THE CHELSEA WEEK HOME AND AWAY
In the latest edition of the Chelsea Week Home and Away, we check on the progress of our players out on loan, note some awards given and on the horizon, report how our Champions League opponents got on this weekend and look ahead to another busy days in the Chelsea world...
Our contingent on loan at Vitesse Arnhem enjoyed an extraordinary win on Saturday. They triumphed 6-2 against PSV Eindhoven away, with a number of our players heavily involved. Lucas Piazon opened the scoring and laid on Vitesse's second and fifth goals, the latter scored after delightful link-up play with Patrick van Aanholt, who netted his second of the campaign with a cool finish. Christian Atsu also excelled, providing an assist of his own and tormenting PSV throughout. Gael Kakuta was introduced with seven minutes remaining, during which time Vitesse netted three, game-clinching goals. They remain top, ahead of Ajax, who beat NAC Breda 4-0, for whom Stipe Perica played the full 90 minutes.
There were 180 minutes this week for Romelu Lukaku, who helped Everton pick up four impressive points, away to Manchester United and Arsenal. His mishit shot fell kindly for Brian Oviedo to hit the midweek winner at Old Trafford.
Victor Moses came on in both of Liverpool's two home victories, against Norwich and West Ham respectively. He replaced Raheem Sterling midway through the second half on both occasions.
In the Championship Nathaniel Chalobah scored his second goal in Nottingham Forest colours last Tuesday in a 2-2 draw at Millwall, equalising with a well-placed header. Chalobah appeared as a sub, for five minutes, in Forest's 1-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday this weekend.
Todd Kane missed his first minutes of the season on Saturday, as a result of a suspension for amassing five yellow cards, the fifth of which was picked up in Blackburn's defeat at Ipswich last week. Josh McEachran is still injured and thus played no part in Watford's recent draws at Burnley and Leeds.
There was FA Cup second round action for three of our loanees in League One, with mixed fortunes. George Saville played 84 minutes in Brentford's 3-2 loss at Carlisle. The Bees are currently looking for a new manager after Uwe Rosler's departure to Wigan. Patrick Bamford could come up against Rosler's new charges in the third round of the FA Cup, after helping MK Dons to a narrow 1-0 victory over Dover Athletic. Elsewhere Milan Lalkovic started Walsall's 1-0 loss at Leyton Orient but was withdrawn with 20 minutes to play.
There was a rare weekend off for Thibaut Courtois as Atletico Madrid won comfortably at lower league opposition in the Copa del Rey. At La Liga's annual awards ceremony last week, the Belgian was presented with the trophy he won for being named the best goalkeeper in Spain last campaign.
Ulises Davila scored his fourth goal of the season for Cordoba, though it was in vain as his side lost 2-1 to Real Zaragoza.
In Belgium, Thorgan Hazard played 90 minutes in Zulte Waregem's 1-1 draw away to RAEC Mons, the dropped points meaning they end the weekend in fourth spot in the Jupiler League.
Champions League opponents
Wednesday's opponents Steaua Bucharest ended a run of five consecutive draws with a midweek home victory over Oteluj Galati on Thursday in the Romanian Cup, but they dropped more points against the same opposition in the league on Sunday, a third consecutive 1-1 draw. They slide to third in the table but with games in hand on those above them.
Schalke lost 2-1 at Borussia Monchengladbach, despite taking the lead through Jefferson Farfan, and they drop to sixth.
Their opponents on Wednesday, Basel, also failed to pick up three points, drawing 1-1 at home to Grasshopper Club Zurich.
The Chelsea week ahead
With all age groups having been on the road in the past seven days, there are home comforts aplenty this week.
Tomorrow night, our Under-19 side play Steaua Bucharest in their final UEFA Youth League group stage game aiming for a sixth straight win in the competition. That game, which kicks off at 7pm, is behind closed doors at Cobham.
The following evening, at 7.45pm, it is the turn of the seniors to take on the Steaua at Stamford Bridge. A win will guarantee top spot in Group E. There is a press conference to preview the game tomorrow, where both Jose Mourinho and a player will be speaking. There will be live coverage on Chelsea TV and on our @chelseafc Twitter account.
Then, on Thursday, our FA Youth Cup campaign kicks off with a home game against Dartford. The third round clash, which starts at 7.35pm, will be played at Aldershot's Electrical Services Stadium, with admission free to all. For those who can't make it to the ground Chelsea TV will have live and exclusive coverage.
Earlier that day, between 3.30pm and 4.30pm, Frank Lampard will be signing copies of his Frankie's Magic Football series of books in the Stamford Bridge Megastore.
For the first time this season we play a home game at 3pm on a Saturday, London rivals Crystal Palace our opponents.
There is more youth team action that day, as the Under-18s travel to West Bromwich Albion for a noon start.