has to be the 2-1 win in the UEFA Youth League Round of 16 tie against Montpellier. Goals from Juan Familio-Castillo and Luke McCormick ensured they progressed to the Quarter-Finals this month (today in fact), where they’ll come up against Croatia’s Dinamo Zagreb for a chance to face the reigning champions Barcelona in the Semi-Finals.
BEST MOMENT – The U19 side defeating Montpellier 2-1 in the UEFA Youth League Round of 16 to progress to the Quarter-Finals to face Dinamo Zagreb.
BEST RESULT – Chelsea U19 2-1 Montpellier U19 (UEFA Youth League, Round of 16)
BEST GOAL – Luke McCormick vs Manchester City (Premier League 2)
PLAYER OF THE MONTH – Luke McCormick
See you next month!