THE CHELSEA WEEK HOME AND AWAY
In this round-up, we take a look at how current and former Blues are doing away from Stamford Bridge, find out how our Champions League opponents are getting on domestically, before previewing the week ahead closer to home…
There have been plenty of good performances from our players out on loan so far this season and this weekend proved no exception, with Chelsea loanees racking up more goals, assists and clean sheets.
Romelu Lukaku has continued the fine form he showed while on loan at West Bromwich Albion last season, and the Belgian was on the scoresheet again on Saturday for his new club Everton. He opened the scoring with a well-placed strike from the edge of the box in the Toffees' 2-0 win at Aston Villa, his fifth goal in as many games for the team who end the weekend in sixth place.
There was a first goal in Nottingham Forest colours for Nathaniel Chalobah in their shock 3-1 defeat against Yeovil, the midfielder heading home from close range before being replaced at the interval, while Todd Kane, yet to miss a minute of action for Blackburn Rovers this season, helped his side to a creditable 2-2 draw at Blackpool (pictured above).
There was plenty of involvement for our young players plying their trade at League One level, too, with George Saville earning a Man of the Match award for his performance in Brentford's 1-0 win over Shrewsbury. Sam Walker excelled in the Colchester goal on Saturday, keeping a clean sheet against free-scoring Peterborough and helping his side to their first win in 12 league outings, while Patrick Bamford (pictured below), prolific for MK Dons with 12 goals in 18 appearances this season, couldn't find the net as the Buckinghamshire outfit went down 3-2 at Tranmere.
In Holland, there were two more assists for Lucas Piazon yesterday (Sunday), but his Vitesse Arnhem side missed the opportunity to go top of the Eredivisie, throwing away a two goal advantage at home to Groningen. Patrick van Aanholt played the full game, while Gael Kakuta replaced Christian Atsu with eight minutes remaining. Sam Hutchinson was an unused substitute. Piazon has five goals to his name so far in Holland, and won the club's October Goal of the Month competition for his strike against Nijmegen in September. Last week, he netted a brace as Vitesse came from behind, at Herenveen, to win 3-2; Van Aanholt grabbed the last-minute winner.
There was a goal in the Dutch top flight for Stipe Perica, who scored his third of the season in NAC Breda's comfortable 5-0 victory on Saturday, his six appearances thus far coming off the substitutes' bench.
Finally, in Spain, Thibaut Courtois kept his fifth clean sheet of the season as Atletico Madrid won 5-0 against Real Betis, in the process moving above Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid into second place in the La Liga table. Atletico have enjoyed a remarkable start to the 2013/14 season, winning all but one of their league games and also picking up maximum points in their three Champions League fixtures to date. Our Belgian keeper has started every game for the Spanish Cup holders.
The Chelsea Under-16 team were crowned champions of the Under-16 Premier League International Tournament this weekend, adding to the national title they picked up two weeks ago. The young Blues beat Real Madrid 2-0 in the final having already seen off Liverpool, Marseille and West Brom in the tournament played at St George's Park.
Former Blues and Champions League opposition
Keeping one eye on our former players' fortunes, Frank Sinclair's Colwyn Bay side fell at the final hurdle of FA Cup qualifying, losing in the Fourth Qualifying Round to Corby Town on Saturday. Further afield, William Gallas joined Perth Glory in Australia last week following his release from Tottenham in the summer.
Our Champions League opponents had a mixed weekend. Schalke lost at home again, and conceded three again, with high-flying Borussia Dortmund their conquerors on Saturday. The Gelsenkirchen side slip to seventh in the Bundesliga following the 3-1 reverse. FC Basel remain four points clear at the top of the Swiss Super League after a goalless draw with FC Zurich, while in Romania, Steaua Bucharest are comfortable league leaders. Their 2-1 win at Brasov was a ninth league triumph in 10 games this season.
The Chelsea Week ahead
It's a busy week for Chelsea, with the first team on duty at Arsenal tomorrow evening in the 4th Round of the Capital One Cup.
The following day, from 4pm to 5.30pm, Samuel Eto'o will be signing copies of his cartoon-style autobiography in the Chelsea Megastore.
On Friday evening, our Under-21 side host West Ham United at Aldershot's Recreation Ground. Kick-off is 7.05pm and entrance is free to all season ticket holders, or £3 for adults and £1 for children. The game is being show live on Chelsea TV.
We will have a chance to go to the summit of the Premier League if we can win against Newcastle in Saturday's lunchtime kick-off at St James' Park. Our Under-18s are no longer in action on the same day due to opponents Wolves' involvement in the FA Youth Cup.